Accountant Job Interview Questions And Answers

When having an interview for an accountant position, you really want to do everything possible to show the interviewer you are responsible, trustworthy, and possess adequate knowledge of accounting.

While you should also be prepared for common job interview questions, there are a few accountant-specific questions that you will want to make sure you have practiced before going for the interview. Some of those questions and their answers include:

How can you reduce risk for errors in your work when preparing financial statements?
Accountants are held to a very high standard of excellence and, especially since even the smallest errors can lead to big financial issues. You have to discuss the importance of checking your work several times to make sure that you are correct.
"At the early stage of my accounting career, there was a time that I triple-checked my work and spotted a miscalculation. Ever since that incident, I have continued to review my work several times before determining that it is complete so as to avoid errors which can jeopardize my ethics as an accountant. I often review my work and outputs for accuracy and reliability. No matter how small that the job can be, I  usually pay alot of attention to every aspect and remain detail-oriented. I have always set high performance standards for myself."

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What are the type of software programs for Accounting are you familiar with using?
The interviewer is asking you to talk about your experience with accounting software. Elaborate more on the programs you've used, why you liked them, their cons and pros, and/or the types of projects you've completed using them.
"My experience of five years in the field of accounting has given me the opportunity to work with a variety of software programs. I have used QuickBooks and Sage, which I like for the simple user interface, speed, and accuracy in calculation. However, my proficiency lies in NetSuite and Zoho. With the aid of those programs, i have been able to create balance sheets and other financial statements. Furthermore, I believe my skills in the use of computer will allow me to pick up on any new accounting software very quickly."

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How do you assist your client with no background or idea in accounting understand complex financial problems?
There will be times in your accounting career that you encounter people outside the field of accounting who don't understand the jargon or numbers or have any knowledge of accounting. List strategies you use to relay the information in a way they understand.
"I have learned how to adapt and adjust my communication style based on my audience. The key is to make complex information to become simple and terminologies using everyday vernacular. Also, it will be of great benefit to use images and words, instead of numbers, wherever possible. Furthermore, the use of consistent accounting metrics is extremely valuable. If I do have to explain any accounting term, I will stick with that specific metric so that the audience doesn't have to digest multiple new information which might be too broad and hard to comprehend."

What have you implemented at your present/last company to increase revenues, reduce costs, or save time?
This particular question allows you to stand out among other applicants and show the interviewer that you will be an asset to their company if you are employed.
"In my former role, i specialized on performance measurement. However, I often found myself taking a move to do cost accounting. I dedicated some of my time to help managers and business owners find alternative courses of action to minimize expenses and maximize profits."

How do you handle demanding deadlines when preparing financial statements and reports?
There may be times you are asked to deliver work under tight deadlines, however the same expectations will be placed upon you if you get the job you are interviewing for.
"When faced with a demanding deadline when preparing financial statements, it's important to make strategic and decisions which will be beneficial to the business. So i come to a conclusion about my overall objective and also compile a list of the tasks which are required in order to accomplish that goal. The most important thing to keep in mind in the process is not to let the time limitation hinder the accuracy of my work."

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