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Accounting Interview

30 Questions and Answers Written by Bobbi Witt

Updated on January 22nd, 2019
Question 1 of 30
In what instance would you use LIFO compared to FIFO?
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How to Answer
This is an inventory-based question. LIFO, or Last In First Out compared to FIFO, First In First Out.

If you have personal experience, always draw on that for an answer. If you don't have personal experience, then provide an analogy that would help explain not only the difference, but the importance. Understanding various industry inventory methods is important for this. A food service business will always want to use FIFO, whereas a manufacturing company that doesn't have products that expire will use whatever is most convenient. The Accounting method changes based on the inventory method. While not a lot of companies use LIFO due to the government's indecision on whether to accept it and the additional documentation it requires, the tax implications are less compared to FIFO.

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Question 2 of 30
Give an example of when internal controls needed to be changed or updated and how you handled the change.
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How to Answer
This is a SOX related question. SOX compliance is critical for publicly traded companies because controls are constantly evolving as the company grows and change.

If you have no experience with this, be honest and use your ability to learn quickly and adapt well to change. Mention how compliance changed drastically after ENRON and WorldCom.

If you have experience, then describe the exact change that occurred unless you're prohibited from revealing details due to an NDA agreement.

Question 3 of 30
Give me an example of how your strengths help you in Accounting.
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How to Answer
This is a subjective question and one that will be asked (maybe in a different way), but this is the strength vs. weakness question. I'd focus on about 2-4 strengths and give an example. Common list of strengths to choose from are:

1) Organizational and planning skills.
2) Perseverance.
3) Persuasive ability.
4) Communication skills.
5) Leadership ability.
6) Stress tolerance.
7) Ability to learn and apply new information and skills.
8) Flexibility.
9) Trustworthiness.
10) Detailed oriented.
11) Reliable.
12) Unwavering.
13) Ethical.

Always try to give an example of how you've used your strengths to improve your performance or your company in some way.

Question 4 of 30
Tell me about the financial forecasting you've been responsible for.
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How to Answer
To answer this question, you have to understand what forecasting is. It's not just making a budget for yourself. You can make a budget for yourself at the pay rate you have right now for the next year. Do you take into account if you're going to get a raise? Do you project how much of a raise? Probably not. Forecasting takes into account the busy seasons and basically alters the budget for the year by the time of the year before it ever happens.

If you have no experience forecasting, then explain how you'd handle forecasting by demonstrating your knowledge of it.

Question 5 of 30
Give an example of something you'd put on a sub-ledger that wouldn't be included on the General Ledger.
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How to Answer
Sub-ledger is the subset of General ledger in accounting terms. The relation between sub-ledger to the general ledger is many to one. There can be multiple sub-ledger accounts linked to the same general ledger account. Posting from sub-ledger to general ledger is a process in which entries from the general journal are periodically transferred to ledger accounts (also known as T-accounts).

This is the second step of the accounting cycle because business transactions are first recorded in the sub-ledger, and then they're posted to respective ledger accounts in the general ledger. The type of accounts found on the sub-ledger would be Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, and Fixed Assets. These are then rolled up in summary form to the general ledger.

Questions 6 through 30
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Writers for Accounting Answers and Questions

Ryan Brown
Ryan Brown, is the creator of MockQuestions. He has over ten years experience creating interview questions. His website has helped over 10 million job seekers in their interview preparation.
Bobbi Witt
Bobbi Witt, has been a finance manager for over 15 years, with direct recruiting and hiring experience in her field. Additionally, she helps young graduates prepare for their job searches by reviewing resumes, doing mock interviews, and providing guidance.
Samantha Hamilton
Samantha H. has almost three years of experience in recruiting and loves to help people obtain their dream jobs. With a mix of recruiting and accounting knowledge, we hope she can help you land your dream job.
First written on: 06/23/2018
Last modified on: 01/22/2019

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