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Accounting Assistant Interview Questions

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  1. How often did you reconcile and prepare general ledgers for the accounting department for your previous employer? See answer
  2. Do you know how to read manual and digital time clocks and timesheets for payroll purposes? See answer
  3. Can you explain how you managed daily and monthly accounts payable tasks for your previous employer? See answer
  4. Did you verify authorization to financial files before creating copies? See answer
  5. Did you perform receptionist duties while working in the accounting department of your previous firm? See answer
  6. How good are you with multitasking? Can you describe a time when you successfully handled multiple accounting tasks? See answer
  7. Have you used any accounting software in your previous job? Which are the ones that you are most adept at?
  8. Explain the accounting principles. What was your experience in applying these?
  9. Can you tell me about the three main branches of accounting?
  10. What is the difference between private accounting and public accounting?
  11. What do you do to keep up with accounting trends?
  12. How many types of accounts are there in accounting? Can you list the core ones?
  13. Describe your experience in maintaining employee information and payroll records.
  14. How do you keep yourself updated on taxation rules and regulations?
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6 Accounting Assistant Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

How often did you reconcile and prepare general ledgers for the accounting department for your previous employer?

A:

Larger firms require general ledger reconciliations frequently throughout the day. An assistant working at small firms may be less likely to complete the task as often. Reconciling the general ledgers on a more consistent basis keeps the accounting assistant in the habit of completing the task. Frequent general ledger reconciling boosts their skill set, giving them adequate general ledger experience and presenting you with a more skilled worker. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience in general ledger reconciliation and preparation
  • Experience working with an accounting team
  • A candidate with advanced general ledger skills
Example:

Working directly with the accounting department staff, I reconciled general ledgers daily and completed vital accounting tasks as a team with all accounting staff members.”

Q:

Do you know how to read manual and digital time clocks and timesheets for payroll purposes?

A:

Depending on your choice of timesheet products, a preference for someone who can read manual and digital time sheets is ideal. The skill enables them to enter vital employee data into the payroll software without causing serious errors. Even if you use digital timesheets, an employee who knows how to calculate data from a manual time clock helps if your computerized system fails and you need disaster recovery services. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience with manual and digital timesheets
  • Basic math skills for entry-level accounting staff
  • A candidate who helps during disaster recovery
Example:

“Working at an accounting firm, I calculated employee timesheets from manual time clocks and retrieved payroll data from digital timeclocks systems and calculated employee hours.”

Q:

Can you explain how you managed daily and monthly accounts payable tasks for your previous employer?

A:

Familiarity with company accounts payable requirements is a vital part of the candidate’s job description. Pay attention to the verbiage selected for the candidate’s answer. You want a candidate who understands the importance of managing payments in a timely fashion and someone who doesn’t lose their cool when communicating with creditors or vendors. Issues arise without warning when managing payments, and you want a candidate that performs well under pressure. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience managing company expenses
  • Communicating with creditors and vendors professionally
  • A candidate who submits payments according to the company’s schedule
Example:

“When managing company expense requirements, I developed an organized schedule that ensured timely payments and communicated with creditors and vendors in a friendly and courteous manner.”

Q:

Did you verify authorization to financial files before creating copies?

A:

All company and customer financial records must remain confidential and secured. An accounting assistant understands the importance of preventing security breaches and unauthorized access to files. You want a candidate who understands protocol when it comes to requests for copies of any financial files. You want an accounting assistant who won’t give copies to individuals who aren’t authorized to obtain the files. Verification of authorization via proper credentials is vital. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience with confidential financial records reproduction
  • Knowledge of security measures for confidential financial records
  • Differentiates between authorized and unauthorized workers
Example:

“While handling confidential financial records for the accounting department, I requested identification and verified the party’s rights and authorization to the records before providing copies.”

Q:

Did you perform receptionist duties while working in the accounting department of your previous firm?

A:

Accounting assistants answer incoming calls to the accounting department. It is critical that the candidate understands how to provide customer service to customers and remains courteous when communicating with authorized personnel, such as workers and managers who have questions about financial records. You want a candidate who multitasks in a fast-paced work environment and who has experience with multiple-line business phone systems and maintains professional communications with all departments. What to look for in an answer:

  • Receptionist experience in an accounting department
  • High-quality customer service
  • The ability to manage phone calls and other daily duties with ease
Example:

“While completing daily accounting tasks, I handled all incoming financial calls and inquires for the accounting department. I answered customer inquiries and managed payroll questions.”

Q:

How good are you with multitasking? Can you describe a time when you successfully handled multiple accounting tasks?

A:

As part of their daily work duties, accounting assistants have to handle several tasks and often simultaneously. By asking this question, interviewers can discover how capable candidates are in time management and in prioritizing and accomplishing tasks within a given timeframe. An efficient accounting assistant will know how to focus on quality while managing the work quantity and will be able to switch between the tasks without getting stressed and without making errors. The candidate's answer should include:

  • Interest in taking on multiple tasks
  • Work planning ability
  • Time management capability
A sample response would be something like this:
Example:

"I prefer multitasking rather than handling single tasks as it allows me to get more done. On a typical day, I have to handle invoices, credit memos, purchase orders, company receipts, and payments from clients and suppliers. I also have to maintain financial records, monitor budgets, prepare balance sheets, and create financial reports. Additionally, I have to interact with various clients via email, phone, and in person. I manage to get everything done, on time and without making any errors, by creating a checklist, prioritizing and batching tasks, and keeping an accurate track of my time."

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