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Treasury Analyst Interview
Questions

25 Questions and Answers by
| Brian Schuchart is a CPA with fourteen years of experience, including nine years in financial strategy roles. He has held the roles of auditor, staff accountant, manager of financial planning and analysis and senior finance partner.

Question 1 of 25

What accounting softwares are you familiar with?

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Treasury Analyst Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    What accounting softwares are you familiar with?

      Speak specifically to the accounting systems you have used and some of the functions you performed. Many job descriptions specifically state which accounting software the company uses. In any event, make sure to highlight that you are quick to learn new software systems.

      Brian's Answer

      "In my last role, I used SAP to book journal entries and run queries. As an independent contractor, I also used Quickbooks to complete monthly bookkeeping for various clients. I used that software to book journal entries, complete bank reconciliations, run monthly reports, and invoice customers. Since I have an underlying understanding of accounting, I am easily able to learn new software packages."

  2. 2.

    What is your experience interacting with senior executives at various organizations?

      A treasury analyst will at times be expected to interact with senior leadership of the organization. Highlight that you not only have experience presenting in front of leadership, but also that you are comfortable with it. Be specific with what you presented.

      Brian's Answer

      "I have ample experience getting in front of leadership and presenting. In my previous role as staff accountant, I would meet with the Controller and CFO to discuss the monthly close. I always felt the need to prepare in advance for any questions that might arise, and would often follow-up with anything that developed during those meetings. Even though these were low-risk conversations, the interactions gave me confidence at an early stage in my career."

  3. 3.

    What are bank covenants and what are some common examples?

      Bank covenants are clauses in bank loan agreements that require the borrower to maintain certain financial ratios in order to keep the loan open. Some common examples of covenants included in a loan agreement are Debt Service Ratio, Working Capital Ratio, Current Ratio, and Debt-to-Equity Ratio.

      Brian's Answer

      "Bank covenants are stipulations included in the language of loan agreements. They typically require the borrower to maintain certain ratios in order to not be in default of the loan agreement. Some common ratios included in debt covenants are Debt-to-Equity, Current Ratio, and Working Capital Ratio."

  4. 4.

    What qualities or skills do you believe a good treasury analyst should possess?

      This question is a good opportunity to show you have an understanding of what qualities make a good accounting professional. Some key areas to hit are ethics (honesty/integrity), an ability to interact with colleagues and clients (communication skills, people person), an ability to limit mistakes (focused/attention to detail), and an ability to get to the correct answer (skeptical/inquisitive/problem solver).

      Brian's Answer

      "First and foremost, I believe a treasury analyst should be honest and have great integrity. Without this, it would be impossible for the person to perform the role effectively. Next, the analyst should have the education and technical skills to perform the job. They should have exceptional people skills as they will be required to communicate effectively with colleagues, external auditors, and other parties. Finally, they should have an inquisitive mind and a keen attention to detail."

  5. 5.

    What are some methods you use to self-review your work?

      The interviewer is trying to evaluate your ability to check your own work and, as a result, save your manager precious time by catching mistakes before they reach his or her desk. Give specific examples of procedures you have implemented in previous roles to catch mistakes.

      Brian's Answer

      "Being able to self-review my work and catch mistakes is something I take very seriously. As a treasury analyst, I'll be spending a lot of time working in the details, which makes it difficult to catch errors. Given this, I implement checklists that require me to tie out balances, subtotal transactions, and double check other tasks before I move forward in the close process. In a way, I am auditing my work to catch any mistakes or errors. This not only saves me time in the long run, but also saves my manager time, as there is less back and forth resolving issues."

  6. 6.

    How are interest rates derived?

      Interest rates are the cost of borrowing money, and they indicate what a creditor will earn by lending money. Interest rates are always changing. They are mostly determined by central banks that raise or lower rates to make sure there is stability in the economy. Answering this question intelligently shows that you have a basic understanding of an underlying concept of the financial market.

      Brian's Answer

      "Interest rates are determined by central banks. These banks raise or lower interest rates to ensure stability and liquidity in the economy. Smaller retail banks, such as Bank of America, will also set rates based on the needs of their business, their location, and their customers."

  7. 7.

    How do you keep up with the latest developments in financial news, rules, and regulations?

      This question is asked to confirm that you take initiative to stay current on the latest developments in your field. If you are a CFA or have another professional license, talk about how you use mandatory continuing education requirements to stay up to date on the latest trends and regulations.

      Brian's Answer

      "I stay up to date in various ways. First, I subscribe to industry e-newsletters to keep up to date on the latest trends, rules, and regulations. Additionally, since I am a CFA, I stay up to date with new standards through continuing education courses. I try to select courses that align nicely with the roles and responsibilities of my current position."

  8. 8.

    Why did you want to become a treasury analyst?

      This question allows the interviewer to find out a little bit about your interest in the position. Be honest and direct - don't give a phony answer that the interviewer will see through.

      Brian's Answer

      "Since I was young, I have always liked math and have been good with numbers. I took an accounting class in high school and really enjoyed it; the concepts came naturally to me. Additionally, I am interested in financial markets and investments. I also aspire to be a key contributor to an organization, and I know that the analyst role is visible to leadership."

  9. 9.

    Are you a detail-oriented person?

      The treasury analyst position requires great attention to detail as the role is in charge of producing and maintaining meticulous financial records. It is expected that the analyst can catch mistakes before reporting is provided to leaders of the organization.

      Brian's Answer

      "Yes, I am extremely detail oriented. Part of what makes me a great analyst is my organization skills and ability to self-review my work. I know that providing financial information containing errors creates doubt among leadership that the financial records are accurate. Therefore, I implement systems that allow me to check the details, such as monthly checklists and reviews."

  10. 10.

    What have you done at your previous job to reduce costs or save time?

      The interviewer wants to know if you have the ability to improve processes. Speak to a specific action you took that resulted in reduced costs, saved time, or better insights gained.

      Brian's Answer

      "My last role was accountant for a small, established company. However, my predecessor did not have established procedures in place and it sounded like he had made constant mistakes. One of the first things I did when I started was I made a monthly checklist that detailed all the steps I took during the monthly close. Included in these steps were 'checks' I performed to self review my work. The checklist served as a cover sheet that I would hand off to my manager so that she would know exactly what steps I completed. This led to increased efficiency, as we estimated it saved 4-6 hours per month in error corrections."

  11. 11.

    What are the steps involved in the bank reconciliation process?

      Bank reconciliations are a key responsibility of the treasury analyst role. These days, most accounting software packages (such as Quickbooks) make the process easy. However, an analyst should know the steps that are involved.

      Brian's Answer

      "In order to complete a bank reconciliation, a bank statement or export file of bank activity needs to be obtained for the prior month. The analyst should enter the ending bank balance in the accounting software. Next, the analyst should check off the transactions that have cleared the bank. There may be some transactions that need to be added to the general ledger, such as bank charges. If the reconciliation ties out to the bank balance, the reconciliation is complete. If not, differences should be investigated."

  12. 12.

    What are some internal controls related to cash?

      Internal controls over cash aim to ensure cash doesn't go missing, either by accident or intentionally via theft. Some common controls include: reconciling cash regularly, keeping all physical cash under lock and key, not sharing passwords, requiring regular password changes, documenting transfers, and recording cash receipts when received.

      Brian's Answer

      "Internal controls help a company safeguard one of their most coveted assets. Preventing misappropriation of cash, when intentional or accidental, is of utmost importance to an organization. Some examples of controls related to cash include keeping physical cash and banking records in a secure location, requiring regular password updates and not sharing passwords, documenting all receipts, payments and transfers, and having more than one person perform cash duties to institute segregation of duties."

  13. 13.

    What would you do if you discovered there were accounting transactions that were suspicious or questionable?

      This is an opportunity to highlight your integrity and honesty. The high-level answer should be obvious - that the concern must be addressed immediately.

      Brian's Answer

      "If I discovered a practice that I found questionable, I would immediately voice my concern to the Treasury Manager. It could be possible that I am misinterpreting the situation. If not, my manager would provide good counsel on next steps to resolve the situation. The most important thing is to be honest and ethical - two character traits that I am proud to say I possess."

  14. 14.

    How would you interact with our organization’s external auditors?

      An organization's treasury department will often lean on external auditors for guidance and advice. Additionally, during their field testing, an auditor may request documentation relating to treasury transactions.

      Brian's Answer

      "I understand that I will need to have a good working relationship with the organization's external auditors. They will be a good resource for accounting treatment of unique transactions and other general advice. Additionally, they will likely be testing some of our transactions and I will need to provide them with my work papers."

  15. 15.

    How do you manage your manager? In other words, what steps do you take to make sure you get what you need from your boss and make both your lives easier?

      Also known as 'managing up', 'managing your manager' is a soft skill that can be developed over time. It essentially means doing whatever is necessary to make your manager's job easier. Some clear-cut benefits of managing up include increased productivity and better working relationships between a boss and employee.

      Brian's Answer

      "I am a firm believer in the benefits of managing my manager. At the end of the day, I want to make sure our work runs as smoothly as possible. One area I really focus on is communicating and prioritizing workload on a regular basis. This ensures that I'm always working on the highest-priority items. Another thing that is crucial is understanding my manager's style. For example, do they like regular check-ins by email throughout the day, scheduled catch-up meetings, etc. Then, I tailor my communication to their style."

  16. 16.

    The treasury department interacts frequently with other departments. What are some of the ways that you can show professionalism when representing our department?

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  17. 17.

    How is corporate investment income taxed?

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  18. 18.

    What is the working capital ratio and what does it tell about a company’s finances?

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  19. 19.

    What is the debt-to-equity ratio and what does it tell about a company’s finances?

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  20. 20.

    Are you proficient in Excel?

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  21. 21.

    Are you willing to work extra hours if needed during busier times?

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  22. 22.

    What do you do when you don’t know the answer to something?

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  23. 23.

    How would you handle working in an increasingly remote environment?

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  24. 24.

    What is the difference between Held-to-Maturity Securities and Available-for-Sale Securities?

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  25. 25.

    What is net present value?

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