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Accounting Interview Questions

Scholasticus K
Accounting is a highly dynamic field with tremendous scope. Here a list of accounting interview questions that can be put forth in an interview to gauge the knowledge of the candidate.
Accountants are extremely important employees of any organization. Though their job profile involves many behind-the-scene duties, their timely execution keeps the organization functioning.
There are several different types and sub-types of accountants, who are involved in different duties, such as accountants for credit, record, and analysis of credit-related activities of the organization. Investment accountants keep up the different investment-related records, and staff accountants are in charge of all staff-related financial transactions.

Accounting Interview Questions

This field is quite vast and dynamic. Every concept has a different meaning in the myriad of study material available. The answers depend a great deal on the current financial condition of the company.

Common Questions

  • Why have you chosen accountancy as your career?
  • Which accounting software are you familiar with?
  • Will be able to work over-time as the financial year-end approaches? (Answer should be yes, though it won't be exactly necessary.)
  • Would you like to work over-time as the financial year-end approaches? (Logical answer is 'I wouldn't have to because I have a habit of keeping all books undated and true to fact'.)
  • After you come back from grocery shopping, do you immediately put all the things into the refrigerator or cupboard? (logical answer should be 'yes')
  • What time did you arrive for this interview? (Answer: perfectly in time)
  • Would you be able to prepare books of accounts by using just a set of papers and a pen? (If the answer is yes, then you have a very good candidate sitting in front of you)
  • Do you read the business section of the newspaper everyday?
  • Given a choice, would you prefer a salary from under the table, without any deductions and taxes? ('Yes' is the worst answer that can be given.)
  • Would you compromise on the quality to get larger quantity of production? (Logical answer should be no.)

Entry-Level Questions

These questions were generalized in nature and would give you an impression about the person's aptitude and seriousness towards maintaining punctuality towards the accounting functions. The following are some questions that would help you to test the knowledge of the person.
► What is the meaning of Dr and Cr in the ledger books and  effect of one transaction on each column?

The terms Dr and Cr stand for 'debit recorded' and 'credit recorded', are widely used in the double entry system. Any kind of expenditure and loss is recorded on the debit side, and whatever is profited during the transaction goes to the credit side.
From the point of view of the company, what is better VAT tax or sales tax?

VAT tax is better than sales tax, because in spite of the compliance involved, the taxpayer needs to only pay what value has been added into the product. Another advantage is that VAT can get the company valuable tax credit.
What is better, timely payment of installment to a lender out of a bank account, or casual reserve, or a late payment?

The answer in this situation can be tricky to interpret, but a payment out of a reserve if inflow of cash in near future is assured, is better than late payment. But, if inflow is not assured, then late payment is a better choice.
In order to ask better questions, you can also consult an accountant or a financial expert in the company. The only quality that you must watch out for is a combination of punctuality and a good knowledge base. Remember though, these questions are only a guide.
For all you know, your questions may seem idiotic and even irrelevant to the candidate. Your focus, however, should not be on the answers, but the way he/she answers.