MockQuestions

Accounting Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your Accounting interview, here are 30 interview questions and answer examples.

Accounting was written by and updated on January 22nd, 2019. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 30

Give me an example of your least favorite Accounting task.

How to Answer

This is a variation of the old 'what are your weaknesses' question. The problem is that it asks for an example, so turning this into a positive 'I'm too detail-oriented' type of thing won't work. You have to be honest. You can't say that your ethics get in the way without them asking what would challenge them. Being honest with your interviewer is the best policy. I'd advise not saying that your least favorite task is what you're applying for. Saying you hate Auditing but you're applying for an auditing role would be a mistake.

Try to pick something that has nothing to do with what you're applying for.

Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

Next Question

30 Accounting Interview Questions & Answers

  • 1. Give me an example of your least favorite Accounting task.

      How to Answer

      This is a variation of the old 'what are your weaknesses' question. The problem is that it asks for an example, so turning this into a positive 'I'm too detail-oriented' type of thing won't work. You have to be honest. You can't say that your ethics get in the way without them asking what would challenge them. Being honest with your interviewer is the best policy. I'd advise not saying that your least favorite task is what you're applying for. Saying you hate Auditing but you're applying for an auditing role would be a mistake.

      Try to pick something that has nothing to do with what you're applying for.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I wouldn't say I dislike any portion, but in school I did struggle with the simulation for month end close. It's something I know I could do well if I get training and have someone to answer my questions, but I didn't have a long session with it so I'm uncomfortable to say the least."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "I really dislike taxes, which is why I'm applying for an auditing role. I'd never want to miss something due to my dislike of a task. With the various aspects of Accounting, it should be easy enough for me to avoid something I dislike."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Experience

      "I really don't like the stock market. I wouldn't be a financial adviser for all the money in the world. I wouldn't want to be responsible for people losing their life savings because I picked the wrong stock or bond. It's too much pressure and like gambling, which just isn't worth it for me."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I think it will have to be stock-taking, particularly where there is a huge warehouse with hundreds of lines of items. I can do the paperwork after all the numbers are in, but I find the counting process tedious and cumbersome."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Chad Wilson

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Chad Wilson Reviewed the Above Answer

      Great! Your answer is relatable, as there is a likelihood that anyone who has had to take stock in a huge warehouse would agree with you that it is tedious and cumbersome.

  • 2. How do you ensure that you don't forget details and ensure accuracy when you prepare monthly journal entries a, record transactions, etc.?

      How to Answer

      This is an attention to detail question that demonstrates the person's organizational system. If you're disorganized, I suggest you find a system that works for you. As an Accountant, you can't be disorganized because no will hire someone who can't organize their lives, let alone their work schedules.

      If you're fresh out of college, this is a great time to visit Pinterest or Google and research how to stay organized.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I've always been really organized with my school projects. I pride myself on getting things done early so I don't have to stress the way I saw so many of my friends did when they procrastinated. It also gives me the opportunity to review the data and make sure I don't miss anything regarding the project I'm working on."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "I live and die by my planner. I carry it everywhere with me and it has everything that I need to do both short and long term. I'm organized and the type of person who's always fifteen minutes early, otherwise I feel like I'm an hour late. It makes my skin crawl to be late for an appointment or forget an important detail."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Experienced

      "I've learned over the years that setting reminders and having a step process for every function or project is important. It's easy to miss a step when projects become very detailed and involve functions and tables along the way. If you miss one step, you have to start over, so having a step process typed up and double checking it as you go through the process helps a lot."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "During my time at a global airport services and cargo-handling firm, I led the month-end reporting process and Financial Reporting Manager. I set up a month-end process that outlined all the tasks all the members of my team needed to complete and saved it as a shared file that we could all access and update.

      Each month-end task was recorded with the name of the employee completing it and the date it was required. If for any reason that task could not be completed, I asked to be notified at the earliest opportunity, so I could adjust my plans. In some instances, delays in getting information from another department meant we had to swap tasks around and complete some tasks before I had initially scheduled them.



      Staff time-off or holidays also meant that tasks were swapped around team-members when required.



      By putting a. list together and constantly reviewing that list to ensure all tasks are completed, I was able to produce complete financial statements with every month-end reporting pack.



      Even now, the first thing I do when I switch on my computer in the morning is plan out my day. Making sure, I know what I am doing all the time. Additionally, in my practice I use a software called Accountancy Manager, because we have entered all the important details and key dates about every client, it tells us about upcoming deadlines and helps us prioritise our work daily."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Chad Wilson

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Chad Wilson Reviewed the Above Answer

      It is evident from the example you provide that you are able to develop organizational systems for yourself and your team to ensure all tasks are completed. Good job! To strengthen this response, I suggest leading with the tools and software you currently use to keep your work organized and ensure no details are missed. I have offered a revision below:

      ""The first thing I do when I switch on my computer in the morning is plan out my day, making sure I know what I am doing all the time. Additionally, in my practice, I use a software called Accountancy Manager to stay organized and ensure accuracy. All important details and key dates are entered for each and every client, and the software informs staff about upcoming deadlines and helps us prioritize our work daily. In my previous role as the Financial Reporting Manager with global airport services and cargo-handling firm, I led the month-end reporting process. I set up a month-end process that outlined all the tasks the members of my team needed to complete and saved it as a shared file that we could all access and update. Each month-end task was recorded with the name of the employee completing it and the date it was required. If for any reason that task could not be completed, I asked to be notified at the earliest opportunity so I could adjust my plans. In some instances, delays in getting information from another department meant we had to swap tasks around and complete some tasks before I had initially scheduled them. Staff time-off or holidays also meant that tasks were swapped around among team members when required. By putting a list together and constantly reviewing it to ensure all tasks are completed, I was able to produce complete accurate financial statements with every month-end reporting pack."

  • 3. Describe one of the biggest mistake you've made on the job.

      How to Answer

      If you don't have a professional example to share, a relevant experience from college might work. Regardless of which example you pick, don't exaggerate or over-dramatize. Your interviewer will notice and might decide that you're being less than honest.

      Also, if you've committed any major mistakes, I wouldn't advertise them. I'd pick a significant mistake that had a relatively simple solution. Choose an example quickly so it doesn't look like you're trying to pick a less serious mistake, which might leave a bad impression.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "During my very first job, I was hired only to handle payroll and had two weeks of training before the person left the company. I had no backup and no one to ask for help. The week I was processing payroll, the Accounting Manager, who was my boss, noticed I wasn't comfortable with my work but never once offered to help me, even though I asked everyone for help. It was extremely frustrating and I thought about leaving, but didn't want to quit something that I hadn't finished. While I finally managed to complete payroll, I couldn't transmit direct deposit and all 600 employees received manual checks. They had to be printed because I didn't complete payroll until late Thursday evening, and the direct deposit information had to be sent to the bank by Wednesday at noon. I didn't make the cut off time, but I successfully completed payroll. There were mistakes on the paychecks, but the employees were very patient with me. At the end of the week, my Accounting Manager called me in and said I did a nice job. She informed me that she didn't offer to help me because she wanted to see how I handled the situation and the pressure. She congratulated me and told me to keep up the good work."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "When I was still learning my position at a company, I was told to run an Audit on the user access of one system. I didn't know they had a standard operating procedure for how this was done and I made the mistake of thinking I could reinvent the wheel. I was cocky. So I created a template and emailed it. Later, I was told they had an internal system they used for only this purpose and what took me eight hours should have taken only thirty minutes. I learned from that point always to ask before trying to reinvent something."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Experience

      "My biggest mistake could have ended my career. I was working as a Plant Controller in a new accounting system that I'd inherited, and the valuation of the inventory was mis-stated and miscalculated on the balance sheet. The inventory should have a valuation with a unit of measure of 1000 per pound, but it was valued at 100 per pound. It took me two months to discover this process, and it cost the plant $230,000, which was a hit to the bottom line and off the net income of the plant. The Plant Manager said it wasn't my fault since I was new and trying to learn the system. It was my first job as a plant controller, and the manager felt the planner who placed the order for the roll stock and viewed the internal and external price transfers, should have caught the error. I was looking at a daily report of all the roll stock and value and didn't catch it. After the error, the Plant Manager and I came up with a checks and balance system between the Planner and Accounting Department to review a daily specialized report to ensure this didn't happen again. "

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "There was a time I almost missed the deadline of quarterly WHT filing. At the beginning of the week, I remembered that I had to complete that work within the week. But, for the next few days, I was overwhelmed with another project, so I forgot until my manager remind me of the due date. From then on, I learnt how to manage my time. First of all, I set up notifications in Outlook which pop up a few days before a deadline. That allows me to prioritize my work. Secondly, I built a habit of checking my schedule one week ahead to well prepare for things."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      This situation would have been an awakening, indeed! What action did you take to meet this deadline, in the end? I changed some of the wording for you ('overwhelmed' to 'immersed' to avoid the image that you cannot handle your workload). Feel free to add in additional details and make it your own :)

      "There was a time I almost missed the deadline for quarterly WHT filings. At the beginning of the week, I remembered that I had to complete that task within the week. But over the following days, I was immersed in another project, and the filing slipped my mind until my manager reminded me of the due date. What I did to correct the situation was...(discuss the action that you took). From then on, I learned how to manage my time better. First of all, I set up notifications in Outlook to pop up a few days before every deadline. These notifications allow me to prioritize my work. Secondly, I built a habit of checking my schedule one week ahead to well prepare for things."

  • 4. Describe a time when you had to use numerical data or a graph to convince a manager.

      How to Answer

      Discuss how data, a chart, or a graph helped you make your case, and how the outcome worked in the organization's favor. If you don't have any working experience, then describe an class assignment.

      It's important to create visuals because sometimes simply showing numbers on a screen doesn't work for some people. Having a visual is a helpful way to get you point across.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I've never used them professionally, but in school I had a course that focused only on creating graphs and charts for projections. In statistics class, we had to constantly create graphs to outline what we were talking about. I really enjoyed it."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I have had experience using numerical data and graphs to analyze financial statements. I used to use horizontal, vertical analysis as well as financial ration analysis. I created dynamic graphs to emphasize key factors and allow management to more easily understand the information and make decisions."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      This response is a great start! Now that you have offered the interviewer a general overview, be sure to describe a specific time when your approach was especially helpful. Try using the STAR framework (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to give your response more impact.

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  • 5. Describe to me a time when you faced an ethical dilemma regarding your work.

      How to Answer

      This is one of the most important answers you'll ever give to an employer. Being trustworthy with someone's money is what makes or breaks an Accountant's career. That's why most states now have an Ethics test you must pass in to obtain a CPA. You always have to be discreet and ethical. That means if your company is doing something illegal you must stop it or at least try to.

      If you have a coworker or someone doing something illegal or that could hurt the company, you're ethically obligated to do something about it. Nowadays, people think of it as ratting or being a whistleblower, but imagine if it was your money they were stealing. Wouldn't you want someone to tell you? Corporations are not faceless. They employ millions of people who are affected by theft and embezzlement. All major accounting scandals have cost thousands of people their jobs, life savings, and livelihoods, so it's not okay to ignore an issue simply because it doesn't directly impact you.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I've never run into this professionally, but when I was a kid, I had a teacher who didn't get along with my friend's mom. She'd pick on my friend during class, call her stupid, and wouldn't let her volunteer to read. The teacher was a bully and it hurt my friend badly. When her mom tried to involve the school, they didn't do anything so I went to the school board and talked to them about it. I told them how the teacher's behavior wasn't only affecting my friend, but how other students treated my friend. I told them it was unethical for someone in a position of power to bully and torment a child, and that teacher was sent for training. We didn't see her for the rest of the year, and when she came back the following year, she was much more respectful of her students and aware of how her actions reflected in her other students."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I haven't had an ethical dilemma in my career. However, if I faced this situation, I would never do anything against law. I would always treat financial information as confidential. If someone asked for financial information that hadn't been approved to disclose, I would suggest he/she go to the website where historical data can be found."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Good for you! Although you have not had this experience you do a great job telling the interviewer that you would act with integrity through any situation. Well said.

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  • 6. Give an example of when you have seen or corrected the Trail Balance from being out of balance?

      How to Answer

      After posting all transactions from an accounting period, the trial balance is checked to verify that the total of all accounts with debit balances equals the total of all accounts with credit balances. The trial balance lists every open general ledger account by account number and provides separate debit and credit columns for entering account balances. An accurate Trial Balance means that debits and credits are in balance.

      If you have experience with out of balance books, this is a good time to demonstrate that knowledge. Be honest about the process you used to correct it, and ensure that you don't reveal any sensitive information. Generally, when you're talking about the financials of a previous company, you don' need to provide the company's name. Remember, everyone is a potential investor of your previous company, so you don't want to information leaked and the company stock falling because of a comment you made in the interview.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "As I'm fresh out of school, I haven't run into this issue yet but when I was in school, I did have to create journal entries. Before I mastered that skill, I put together an inaccurate trial balance and had to investigate where I made the mistake. It helped me learn and master not only journal entries but the trial balance process itself."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "During my time at a global recruitment firm, I was tasked with completing the accounts for an entity in Trinidad & Tobago and the filing requirement there required my previous company to file accounts till the 31st of December and because records were maintained in the UK with a 31st August year-end. This was a non-coterminous accounting period situation and it meant when pulling the TB from Sage 200 cloud, I had to draw 8 months from one accounting year and 12 months from another accounting year to put together the accounts.

      When the trial balances were pulled together, they never quite balanced because adjustments had been made to the retained earnings that needed to be stripped, and the balance sheet and P&L requirements were different.



      To accurately identify the differences, I reconstructed the accounts on a monthly basis from the closing balance of the last 31st December year end. I had a backlog of filings to complete, so I had to do it several times and I got really good at doing it over time."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Chad Wilson

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Chad Wilson Reviewed the Above Answer

      This is a strong example and shows a high level of experience correcting out-of-balance books. However, the example is a bit difficult to follow. I have offered a slight revision below to improve clarity and help make your response more accessible to the interviewer.

      ""During my time at a global recruitment firm, I was tasked with completing the accounts for an entity in Trinidad & Tobago. The filing requirement there required my previous company to file accounts till the 31st of December, but the records were maintained in the UK where the year-end was set at the 31st of August. The conflicting year-ends caused a non-coterminous accounting period situation, and it meant when pulling the Trail Balance from Sage 200 cloud, I had to draw 8 months from one accounting year and 12 months from another accounting year to put together the accounts. However, when the trial balances were pulled together, they never quite balanced because adjustments had been made to the retained earnings that needed to be stripped, and the balance sheet and P&L requirements were different. To accurately identify the differences, I had to reconstruct the accounts on a monthly basis from the closing balance of the last 31st December year-end. Since I had a backlog of filings to complete, I had to do it several times. Over time, I was able to get really good at it, and was able to consistently correct the Trail Balance.""

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  • 7. What ERP systems and accounting softwares have you used?

      How to Answer

      Simply list the ERP systems and any financial tools you' have used. A list of common Financial ERP systems are: QuickBooks, Quicken, Peachtree, SAP, Infor, Visual, Xero, Microsoft Dynamics, Sage, Oracle JD Edwards, Epicor, Yardi, etc. Don't forget to mention your Excel skills, Google Spreadsheets, and being familiar with CSV files and uploading into different systems.

      If you have no experience with any of these platforms than the suggestion would be to download free versions online and practice on a few by creating journal entries and chart of accounts. Then you can answer this question in the hypothetical rather than having no experience.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I just graduated, so professionally I haven't worked with any of those platforms, but in college I had an entire Quickbooks class. We used Quickbooks and Waze accounting software as well as a dummy program of XERO. I like Quickbooks the best because of its ease of access."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I have used several accounting software and ERP systems in my previous roles, some of which include Xero, QuickBooks Online, Sage 200, Dear Systems, FreeAgent, SAP, Oracle, JD Edwards, Dream, Deltek CostPoint, Deltek Vision, SUN accounting, COINS, Microsoft Enterprise, Progression, Tableau, Accountancy Manager, DEXT prepare, DEXT analysis, Cognos, HFM, BI, and several others."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Chad Wilson

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Chad Wilson Reviewed the Above Answer

      Wow! Your experience with various ERP systems and accounting software really shines through in this response. Consider discussing your preferred system or tool, if you have one. You can also let the interviewer know what software you are currently working with.

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  • 8. Give an example of an exciting project you worked on in Accounting.

      How to Answer

      This is a subjective question. It can be for any level of experience and can have a wide variety of answers. Always remember to be honest and respect any NDA's you've signed. The Accounting world is a confidential, which must be respected. Any interviewer that would pressure you to reveal confidential information should examine their own ethics. You have no loyalty to an interviewer but you do to your former employer who trusted you with that information.

      Projects to discuss can be from school or from a project you previously worked on. It's easy to review the broad scope of a project without revealing anything that could violate an NDA.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I had this project in my Tax class that allowed me to make up tax records and fill out all the required tax forms for personal, sole proprietorship, partnerships, as well as major corporate filings. I learned so much about the many facets of tax and how to get tax breaks that I never would have considered. It has helped me in my side business of helping others with their taxes as well as hopefully to one day become a corporate tax accountant."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Last year, I worked on an assignment with a global recruitment firm that involved preparing audit files, preparing statutory accounts and tax packs, leasing with auditors to file audited accounts in multiple jurisdictions as well as corporation tax in multiple companies.

      I learned about different requirements in Africa, South America, North America, Europe, and Asia and it was really exciting because no country was the same. Each had its own special requirements and getting to grips quickly to meet those requirements was part of the fun."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Chad Wilson

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Chad Wilson Reviewed the Above Answer

      Excellent example! Working on an assignment for a global company, and being able to learn about the different international requirements definitely sounds like a stimulating project to be a part of, as well as a tremendous opportunity for professional growth. Any interviewer would be impressed by your international experience!

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  • 9. What responsibilities do you have during month-end?

      How to Answer

      Explain your month-end experience and elaborate on all responsibilities, especially if there's a complex journal entry. The point of this question is to ensure that your responsibility is more than typing in debit and credit into the system and that you have additional responsibilities and understand the GL impact.

      Some companies don't have month-end close, or it's quarterly, or they only have end year prepared by a CPA firm. If this is the case, explain your role in preparing and maintaining many accounts and reconciliations.

      If you're recently out of school and new in the field, use an example from a class or project.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I'm new to the accounting world but we had a project in my advanced accounting class where we had to run month end from start to finish. This included updating journal entries and opening and closing ledgers multiple times for a real world view of how month end is run."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "As a Senior Accountant, I have spent the past five years posting monthly journal entries for various accounts. I have worked on monthly reconciliations for cash and other balance sheet items. At the end of the month, I closed the ledger once all reconciliations are done. My monthly responsibilities also included preparing the financial statements."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Very full answer - good work! This response will give the interviewer a strong idea of your primary responsibilities related to month-end.

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  • 10. How do you calculate DSO (Days Outstanding)?

      How to Answer

      For this question, the interviewer is looking for the interviewee to be familiar with DSO or Days Outstanding. If you don't know what the acronym stands, for then don't be afraid to ask the interviewee.

      DSO or Days Outstanding and is a measure of the average number of days it takes a company to collect payment after a sale has been made. This is a very important metric in Accounts Receivable.
      DSO = Total Accounts Receivable/Total Sales x Number of Days.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "DSO is often determined on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis, and can be calculated by dividing the amount of accounts receivable during a given period by the total value of credit sales during the same period, and multiplying the result by the number of days in the period measured. This is a metric allowing companies to gauge how fast cash flow will be coming in."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

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  • 11. Give an example of something you'd put on a sub-ledger that wouldn't be included on the General Ledger.

      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.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "The general ledger is the central place that stores every accounting entry a company makes. The entries, called journal entries, are debits and credits. The entries are made to various accounts (payroll, inventory, or advertising). These accounts fall into categories such as assets, liabilities, revenue, etc. The sub ledgers would have accounts payable and receivable would be included on the sub-ledger."

      A company often has dozens of accounts and tens of thousands of journal entries in the general ledger in a year. Every journal entry should involve a debit and an offsetting credit - this is the basis of the double-entry bookkeeping method.
      "

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

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  • 12. When looking at the COGS on the P&L statement, what are some examples of variable costs?

      How to Answer

      COGS is Cost of Goods Sold and the P&L is the Profit and Loss statement. It's important to know the acronyms as well as what's on the documents they indicate.

      Variable costs are expenses incurred based on the production volume. Examples of common variable costs include raw materials, packaging, and labor directly involved in a company's manufacturing process.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "Variable costs that go into making the final product and determines the cost of goods sold would be things like direct labor, indirect labor, parts, and overhead. All these costs will be listed on the profit and loss statement."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

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  • 13. In what instance would you use LIFO compared to FIFO?

      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.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I've never personally used Last In First Out, but have taken courses regarding the different inventory methods. There are certain industries that have to use FIFO, like the food service industry. They need to ensure their product doesn't expire and is counted as waste. This ensures higher profits for the amount of product you have. If you have a manufacturing company where nothing expires, then the inventory method can change.

      As far as accounting goes FIFO generally has higher tax implications because costs generally go up over time so you are being taxed at the current rate of inventory costs not when the inventory was bought. If you use LIFO you will be taxed at the rate you purchased the most recent inventory. This will lessen the tax implication for the inventory."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "In inventory management, I would use First In and First Out to ensure that older merchandise is sold first. I would never use Last In First Out."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Marcie Wilmot

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Marcie Wilmot Reviewed the Above Answer

      Okay! Be sure to include a definition of LIFO so the interviewer knows that you're familiar with the meaning of the term. Can you think of any hypothetical situation when you might use LIFO? If not, that's fine, but talk more about when you would use FIFO and why you would opt to use that instead. Include real-life examples if possible. Good job!

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  • 14. What financial planning have you handled in the past?

      How to Answer

      Financial planning has to do with the stock market. This could be for a financial analyst position or financial planning position. This means looking at someone's finances, finding out how much they can and will invest, and where they should invest it. It requires an analysis of their age, financial status, and the length of time they want to invest.

      This can be used for anything from saving for retirement to someone wanting to make big market money moves with a day trader.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "Though I've never worked with a client on their financial future, I've taken several classes in financial planning and investing and two years ago, invested one thousand dollars into the stock market. I got a 6% return on my investment, which I reinvested. I intend to be able to retire by age 50 with smart investments."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

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  • 15. A start up company needs help understanding GAAP. How would you explain why GAAP is important?

      How to Answer

      GAAP stands for Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, and it's the framework for accounting standards. If you're new to your accounting career, you could talk about how you studied GAAP rules in college. If you're an experienced accountant, talk about how you've applied GAAP in your work.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "GAAP is the standard set of regulations is used for American financial statements and processes. This is important because if every company was allowed to devise their own accounting method, the government or investors would have trouble understanding them. This would cause a lot more work for the government as well as investors, which could deter them from investing in the company. Having a standard set of rules keeps companies honest and sets out a path to follow when filling out financial documents."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

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  • 16. What is your knowledge and experience using QuickBooks?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer is asking how many years of QuickBooks experience you have. If you have none, then be honest. Perhaps you've used other accounting systems similar to QuickBooks. If you have no Quickbooks experience but have used other platforms like Waze or Sage, discuss how beneficial those platforms have been in your experience.

      There are hundreds of Quickbooks tutorials on Youtube, and you can even download a beta version from the Quickbooks website and run through scenarios. Quickbooks is a widely-used product, so it's best to learn it to some capacity.

      You'll note on the experienced response I've included a question to the interviewer. The greater your experience, the bigger the company you'll likely interview with, and sometimes during an interview you should challenge the company on their growth.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I recently graduated from college, and in class, we would use QuickBooks Pro for simulations and school projects. This experience allowed me to become familiar with creating a payment, generating an invoice, and creating a chart of accounts. I have also created financial statements in Excel. I also have limited exposure to Sage accounting, and from what I've seen Sage and QuickBooks are very similar in their ability to update a general ledger and track expenses on the go. I'm sure that I can apply my Sage experience to Quickbooks."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I am a QuickBooks ProAdvisor and my firm is a QuickBooks partner firm. I currently use QuickBooks to maintain the records of 5-10 clients. Aside from reconciling bank records and posting journals, I use it to file VAT, produce monthly reporting packs, run payroll tasks, file RTI, and in the preparation of annual accounts.

      This is my second year of using QuickBooks continuously and I am constantly updating my knowledge with their helpful tutorials."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Chad Wilson

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Chad Wilson Reviewed the Above Answer

      Great answer! You clearly outline the number of years of experience you have using QuickBooks, and detail the various tasks you complete with the software. Including the fact that you utilize the tutorials to continually increase your knowledge is a nice touch.

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  • 17. Give me an example of why you chose this career field.

      How to Answer

      This answer is a personal one. We can only advise you to be honest about why you decided to join the field of Accounting. Don't embellish or exaggerate because most people can tell when someone is lying or exaggerating. Try to keep it simple and if possible, not a long-winded story about your life.

      This is time for the interviewer to get to know you a little better and a good place to set boundaries if you have them.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "There were a lot of influences in my life that led to Accounting. Both my parents were Accountants for the IRS and I decided to follow in their footsteps. I've never regretted it and with their help, I plan on obtaining my CPA within the year."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I chose accounting because growing up, I saw a lot of people suffer long-term unemployment. I wanted a discipline that would be useful to almost any organization and allow me to support my family.

      Additionally, I am entrepreneurial and studying accounting has helped me to make informed decisions, as well as help others, make informed decisions."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Chad Wilson

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Chad Wilson Reviewed the Above Answer

      Excellent answer! Your motivation for choosing accounting as a career is understandable, and it comes across as sincere.

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  • 18. Do you plan on attaining your CPA?

      How to Answer

      This question is pretty standard. If you haven't considered going for your CPA, you should know the requirements. Look into the state requirements where you live in or where you intend to move. Different states have different types of regulations and qualifications.

      Knowing whether or not you're going to try for your CPA is an important step in the career of an Accountant. This may be a good time to counter question the interviewer as well.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "When I started school I always knew I'd try for my CPA when I graduated, but I was naive and didn't know how in-depth the process would be. I have all the credits, the one year experience, and have signed up to sit for the exam. Does this company provide financial assistance for taking this exam? Or allow time off to study a few days before the exam?"

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I already have an ACCA qualification and if there are no opportunities to take me to the US, I wouldn't need a CPA. So, no.

      But, I would be interested in taking the CTA, if I can find the time."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Chad Wilson

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Chad Wilson Reviewed the Above Answer

      Good start. You provide direct reasoning to support your decision not to pursue your CPA. To strengthen this response, I suggest asking the interviewer if a CPA is required for the position you are interviewing for. If it is, inform the interviewer if you have the necessary requirements and qualifications to sit for the exam.

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  • 19. Give me an example of how your strengths help you in Accounting.

      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.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I'm very detail oriented. I have the ability to catch small errors that are overlooked by most and have proven this in college when I was an aide to one of my professors and constantly caught errors he missed. He told me that I helped keep him honest, which is why he offered me this letter of recommendation. He's also listed as a reference if you should like to speak with him regarding my detail-oriented abilities."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Some of the key strengths that help me with Accounting work are patience, attention to detail, calmness when things are challenging, ability to focus for long periods, and research and investigating skills.

      Being patient allows me to not rush my work, but to apply a methodological and systematic approach to every task, so it is complete when I leave it. I particularly, enjoy researching and learning new things all the time is part of accounting work. Tax rules are constantly changing and clients have different requirements, so I am constantly having to find out more.

      Also, when things go wrong my investigative skills and inquisitive mind help me get to the problem time and again."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Chad Wilson

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Chad Wilson Reviewed the Above Answer

      This is a great approach to the question! You do well to identify your strengths and provide more detail on how the key strengths aid you in your work and contribute to your success.

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  • 20. What courses were your favorite in college while preparing to be an accountant?

      How to Answer

      Be honest. If you didn't have a favorite then pick the class you did the best in. If college was 15 years ago, then talk about some of your most important learning experiences with the updated laws and regulations that have been enacted.

      You don't want to sound like your bragging, but you do want to brag a little. This is a good time to casually mention the grade you got in that class or the way you were able to implement what you learned into your work.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I've always enjoyed working with numbers and handling the monotony of repetitive action, which is why I chose Accounting. Financial Analysis was my favorite course not only because you get to use all the formulas we learned in school, but because you get to discover things about the company that you wouldn't ordinarily be able to see. You get to spot where they're investing their money and see if it's working for them in the long run. It's like a financial background check for the company."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Financial Management, Tax and Cost accounting."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Chad Wilson

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Chad Wilson Reviewed the Above Answer

      Straightforward and direct. Good job! Were these classes your favorite because you performed well in them and received an exceptional grade? Or did they influence your career in a particular way? Whatever the reason, consider expanding on your answer to and discussing the reasoning behind your choices with the interviewer.

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  • 21. Give an example of a time when you caught an invoice error before it was paid out.

      How to Answer

      This is a question that also tests honesty because if you have never encountered this issue, you shouldn't make something up. That doesn't mean that you won't have an answer. Have you ever personally been billed for something you didn't buy? Has a waiter ever charged you for something you didn't order? It's all about checking the work before the debt is paid.

      If you have experience with this, relay that story and let them know exactly how you handled the situation.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I've never had professional experience with this but when I bought my current car from a used car dealership, I immediately got an invoice from the toll agency saying I owed then over two thousand dollars. Somehow, the previous owner had convinced them that the debt was mine to pay. I had to prove that I had just purchased the car and hadn't been driving it the previous year. It took a little bit of time and faxing several documents over to them, but we cleared up the situation and I didn't have to pay the invoice that didn't belong to me."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "For a current client, we provide AP services and this involves recording supplier invoices on their accounting systems ahead of pay runs.

      Last week, I noticed an error with billing items and notified the supplier promptly. The supplier credited the erroneous billing and re-invoiced as appropriate."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Chad Wilson

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Chad Wilson Reviewed the Above Answer

      It sounds like you were able to resolve the invoice error. Good job! To strengthen your answer, I suggest including more details around the error you discovered with billing items, to ensure you are giving enough information and providing a compelling answer for the interviewer. Also, if possible discuss what you learned from the experience.

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  • 22. Tell me about the financial forecasting you've been responsible for.

      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.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "Although I haven't had any work experience with forecasting, I do budgets for my family as well as myself to ensure everyone stays on top of their finances. I would, however, love to forecast for a company, and the way I'd do that is by reviewing the financials and budgets from the last five years of the company. By noting when the company has high cash influx and low cash influx, I'd be able to make a budget by quarter or even by month to keep the company profitable. By monitoring the budgets monthly over the first year of my forecast, not only could we stay on budget, but also make real-time decisions on saving money to become more profitable overall."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "During my time at a global pharmaceutical company, I prepared financial 13-week financial forecasts to support short-term cash provisioning.

      I also prepared a detailed Consolidated 3 year forecast during my time at a global architectural firm.

      Over the last 12 months, I have been supporting clients applying for the CBIL and RLS with financial forecasts to support their applications, many of which have had positive outcomes."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Chad Wilson

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Chad Wilson Reviewed the Above Answer

      Great answer! It sounds like you have a wealth of experience forecasting, which the interviewer will certainly be impressed by. For each of the examples you provide in your response, are you able to demonstrate your knowledge by briefly explaining how you prepared the forecasts?

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  • 23. Discuss your experience in the financial analysis of your previous company's projects.

      How to Answer

      You can answer this at any career level. If you're just getting out of school, then discuss a project where you did some type of financial analysis. If you have more work experience, discuss the broad scope of the analysis you did. Always be aware of your ethics and any NDA's you may have signed.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "As a fresh college graduate, I have no real world experience with this but for my final project, I had to do a full analysis of a publicly traded company. I went online, pulled their financials, and reviewed everything using various ratios and formulas to see if this company would be worth investing in. I really enjoyed the profitability ratios and the return on investment formulas I reviewed for the project. The analysis went so well I actually invested in the company and should be seeing a return on my investment with dividends within a year. It will continue to pay out over time and I'll continue to make a profit on my investment."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "During my time at an Architectural firm, I was supported with the Acquisition of a Canadian Architectural firm. I reviewed the Canadian firm's performance over five years and informed the Board of the potential financial and synergetic benefits of the acquisition using a detailed consolidated 10-year forecast."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Chad Wilson

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Chad Wilson Reviewed the Above Answer

      Excellent answer! Consider detailing to the interviewer the key sources of information you evaluated when reviewing the firm's 5-year performance. Also, be sure to provide a clear result/outcome to your response to conclude your story example. For example: "Based largely on the detailed forecast I provided, my previous employer made the decision to proceed with the acquisition of the Canadian firm.").

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  • 24. Give an example of when internal controls needed to be changed or updated and how you handled the change.

      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.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "As a recent college grad, I haven't had the privilege of updating the controls myself but in my current position, the company I work for just changed a few controls. I can't go into much detail because of the NDA I signed, but we've streamlined the process of training people on the active controls to ensure that the most up-to-date controls are followed, and also gave a detailed explanation to the auditors about the transition to new controls to eliminate questions."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "One of my current clients is an innovative energy provider and I have been supporting them with transitioning from a non-PO AP Ledger system to a fully PO-driven system.

      This is to help with budgeting, controls and to help with ensuring projects don't go over budget without anybody knowing. They also use Sage 200 with built-in controls for budget holders and PO approval.

      My role has been implementing the process and making sure everybody complies and I handled the change by communicating frequently and regularly with all stakeholders."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Chad Wilson

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Chad Wilson Reviewed the Above Answer

      Excellent answer! Your example highlights the change that is taking place, the reason it needs to change and your role in supporting the change.

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  • 25. Give me an example of a challenging tax situation that you have encountered.

      How to Answer

      This question can be posed to anyone of any experience level. This is assuming at some point you have had a job and had to do your own taxes. Discussing personal taxes can be tricky because you don't want to show that you're avoiding tax because of your knowledge, but you want to demonstrate your knowledge.

      If you have corporate tax experience, rely on that to explain your knowledge.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I don't have any corporate experience as of yet but when I was in high school and college, I helped my father with his taxes. As a truck driver paid by the mile, you have to calculate mileage for each trip, factor in construction detours, and map the exact route he takes to ensure that his pay is accurate and his taxes are accurately paid. This is a lot more complicated than your average 1040 EZ as not only do you have to itemize, but you have to provide documentation to the IRS before they'll approve the refund. That's when I realized how good I am at following the breadcrumbs of taxes."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I currently work with a US corp that trades in the UK and EU. The US Corp sells goods into the UK, EU, and the US but only buys goods from the UK, so it is almost always in a VAT repayment position.

      Owing to this, we have had several VAT audits from the HMRC and have had to explain the trading circumstances over and over to different Tax Officers. Each time enduring deep investigations into trading and VAT computations.

      During my time with a global recruitment firm, I was also involved in addressing a long-term Tax audit that involved corporation, withholding, and sales tax in Tanzania. It was a very lengthy process and we had to do everything properly to avoid a huge tax penalty."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Chad Wilson

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Chad Wilson Reviewed the Above Answer

      The examples you have provided both sounds like challenging situations that required extensive knowledge of the tax system. Good job! Be sure you are following the STAR (situation, task, action, result) method to structure your response, and including an outcome for each example. This will ensure the interviewer has the full story and is not left with any questions. If you'd like to read more about the STAR format, you can find a guide here: Master Behavioral-Based Interviews Using The Star Method

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  • 26. How do you stay updated on all the accounting rules and techniques?

      How to Answer

      This is a very good question for anyone just graduating from school, as you'll be updated on accounting principles, rules, any changes, and techniques.

      Experienced professionals will need to demonstrate how they stay updated. This question seeks to learn from the interviewee if they're continuing to improve their knowledge in their field of work.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I feel very fortunate to have an Accounting Degree from a University that focused on current accounting practices, changes in GAAP and SOX, industry trends, proposed legislation, and bank regulations. I'll continue to stay updated by being actively following LinkedIn Group articles and CPA newsletters, as well as applying to the AICPA as a studying CPA exam applicant."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I have a subscription with IFRS.org and I use it frequently as well as receive email notifications of changes. Additionally, I also receive daily emails from Accountancy Daily, a daily email that comes with my firm's subscription to Croner i.

      All important tax and accounting standard changes are communicated on that email and I set time aside daily to read it.

      Additionally, I take CPD courses, usually recommended by ACCA, and this allows me to record my CPD effortlessly as all the records are in one place, and with many of the events now online, I take full advantage of any that comes my way.

      I also listen to an Accounting best practice podcast and receive regular emails from the HMRC and Companies House."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Chad Wilson

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Chad Wilson Reviewed the Above Answer

      Excellent! You have identified a wide variety of reputable resources to keep you informed on changes to accounting rules and techniques, while also demonstrating you are continually improving your skills through online professional development courses.

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  • 27. What cost-cutting initiatives have you been part of?

      How to Answer

      This is a very straightforward answer that can be successfully answered by anyone who has had any job in any field. Draw on personal experience of cutting costs whether it was at the fast food place where you worked during high school or cutting costs in your own budget to ensure timely bill payments.

      If you have accounting experience with cutting costs, this is the perfect place to demonstrate that knowledge.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I've never cut costs in a specific accounting role, but during college when I worked as a team leader at the local Starbucks, I was able to cut waste costs by 25% by buying reusable cups for the employees since they were allowed three free drinks a day. By using reusable cups, waste dropped 25% that quarter."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "During my time at a renewable energy firm, monitoring cash levels was always an issue and we had to do more with less. Every week, I produced a cash forecast and this cash forecast was used to identify the priority payments made those weeks.

      From time to time, we would find something that we were paying for that was not providing any real added value and we would eliminate those costs. Some of which included storage, software costs, over-provisioning for office supplies, and even employees whose tasks or roles could be reassigned to address critical business needs.

      I must say the most difficult part of that role was having to lay people off."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Chad Wilson

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Chad Wilson Reviewed the Above Answer

      Laying off staff is never easy, but is an unfortunate reality when a company is reducing costs and identifies roles that can be eliminated. Your example relates directly to the question, and the interviewer will be assured of your experience in this area.

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  • 28. Tell me about a time you updated or revised an Accounting process.

      How to Answer

      This is a question that if you have no experience cannot be fabricated or guessed. You have to be honest with your experience, otherwise you're being unethical. Ethics is an important role for any Accountant and demonstrating this in your interview is important.

      If you have experience revising or updating a process or control, this is where you explain your experience, keeping in mind any NDA agreements you've signed. Once again, this points to ethics.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I'm fresh out of college, so I have no practical experience in updating or changing any processes, but in class for auditing we were taught how to update a control and the proper steps to take. Updating processes need to conform the GAAP standards, and if possible, IFRS, so that if the company becomes an international company it will conform to all applicable guidelines. For your company, I'd start by reviewing the processes in place and ensure they all conform to the GAAP and IFRS standards. If I find some don't, I'd make the adjustments in a controlled environment and get them approved through the appropriate in-house channels before rolling them out company wide."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

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  • 29. Give me an example of how SOX compliance has affected your career.

      How to Answer

      SOX, or the Sarbanes Oxely-Act, was enacted after the ENRON scandal in which a company lied on their financial statements and stole money from customers, the public, and their employees. Hundreds of people lost their jobs, a few committed suicide, and their highest executives were sent to prison. Due to this scandal along with a few others, the Accounting industry was turned upside down as new standards and laws were established. Auditing has become common practice for all publicly traded companies.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "I haven't had any auditing experience working in a professional setting. I just graduated and I think education is an integral part to gaining the technical knowledge necessary to become an auditor. I took several Auditing classes and was able to focus my courses on the financial audit. I enjoyed finding discrepancies and chasing down leads. It's like a financial jigsaw puzzle that when correctly put together, ensures the accuracy of the company's financial statements for the public."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "SOX compliance meant that the US entities I worked for had to comply with many requirements to prove the integrity of their financial records.

      At a US training firm, I worked with Revenue Recognition was a big issue, it meant a step-by-step process was taken to justify every Dollar. This meant Revenue could not be recognized on any project without several milestones been reached.

      At another US entity, stringent internal controls were put in place and detailed Balance Sheet reconciliations were required in Blackline and every account on the Trial Balance had to be reviewed in TB reviews.

      This was very helpful for consolidations as you could see the impact of intercompany transactions and the subsequent netting off required."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Chad Wilson

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Chad Wilson Reviewed the Above Answer

      It sounds like SOX compliance has had a significant impact on the organizations you've worked for, and therefore, on your career. One suggestion to strengthen your answer is to avoid moving from "I" to "you" language in your final sentence. Consider re-stating that particular sentence as follows to ensure your answer remains personalized to you: "This was very helpful for consolidations as I could see the impact of intercompany transactions and the subsequent netting off required."

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  • 30. Give me examples of the accounting reports you've prepared.

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like you to demonstrate your experience in maintaining accounting principles, practices, and procedures. As an accountant, it's critical that you ensure accurate and timely financial statements and reporting. Discuss the ability to meet tight deadlines and undertake a multitude of accounting activities.

      Many entry level individuals will not have experience in preparing accounting reports. If you're new to your career, don't worry about this. Discuss what you learned in school instead. Discuss a project you enjoyed, such as creating the chart of accounts or a hypothetical month end project you may have worked on.

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      Entry Level

      "In my first year as an accountant, my job duties have included reviewing the daily cash report to ensure daily balancing of the cash book against the Open A/R report, and that cash received from customers is applied to paid invoices. I'm also responsible for managing the Goods Received Invoice Received report, or GRIR, on the purchasing and payable side. This report verifies that purchased items have been received and will be reflected as an expense on the income statement and not stay on the balance sheet in the liability GRIR account."

      Written by Samantha Hamilton on January 8th, 2021

      User-Submitted Answer

      "In my previous and current role, I prepare month-end reporting packs and statutory accounts and taxes for filing with Companies House and HMRC and I am quite conversant with the requirements for both institutions because I have filled several accounts over the last 10 years.

      My month-end reporting packs, at a basic level, include profit & loss, balance sheet, cash flow statements, cash summary, and statutory reports include statements of changes in equity, statements of comprehensive income, and notes to the accounts.

      In short, I prepare monthly reporting packs and statutory accounts regularly.



      In addition to that, I have helped prepare Board reports, SEC filings for US entity I worked for some time ago and several other ad hoc reports including project reporting."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Chad Wilson

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Chad Wilson Reviewed the Above Answer

      Your highly detailed response provides the interviewer with an excellent overview of the types of accounting reports you have experience preparing. Great job!

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