Top 25 accountants interview questions 2024

Are you preparing for an accounting interview? Being well-prepared is essential for securing an ideal job, regardless of experience level.

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However, cracking a job related to accounting is difficult, as accountant interview questions might be challenging and tough to crack. Accounting interview questions often involve knowledge-based and technical questions intended to check you have the skills required to succeed as an accountant.

However, by using the accountant’s questions provided in this article, you will be able to succeed in the accountant job interview and gain a better understanding of the field and the kinds of questions that will be asked during the round of interviews. 

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Table of contents

  1. What are the most prevalent mistakes in accounting?

This is one of the most intriguing and often-asked accounting questions. You can list the following mistakes that are prevalent within this domain.

  • Communication breakdown between the accountant and the business
  • Failing to keep a backup
  • Improperly storing and managing receipts and invoices
  • Not keeping/maintaining the documents and invoices properly
  • Dependence on manual accounting rather than computerised accounting
  • Not updating the financial books from time to time.
  • Combining company accounts and personal accounts.
  • Misallocating the resources
  1. What is the fundamental accounting equation?

The basic accounting equation represents the relationship between an organisation’s resources, obligations, and ownership. Here’s the fundamental accounting equation:

Assets = Liabilities + Owners Equity

It assists in assessing the financial standing of a company by balancing assets, liabilities, and equity.

  1. In accounting, what are debit and credit?

Debit indicates an entry recorded for a payment made or owed. A debit entry is typically made on the left side of an account in the ledger. Accordingly, in a double-entry system, a transaction should credit one account and debit another.

Credit is an entry which tracks (income/profit or gain received) a reduction in assets or a rise in liability as well as a decrease in costs or an increase in revenue.

  1. What are the golden rules of accounting?

This is one of those fundamental accounting interview questions for which you must be well-prepared. The following are the golden rules of accounting:

  • Debit what comes in, credit what goes out
  • Debit the recipient and credit the giver
  • Debit every expense and loss, credit all gains and incomes
  1. What is the distinction between accounts payable and receivable?

This is one of the most frequently asked finance questions for freshers’ interviews. Accounts payable and receivables are the two basic components of a company’s financial operations, which deal with money owed to and by the company. 

They are both important for sound financial management and are shown on a company’s balance sheet. But they accomplish distinct goals and entail various kinds of transactions.

  1. How do you determine the break-even point?

This is one of the interview questions for accounting freshers. The break-even point is the point at which the overall profit of a business equals its total expenses.

It can be determined by dividing the fixed expenses by the contribution margin per unit or by dividing the fixed expenses by the contribution margin ratio.

  1. What is a trial balance?

This is another one of the most common interview questions for accounting positions. A trial balance is a basic accounting tool used in the double-entry bookkeeping system to guarantee the reliability and precision of a company’s financial records.

  1. What is the objective of an income statement?

An income statement, or a P&L statement, is essential in financial reporting and company analysis.

Its main objective is to offer a brief overview of the financial results of a business over a specific period, usually a month, quarter, or fiscal year.

  1. What distinguishes accrual accounting from cash accounting?

The accrual basis of accounting indicates that money is counted even if the payment has not been received. For instance, if a business lets you make deferred payments, the promised or owed money will still be counted even if it won’t be collected later.

Cash-based accounting solely considers money once it has been received. Therefore, if a business offers deferred payment arrangements, the cost of such services will be recorded as revenue once the company gets it.

  1. What separates a balance sheet from a trial balance?

A balance sheet offers an overview of a business’s financial position, describing its assets, liabilities, and shareholders’ equity. It provides information about the liabilities, the company’s assets, and net value. In contrast, a trial balance lists all general ledger account balances and acts as an internal control tool to make sure debits and credits are equal. 

A trial balance is used to confirm the correctness of accounting data, whereas a balance sheet displays the health and stability of the financial system. Both are essential in accounting, with the balance sheet providing an in-depth assessment and the trial balance ensuring the accuracy of financial data.

  1. What is the goal of a cash flow statement?

The cash flow statement is an important financial document that offers a thorough picture of an organisation’s cash inflows and outflows for a given period—usually a month, quarter, or fiscal year

  1. What are the primary challenges that could prevent timely and precise financial statements?

The main challenges to financial statements in taxation and accounting are as follows:

  • There is no balance between the expenses and the rewards
  • Delayed information is irrelevant.
  • There is a discrepancy in the qualitative characteristics
  • The presentation of a truthful standpoint lacks all clarity.
  1. What are the different types of accounting?

Accounting comes in two primary kinds: management and financial. Managerial accounting is far more comprehensive, examining an organisation’s present and future financial health, whereas financial accounting focuses mostly on analysing and reporting transaction information.

However, you can also address some other areas of expertise within accounting. Cost accountants, for instance, usually work with industrial organisations and concentrate on production and sales expenses. 

On the other hand, tax accountants handle registering, preparing, and submitting tax payments and tax returns.

  1. Which accounting software application have you used before?

This is a way in which the interviewers will evaluate your technological skills. There are various financial accounting software out there, and they can be quite different from one another.

If you have used different software in your past jobs, you can elaborate in detail and share your understanding of various software in the market.

You should also convince the interviewer that you can quickly pick up new software so they can save training time in the future.

  1. How can our company improve its finances?

The question provides an additional opportunity to assess the candidate’s level of research. Many company’s financial records contain some private information, most are also accessible to the public. 

Going the extra step of research illustrates their dedication to thorough work. An excellent accountant can go beyond fixing problems and create structures to improve cash flow.

  1. How is automation affecting accounting?

Excellent candidates understand that automation won’t eliminate their jobs; it can serve as a useful virtual assistant by eliminating human error.

Accounting is a business that adapts to new technology; it’s time to use the tools designed to make your job easier.

  1. What accounting tasks are you most comfortable with? 

This question aims to evaluate whether you understand accounting basics and have an in-depth knowledge of fundamental accounting principles.

This question demonstrates what duties you have performed, what you can do well, and what you might need to be more attuned to.

  1. What made you decide to pursue a career in financial accounting?

Employers frequently inquire about your reasons for choosing your career during interviews for accounting positions to learn more about what drives and interests you in your profession. 

Many companies look for accountants who are proficient in numbers and accounting processes and who desire to challenge themselves in the field. This is another question that interviewers might use to evaluate how you feel about the field and how much you know about the companies they work for. 

The interviewer may learn more about your interests in the position by your response to this kind of inquiry during the interview.

  1. Explain how you decrease a company’s operational costs in a previous role.

If an accountant does well at their job, they can understand a company’s financial health in-depth. A recruiter may ask this interview question to find out how well you know the financial state of a business and how effectively you can determine excess operational costs. 

A solid answer to this question defines how you’ve utilised your problem-solving and analytical abilities to reduce costs without compromising quality customer service.

  1. Which is more important, functionality or price, when it comes to accounting software?

While the question requires you to select between the choices, a strong answer can highlight the significance of both factors. This approach indicates you understand that the price of software cannot always decide its functionality and vice versa.

  1. How do you reduce the chances of errors in your work?

As an accountant, your duties must be detail-oriented. Even the smallest mistake might have a significant negative financial effect. 

While human error is inevitable, employers will want to know how you minimise these errors and handle problems when they do. 

You can respond to this question by giving an instance of a mistake you made at your former employer and how you handled it. The recruiter must know that you are fully dedicated to the task and will maintain the highest standards of accuracy.

  1. Why do you want to work for this accounting firm?

As an accountant, you frequently have many employment opportunities in many sectors. Given the abundance of career options available, the hiring manager may inquire why you decided to apply for the job. 

A strong response outlines why you believe you’re a suitable fit for the hiring organisation. Spend some time learning about the business’s mission, goals, and basic values through research.

  1. How do you organise and prioritise your daily tasks?

Finding out what organisational strategies you employ and how successful they are is the goal of this question. You can discuss to-do lists if that works best for you.

If you have previous accounting expertise, you can also describe how you divide your time between working with your team, accounting procedures, and clients. To differentiate yourself as the best applicant for the job, remember to highlight your special abilities, experiences, and excitement for the opportunity.

  1. What duties did you have in your prior accounting position?

Professionals in the multifaceted subject of accounting may have a range of duties and areas of specialisation. This question assesses the candidate’s abilities and duties inside the organisation. The response that the organisation is seeking for:

  • Passion for accounting
  • Knowledge of industry terms and practices
  • Complete understanding of accounting
  1. How much interaction with clients did you have in your previous roles?

This question requires you to demonstrate that you have great communication skills and whether you can deal with difficult clients. 

Your answer should help the hiring manager determine how experienced you are in interacting with and helping clients. What the interviewer looks for in such a question:

  • Willingness to work directly with clients
  • Ability to help clients understand technical and accounting terms
  • Flexibility and communication skills

Hire Accountants in London

Work with a UK-based accountant for tax, accounting, payroll, & EIS/ SEIS needs.

Have a question? Call us on
0203 900 3500
Monday to Friday 10am – 5pm

Final thoughts

Whether one is applying for an accounting position, a role in auditing, or any other finance-related job, thorough preparation for the interview is crucial. 

Adequate preparation demonstrates competence and instils confidence in the candidate, providing them with a competitive edge in the interview process. 

Also, the candidate should be aware that the interviewer can ask technical and behavioural questions to gauge how well a candidate handles various situations and interacts professionally.