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Accounting Manager Interview Questions

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  1. Which accounting management platforms are you familiar with, and do you prefer certain programs? See answer
  2. How do you maintain accounting accuracy from your staff in the department? See answer
  3. Do you have any strategies to find fraudulent entries in a ledger or a journal? See answer
  4. Can you give examples of how you helped a company save money? See answer
  5. How do you address questions from clients that don’t have an accounting background? See answer
  6. How have you used your knowledge in the past to help your company? See answer
  7. Can you talk about a major change you have made within an accounting department and what led you to that decision?
  8. Which is your preferred accounting software and why?
  9. Do you have any recent experience with an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system?
  10. What tools do you use to track your team’s progress on tasks you have delegated?
  11. What is your level of familiarity with the Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS)?
  12. Can you explain the tools you need to prepare an annual budget?
  13. Do you have experience with audits?
  14. How do you prepare a budget report?
  15. What do you think about bottom-up budgets?
  16. How do you address an error in a customer’s payment?
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6 Accounting Manager Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

Which accounting management platforms are you familiar with, and do you prefer certain programs?

A:

An experienced accounting manager works with various resource planning systems and accounting applications. Asking questions like these will allow you to see if the candidate has a familiarity with certain software packages, especially if there is a particular platform your company uses. Your candidate should include the name and version of that particular software. You can also gauge how well the applicant adapts to new technology and software packages. Their answer should demonstrate:

  • Understanding of basic accounting programs and systems
  • Familiarity with popular software platforms and features
  • Willingness to learn new software packages

Example:

“I used QuickBooks at a small accounting firm, so I feel more familiar with that software. At a larger corporation, I worked with Microsoft Dynamics GP.”

Q:

How do you maintain accounting accuracy from your staff in the department?

A:

Any type of mistake can cost your company a lot of money. Many of these mistakes go unnoticed by the accounting staff. It is the responsibility of the accounting manager to catch these mistakes before it is too late. Your candidate should have several safeguards in place to check the accuracy of their accounting. The candidate should know how to respond to and address all inaccuracies in a timely fashion. Their answer should show:

  • An ability to find and address mistakes from the staff
  • Commitment to accuracy
  • An attentive and detail-oriented mentality

Example:

“I use every tool at my disposal to check the work of my staff. At my last job, I tracked business expenses with Expensify to limit any mistakes.”

Q:

Do you have any strategies to find fraudulent entries in a ledger or a journal?

A:

Accounting managers are the first line of defense against fraud in the company. They are responsible for protecting the company’s values and finances. Your candidate should be familiar with all the latest financial monitoring software and should be able to use their own judgment to identify fraudulent patterns. The candidate should not be hesitant to report any claims of fraud by the staff or other outside sources. What to look for in their answer:

  • Strong ethics and commitment to the job
  • Understanding of fraud monitoring programs
  • Knowledge of common signs of fraudulent behavior

Example:

“Along with manual checks, I also use a resource planning platform to monitor the ledgers. Automated monitoring helps catch anomalies that may be fraudulent in nature.”

Q:

Can you give examples of how you helped a company save money?

A:

An accounting manager must be able to identify areas of wasteful spending in the company. Your candidate should have experience putting together strategies to reduce any unnecessary spending and expenses at all levels of the company. You’ll want to hear real-life examples that show a willingness to find solutions to save money. The candidate’s answer should have a high level of analytical and logical thinking, including a display of critical problem-solving skills. Their answer should prove that they:

  • Would be willing to go that extra mile for the company
  • Assess and review the company’s past finances
  • Will develop a plan to optimize spending

Example:

“In my previous company’s finances, I found redundancies in the contracts. I suggested a lower service tier that saved the company 12% in costs.”

Q:

How do you address questions from clients that don’t have an accounting background?

A:

Accounting managers must be able to explain difficult concepts to clients and other people in the organization. Most of these people do not have training in accounting and may be confused by certain terminology. It is the responsibility of the candidate to clearly explain these processes in easy-to-understand language. Your candidate should have the patience to walk someone through the accounting process without being easily frustrated. Look for the following:

  • Ability to explain complicated processes in a simple matter
  • Basic understanding of accounting terms
  • Patient personality with excellent teaching skills

Example:

“I understand that many people are confused by accounting terms. I use analogies to help my clients understand these complex accounting processes and concepts.”

Q:

How have you used your knowledge in the past to help your company?

A:

It is necessary for an accounting manager to look at information critically and objectively to help maximize a company's funds. They should be able to identify any areas of excess and reduce spending when possible. You'll want to look for quantifiable examples that show a proactive approach to saving that is well informed.

The answer should demonstrate that the candidate:

  • Analyzes budgets effectively and thoroughly
  • Assesses past spending habits
  • Is objective and analytical

An answer to this question can look like this:

Example:

"I feel it is very important to analyze previous spending trends for a company in order to make the best recommendations and find areas where we can save money. This often means I have to go back years into the records and use a critical eye to understand the needs of the company and develop a plan that fits those needs. Sometimes that means making some difficult decisions.

"At my previous company, I found redundancies of employment. We were able to reduce the workforce and saved money, even with redundancy pay. We were able to save about 15% on overall costs and it helped my company provide more training to employees and paid time off when they qualified. It resulted in a happier workforce and a more supportive environment with highly skilled employees."

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