Interviews Questions by Career
Interviews Questions by Company
Interviews Questions by Topic
Get Started
Interview Coach 1:1
Gain the confidence you need by asking our professionals any interview scenario, question, or answer you are unsure about.
Let Us Review Your Answers
Our interviewing professionals will gladly review and revise any answer you send us. Allowing you to craft perfect responses for your next job interview.
Interview Questions by Topic
Interview Questions by Career
Interview Questions by Company

Accounts Receivable Specialist Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by Bobbi Witt

Updated January 7th, 2019 | Bobbi has been a finance manager for over 15 years, with direct recruiting and hiring experience in her field.
Job Interviews     Careers     Business    
Question 1 of 30
Have you ever worked for a company that accepted cryptocurrency as a form of payment?
View Answers
How to Answer
Since cryptocurrency is still not mainstream, there is a high likelihood that your response to this question will be 'no.' The point of the interviewer asking this question is to find out if you have taken the time to research and learn about crypto payments.

Briefly discuss what you know about cryptocurrency and be sure to express interest in learning more. An excellent question for the interviewer in return is if the interviewing company currently accepts any form of cryptocurrency. If they do not, perhaps it's in the works!
1000s of Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
Suggested
Interview Q&As
Explore expert tips and resources to be more confident in your next interview.
Behavioral
Common
Phone
Tough
Leadership
All Interview Topics
All Career Q&As
Suggested Career
Interview Q&As
Continue practicing by visiting these similar question sets
Accounting
Accounting Clerk
Accounting Manager
Accounts Collector
Accounts Payable Clerk
Bookkeeper
Related Company
Interview Q&As
People who visit Accounts Receivable Specialist, also visit the following
Amazon
Bank of New Zealand
Google
Kaiser Permanente
Nike
Wells Fargo
Answer Examples
1.
Have you ever worked for a company that accepted cryptocurrency as a form of payment?
Since cryptocurrency is still not mainstream, there is a high likelihood that your response to this question will be 'no.' The point of the interviewer asking this question is to find out if you have taken the time to research and learn about crypto payments.

Briefly discuss what you know about cryptocurrency and be sure to express interest in learning more. An excellent question for the interviewer in return is if the interviewing company currently accepts any form of cryptocurrency. If they do not, perhaps it's in the works!

Bobbi's Answer #1
"I'm very familiar with cryptocurrency, and it's a very hot topic in the Revenue Recognition arena, which impacts accounts receivables. Cryptocurrency may not be currently recognized as revenue on our income statements when the payment is received, but the time is coming. I am eager to learn more about these forms of payment and how they will affect business accounting, overall."
Bobbi's Answer #2
"In my six months of accounts receivable experience, I have not yet worked with cryptocurrency as a form of payment. I'm familiar with the concept; however, and follow a few blogs on the topic. Cryptocurrency values fluctuate dramatically so for some businesses; it does not make sense to accept this form of payment quite yet. I do look forward to seeing how this plays out in the future months and years."
2.
Explain to me the term DSO or, Days Outstanding.
The interviewer is looking for your level of familiarity with the term DSO or Days Outstanding. DSO or Days Outstanding and is a measure of the average number of days that it takes a company to collect payment after a sale is made. This metric is a significant one in accounts receivable. DSO = Total Accounts Receivable/Total Sales x Number of Days.

Bobbi's Answer #1
"Days Sales Outstanding is a method used to evaluate how active a company is at collecting receivables. This metric is used to measure the average number of days it takes a company to collect what is owed to them after a sale is complete. Put in fewer words; it is the average collection period. DSO has always been an emphasis for all companies I have worked and is calculated by total accounts receivable over total sales, multiplied by the number of days passed. A low DSO is an excellent thing!"
Bobbi's Answer #2
"From what I learned in my latest accounting course is that DSO, or Days Outstanding, is determined on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis. It is a calculation of a company's average collection period. A low DSO can have a remarkable effect on a company's cash flow."
3.
What is a Customer Master Record?
The hiring authority would like to see how well you understand basic accounting terminology. Briefly describe the purpose of a Customer Master Record, and what type of information should be stored in the CMR. Also, discuss why an accurate Customer Master Record is essential for a business to keep.

Bobbi's Answer #1
"In my current position we keep Customer Master Records on everyone with whom we do business. The critical information included in these digital records consists of shipping and billing addresses, sales tax information, credit references, payment terms, primary contact information, and all signed documents. This record is essential for business operations to run smoothly, and for the accuracy of accounts."
Bobbi's Answer #2
"From my understanding, the Customer Master Record is originally set up by the salesperson in our company, and then it's maintained by me, the A/R Specialist. The information that I maintain and change when needed includes new company name, banking information for payment, business address, and contact information."
4.
When have you had to be extra thorough in completing tasks?
The interviewer would like to know that you are willing to go the extra mile when it's required. Some accounts receivable tasks will require a keener eye and additional diligence. Discuss a time when you were extra thorough during work-related tasks.

Bobbi's Answer #1
"In my current inventory control job the company was getting a lot of complaints about late deliveries. I met with the delivery staff and discovered that the problem seemed to be with the stock arriving on time. I investigated and found kinks in our new inventory request process. The backlog was in the orders department as they were not following up adequately with the suppliers. I implemented a system for faster and more accurate follow-up. This system sorted out the stock problems, and the delivery staff was able to meet their deadlines."
Bobbi's Answer #2
"We changed our product catalog recently, so I had to re-memorize a lot of products, codes, and pricing. That following week was month end, so I needed to have my product knowledge up to snuff so that I could invoice quickly. I was proud of my ability to retain all of that data in such a short amount of time."
5.
After receiving a customers' payment, what do you do next?
This question is a very straightforward one that you can answer by drawing on your experience or academic knowledge. Because it is an open-ended question, it is easy to get stuck on your response. Think of the processes that you follow every day, and walk the interviewer through those steps.

Bobbi's Answer #1
"Depending on how the customer payment was received; prepayment or final payment, will determine the next steps. If the customer payment is cash, check, ACH, or wire then it needs to be appropriately applied to outstanding customer invoice. Once I take this step, then I recognize the cash deposit in the cash account."
Bobbi's Answer #2
"From my understanding, when a customer payment is received, the payment is applied against the open invoice and properly posted to the general ledger. Then the cash will need to be recognized and the invoice updated."
6.
Do you have experience setting up auto-invoicing for customer accounts?
The hiring authority is seeking further clues on your technical competency. It's one thing to use invoice templates as an A/R professional, but another skill to be able to customize these invoices and set up auto-invoices in a company's accounting software. Simply put, do you know how to set up recurring payments? Most accounting software allows businesses to set up automatic invoices or recurring invoices. Be ready to explain your proficiency in these systems.

Bobbi's Answer #1
"Auto-Invoicing allows a business to automatically invoice a customer on a regular basis through a recurring setup. This option is perfect for customers billed on a fixed time basis. There's no fuss with generating the invoice and in some cases sending the invoice to the customer. It's all done automatically and saves time. In the system we use, after setting up a recurring profile, I set up auto billing. After working in A/R for the past eight years, this is a very straightforward task for me."
Bobbi's Answer #2
"The way an A/R specialist will set up recurring payments will vary for each accounting software. While training, I learned to do this in QuickBooks, Xero, and Sage. I begin by setting up an invoice to occur at a particular time or chosen interval. Once this happens, I can set up auto-sends for the client on the same day, every month."
7.
Do you think cash should be accepted as a form of payment?
There are some industries where cash payments are not accepted and other sectors, such as retail and food where cash payments are welcome. Your response is going to depend on the company and the industry with which you are interviewing. Either way, try to respond in a way that does not single out a particular payment type.

Bobbi's Answer #1
"From what I have read in the news recently, some countries are trying to become a cashless society, such as Sweden, where this is a hot-button topic at the moment. For myself, I love to have cash available, and I will use it when paying for food or other quick transactions. Larger purchases; however, are tracked much better when there is a trail associated with a credit card or cheque based transaction. I have worked in 3 different industries; manufacturing, restaurant, and banking. I do not see banks moving to a cashless option any time soon. I do know that many small restaurants are moving to a cashless option, due to the growing concern of having to deposit the cash. In my opinion, this is a risk. Moving to a cashless option is slowing happening, but all industries will not embrace it."
Bobbi's Answer #2
"In my growing experience and coming from a younger generation, I rarely carry or use cash. I mostly use a debit or credit card. We debated this topic while I was earning my associates' degree, and our class was divided on this topic. I know of a few restaurants in New York that have moved to a cashless policy but feel this is more of an isolated case. I believe this scenario is a slow trend that we will be seeing it happening more and more. Cash-heavy businesses are an easy target for robbers, and e-transactions are an easy target for hacking and have higher fees for business, so there are two sides of the coin in this debate. I also see cryptocurrency transactions increasing, because of the meager fees involved."
8.
What are the most common issues related to Accounts Receivable?
The issues which you most often come across in your role as an A/R specialist will show the interviewer the level of responsibility that you currently take on in your position. What you deal with will say a lot about the tasks required of you on a daily basis.

Some examples may include:

- Your customers cannot pay their invoice on time
- You are responsible for collection calls or setting up customer payment plans
- You are fixing inaccurate invoices with old customer information
- Customers are short paying accounts

Bobbi's Answer #1
"Some issues that I continually face in my current role include slow paying customers with too much credit extended, short payments from customers without any prior communication, customers bringing up dissatisfaction for their service after the invoice has aged over 30 days. I am, of course, able to handle these issues swiftly and professionally."
Bobbi's Answer #2
"The current issues that I experience in my A/R role include invoice discrepancies, client dissatisfaction with the goods or services, customers changing invoice terms despite a contract being in place, and many aged accounts resulting in a high amount of bad debts."
9.
When you see a large account starting to age, and they are a very good customer, what do you do?
The interviewer is looking for an answer that displays the fact you are detailed oriented, willing to take the initiative and are proactive. As an A/R professional, healthy client relationships can be the difference between a client who pays late and a client who respects your payment terms. Show the interviewer that you understand the balance between great client relationships and timely payment collections.

Bobbi's Answer #1
"Working in accounts receivable for over eight years, I have heard almost every story and excuses for not paying on time. My first A/R job was for an assisted living facility. The facilities aging report was over 90% past due, and the largest customer was Medicare. The regulations and proper submission of paperwork into Medicare are very time-consuming, and I dedicated over 20 hours a week to submit all the proper requested paperwork. Frustrated with returned paperwork, I dedicated six weeks of calling into Medicare and talking with customer service, who walked me through the proper online submission of new claims and earlier active claims. I created instructions on how to properly submit claims to Medicare and brought the aging report to current. The experience helped me to be patient, and seek information. Once I had the information, then I was able to troubleshoot the root cause and create an iron-clad process we could all follow in the future."
Bobbi's Answer #2
"I have worked as an Accounts Receivable Clerk for six months, managing one customer account that is worth nearly 30% of my employers' revenue. Shortly after starting my job, the customer's aging report started to grow from the 30-60 days outstanding into the 60+ day's arrears mark. I notified my manager, at which point the account status escalated to the President of the company. Payment was received in full, within 30 days."
10.
What is your current A/R Specialist salary?
It is important to note that this question may be illegal, depending on your geographical location. If you are in a place where it is unlawful for a hiring authority or recruiter to ask this question, you can politely decline by saying, 'I am aware that this question breaches my rights as a candidate in the state of XYZ.'

A potential employer will often want to base their offer on your current salary. Whenever possible, you should be transparent about your most recent earnings and be prepared to back up any salary requests in states or provinces where it is entirely legal to ask about compensation. Keep your answer simple, and to the point. It is indeed okay to ask the interviewer what they are offering in return!

Bobbi's Answer #1
"I am currently making $38,000 per year with two bonus opportunities based on collections on aged accounts. I am looking for compensation that is aligned with the role and provides an opportunity for growth. Could you share further details with me on your compensation plan?"
Rachelle's Answer #2
"As I am a recent graduate, I would like to be offered a fair salary that reflects my new education. I am most concerned with joining an organization that will help me to grow my career in marketing. Compensation is not my primary driver."
11.
What information is contained in the Accounts Receivable sub-ledger?
The interviewer is looking for your basic A/R knowledge as well as your ability to explain a straightforward concept in an easy to understand way. Walk the hiring authority through the information that an A/R sub-ledger would contain. Briefly describe the purpose of an A/R ledger, and why they are essential in accounting.

Bobbi's Answer #1
"An A/R sub-ledger is important because it displays the payment history of a customer who has been extended credit. This information includes all sales, payments, and allowances, allowing anyone looking at the file to have a full snapshot of the customers' financial activity."
Bobbi's Answer #2
"The accounts receivable sub-ledger is a record of all credit sales made by a business. It is useful for compiling one record for a customer that contains all payments, credit terms, and other important historical information."
12.
Do you have any plans for continued education?
Some A/R roles do not require post-secondary education, while others need an Associate's Degree or even a Bachelor's Degree. The interviewer would like to know if you are planning to complete some higher education. If you are, it is essential that you express your desire to work in tandem with your classes. The concern of the interviewer is that you will be hired, trained, and then want to leave your job to go back to school full time.

Some organizations will offer tuition support or a reimbursement program for their employees who wish to continue their education. If they do provide this type of perk, you can indeed show interest but make sure that your continued education aspirations are related to the industry and job. If you are working as an accounts receivable professional, you want to avoid saying that you would like to take courses in zoology.

Bobbi's Answer #1
"I believe that continued education is always a good idea. I like to expand my knowledge when possible. With that said, my job would always come first. I understand that you have a tuition reimbursement program for your employees seeking related coursework. I would be interested in learning more about this down the road."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I like the idea of taking some coursework in Excel and Powerpoint; however, I have no plans to exit the workforce to gain another degree for instance. If other industry related opportunities present themselves, I would be interested."
13.
What is an Accounts Receivable Aging Report, and why do they matter?
An aging report is a critical tool used by collections personnel to determine which invoices are overdue for payment, and by how long. Most aging reports will also have the clients' contact information. As an A/R professional, your work performance may be graded based on these reports, so it's important to understand what these reports are and why they matter. Most aging statements address invoices in 30-day sections so that you can run a report based on 30 days, 31-60 days old, 61-90 days past, and so on. Briefly explain to the interviewer what you understand an A/R Aging Report to be, and why they matter to you as an accounts receivable specialist.

Bobbi's Answer #1
"An accounts receivable specialist will look at an aging report and be able to see a snapshot of clients who frequently fail to pay their invoices on time, or meet their extended credit obligations as per the contract agreement. This report allows A/R staff to fry the biggest fish first - the companies or people who owe the largest amounts of money. This report is especially important if collection agencies need to be engaged, or when customers are ignoring their outstanding debts."
Bobbi's Answer #2
"I took a few classes on Accounts Receivable Aging Reports while earning my Accounting certificate. This report is a major business management tool, showing an A/R specialist exactly which companies or people owe money, are past due, need less credit extended, or new payment terms. Most reports can be run from 30 days, 31-60 days, and 61-90 days so that it's easy to get a quick snapshot of who is behind on payments."
14.
In your opinion, what makes you a great problem solver?
Employers want to know that you have a systematic approach to problem-solving. Consider the skills and qualities that help you successfully face problems. Perhaps you have a keen eye for detail. Maybe you can see opportunity when others can only focus on the issue. Share your strengths as a problem solver, and your ability to come up with innovative solutions.

Strong problem solvers are:

- Systematic thinkers
- Open minded
- Okay with being wrong sometimes
- Always researching and exploring
- Able to identify the core problem
- Able to reverse engineer a challenge to avoid future issues
- Ready to come up with multiple avenues that work well for all stakeholders
- Are do-ers and not worriers

Bobbi's Answer #1
"I am a great problem solver because I can compartmentalize all aspects of a problem before studying it. I also like to bring more experienced team members in to add to the solution. I will never try to be a hero and solve a complicated problem without tapping into the resources around me."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"What makes me a great problem solver is that I have a keen ability to research, read, and explore so that my recommendations are based on fact and study rather than guesses."
15.
Walk me through your accounts receivable experience.
Bring your resume to life, walking the interviewer through a brief history of your accounts receivable experience. This question is open-ended, and it can be easy to give a long-winded answer. Remain focused by discussing your past job titles, how long you were employed there, and the volume of work you handled. You could also explain the type of customers you were typically working with, or what your most significant achievement was in each role. Mention one thing that you enjoyed about each job. This question offers an excellent opportunity to show the interviewer your passion for accounts receivable.

Bobbi's Answer #1
"I have spent the last eight years as a Senior Accounts Receivable and Collections Specialist. I currently oversee a team of three A/R specialists, focused primarily on keeping accounts receivable current by collecting from customers 15 days in arrears, or more. With a total of four team leads, my department has the lowest Days Sales Outstanding in over three years. This low DSO is something I'm very proud of, and it shows how diligent my team has been in collecting payment promptly."
Bobbi's Answer #2
"I currently work for Company ABC as an Accounts Receivable Specialist. This role has been my only A/R position since graduating with my Associates' Degree in Accounting. I'm solely responsible for invoicing, applying payments to the correct accounts, and collections. I am in a department of thirteen other A/R specialists, and I report directly to the accounts receivable manager. I have worked for my current employer for two and a half years and have drastically helped to reduce aged receivables and increase customer cash flow."
More Interview Q&As
Explore expert tips and resources to be more confident in your next interview.
Behavioral
Common
Phone
Tough
Leadership
All Interview Topics
All Career Q&As
Suggested Career
Interview Q&As
Continue practicing by visiting these similar question sets
Accounting
Accounting Clerk
Accounting Manager
Accounts Collector
Accounts Payable Clerk
Bookkeeper
30 Accounts Receivable Specialist Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
Interview Questions
  1. Have you ever worked for a company that accepted cryptocurrency as a form of payment?
  2. Explain to me the term DSO or, Days Outstanding.
  3. What is a Customer Master Record?
  4. When have you had to be extra thorough in completing tasks?
  5. After receiving a customers' payment, what do you do next?
  6. Do you have experience setting up auto-invoicing for customer accounts?
  7. Do you think cash should be accepted as a form of payment?
  8. What are the most common issues related to Accounts Receivable?
  9. When you see a large account starting to age, and they are a very good customer, what do you do?
  10. What is your current A/R Specialist salary?
  11. What information is contained in the Accounts Receivable sub-ledger?
  12. Do you have any plans for continued education?
  13. What is an Accounts Receivable Aging Report, and why do they matter?
  14. In your opinion, what makes you a great problem solver?
  15. Walk me through your accounts receivable experience.
  16. Have you ever had to prepare a bill or invoice for services rendered? If so what should be included?
  17. Have you ever worked in a cross-functional environment?
  18. Have you ever broken company rules, or payment terms, to make a customer happy?
  19. As an A/R Specialist, you will be customer facing. Have you received any formal customer service training?
  20. How much time needs to pass for an A/R account to be considered delinquent?
  21. Give me an example of when a credit memo would be issued.
  22. Have you encountered Factoring in your professional experience?
  23. Name for me the most important functions of an A/R department.
  24. If a customer is also a vendor and not paying their invoice, do you think it is good practice to pay them with the open A/R dollar amount?
  25. How do you reconcile customer payments from credit card, ACH or wire, to cash or check, in the A/R system?
  26. When a customer is unable to pay, what are steps that you have taken to retrieve the money?
  27. Have you ever been in a situation where you had to bargain on an overdue invoice?
  28. How do you handle an insufficient funds notice after trying to process a customer payment?
  29. How do you manage your time in Accounts Receivable?
  30. Why is excellent A/R execution important for a business?
Disclaimer
Our interview questions and answers are created by experienced recruiters and interviewers. These questions and answers do not represent any organization, school, or company on our site. Interview questions and answer examples and any other content may be used else where on the site. We do not claim our questions will be asked in any interview you may have. Our goal is to create interview questions and answers that will best prepare you for your interview, and that means we do not want you to memorize our answers. You must create your own answers, and be prepared for any interview question in any interview.
Learn more about what we believe >
Read our Terms of Use for more information >