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Account Officer Interview Questions

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  1. Can you tell me about your experience with data entry and accounting software? See answer
  2. Can you tell me about a time when you had tight deadlines and needed to prioritize some accounts over others? How did you handle the situation? See answer
  3. Walk me through your past accounting experience and credentials. What do you think makes you stand out among our candidates? See answer
  4. A customer calls you and says that they were overcharged for a transaction. How do you handle the situation? See answer
  5. You have noticed that a customer has failed to pay the balance that they owe in their account. What do you do to ensure that they pay? See answer
  6. Tell me about a time when your customer service skills helped diffuse a volatile situation with a dissatisfied customer. See answer
  7. Tell me about a time when you made an account error and how you managed it.
  8. What is the difference between accounting and auditing?
  9. Tell me about tactics for verifying the reliability of financial information.
  10. Explain to me what you know about bad debt and its effect on a company’s liquidity.
  11. What accounting software tools can you use?
  12. Are you familiar with the recent updates to the financial reporting standards?
  13. What is the importance of big data in accounting?
  14. As an account officer, how will you improve our internal financial reporting guidelines if you are employed?
  15. Tell me about a time when you explained complex accounting information to a person from another department.
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6 Account Officer Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

Can you tell me about your experience with data entry and accounting software?

A:

Your account officer will oversee a significant amount of record keeping to ensure that accounts under their supervision are in line. It is critical that they have a thorough understanding of accounting software so that they are able to work accurately and efficiently. Asking them about their past experience in data entry and in using accounting software will help you gauge their level of comfort with the activities required for the job.

Listen for the following:

  • Previous experience with accounting software
  • Attention to detail
  • Prioritization of accuracy and efficiency in their work

Example:

“I’ve worked as an account officer for the past two years. At my previous firm, we used QuickBooks and FreshBooks to help streamline the data entry process and ensure everything was done accurately.”

Q:

Can you tell me about a time when you had tight deadlines and needed to prioritize some accounts over others? How did you handle the situation?

A:

Your account officer is likely to deal with several customers and accounts, depending on the size of your organization and the nature of your business. Sometimes, deadlines will run close to one another, especially when it comes time to file quarterly and annual taxes. Your candidate will need to know which accounts to prioritize in order to ensure that everything is in line.

Listen for the following:

  • A clear sense of important deadlines to watch out for
  • A strategy for prioritizing accounts
  • Their methodology for following up to ensure that accounts are all in line

Example:

“In the past, I noticed that it was always a bit difficult to get all the accounts payable and receivable information in line at the end of the month for one of my customers. I prioritized his account and followed up with him the third week of every month to ensure that he would send his invoices to me in time for our accounting department to log everything.”

Q:

Walk me through your past accounting experience and credentials. What do you think makes you stand out among our candidates?

A:

Your account officer will need to have past experience in working in an accounting role or the accounting credentials necessary to do the job. Your candidate will need to be familiar with the accounting conventions that your firm uses in order to ensure that they can keep all their bookkeeping and invoices logged correctly.

Listen for the following:

  • Accounting credentials from an accredited university
  • Examples of past accounting experience
  • A deep understanding of the tax laws of your region

Example:

“I earned my accounting degree from Brigham Young University and have worked as an account officer for the past two years. I believe that my experience in heading the accounting department for a mid-sized company will translate well into the work that I would do for your organization.”

Q:

A customer calls you and says that they were overcharged for a transaction. How do you handle the situation?

A:

Account officers will deal with customers on a weekly, if not daily, basis. There will occasionally be customers who call with issues to their account, and your candidate will need to solve the problem with accuracy and with grace. The candidate should first demonstrate that they would double check the account to find the source of the problem, whether that is a data entry mistake on your organization’s part or a mistake on the client’s part, and proceed to solve the problem.

Listen for the following:

  • A level head
  • No reluctance for client-facing roles
  • A clear step-by-step strategy for problem-solving

Example:

“In the past, when customers called to report mistakes with their accounts, the first thing I would do is pull up the invoice in question. I would check our books to make sure that we had entered the numbers correctly in the system before checking back with the customer. More often than not, customers had misread their receipts.”

Q:

You have noticed that a customer has failed to pay the balance that they owe in their account. What do you do to ensure that they pay?

A:

Depending on the scope of your organization’s work, you may have an account officer who is directly in charge of credit control. As they follow up with customers, partner organizations and suppliers to ensure that your organization is getting paid for the work being done, it is possible that your candidate will run into some customers who fail to make their payments on time. Handling these situations with care and ensuring that money owed to your organization is paid is critical to your business’ financial health.

Listen for the following:

  • Experience in dealing with similar situations in the past
  • A clear plan of attack for following up and collecting money owed
  • A personable disposition not prone to anger and frustration

Example:

“In the past, one of our suppliers would always be a week or so late with their payments, so I would send the invoices out a week earlier to the supplier to ensure that their payment would be made on time for our accounting needs.”

Q:

Tell me about a time when your customer service skills helped diffuse a volatile situation with a dissatisfied customer.

A:

Account officers must be able to provide quality customer service in every situation. This question can help interviewers assess candidates' customer service experience, conflict resolution and persuasion skills.

The candidate's answer should emphasize:

  • Empathy for the client
  • Customer service skills
  • Conflict resolution skills

Example:

“I once had to deal with a client who claimed her account was charged for a transaction she didn't authorize. She was very unhappy about the situation and wanted something done quickly. After checking her records and asking a few questions, I discovered her teenage son did some online shopping with the debit card linked to the account without her consent. I asked if she would like to change her password to prevent future occurrences and she went home knowing it wasn't a fraudster that compromised her bank account.”

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