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Accounts Assistant Interview Questions

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  1. Tell me about a time when you worked with confidential or sensitive documents and accounts. See answer
  2. Do you have any experience working with accounting software such as QuickBooks Enterprise or NetSuite? See answer
  3. Share some tips and tools that you employ to avoid data entry errors and other accounting mistakes. See answer
  4. Share an experience where you had to finish multiple accounting tasks on a tight schedule. See answer
  5. Do you possess any accounting certifications that help you stand out in your field? See answer
  6. If you submitted a financial report to an accountant and they asked you to re-do it, how would you respond? See answer
  7. Many of our accounts have different reporting schedules. How do you accomplish all administrative tasks on time when working with multiple deadlines at once?
  8. What would you do if you had carefully planned out your work week but a lead accountant asked for your help with a large data entry task for a client?
  9. Are you comfortable talking to clients over the phone about the status of invoices and payments? What security measures do you use when discussing sensitive information over the phone?
  10. Explain the steps you would take to reconcile bank statements with the general ledger.
  11. Do you know how to use advanced spreadsheet functions to perform financial calculations?
  12. What would you do if you noticed an entry in the ledger that you suspected was incorrect?
  13. As an accounts assistant, you’ll provide administrative support and clerical help to the accounting department. What would you do if people from other departments started assigning you tasks and asking for help?
  14. Do you have any experience digitizing physical copies of files?
  15. What would you do if a client called with a question about their account but you weren’t sure of the answer and an accountant wasn’t available to help?
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6 Accounts Assistant Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

Tell me about a time when you worked with confidential or sensitive documents and accounts.

A:

An accounts assistant will be tasked with handling trade secrets, sensitive financial documents, legal papers, proprietary data and so much more. It is, therefore, extremely vital that the candidate possess traits, such as credibility, work ethic, trustworthiness, diligence and good judgement. Pay attention to how the applicant exercises independent judgement and refuses to compromise on his values while giving his workplace example.

What to look for in an answer:

  • An actual scenario or experience from work
  • Credibility, reliability and work ethic
  • Ability to apply good independent judgement

Example:

“My supervisor requested to see sensitive financial documents that I was trusted to seal until the completion of an important legal case. I stood my ground and explained why such behavior would have been inappropriate.”

Q:

Do you have any experience working with accounting software such as QuickBooks Enterprise or NetSuite?

A:

In the digital era, a major skill in accounting is the ability to analyze financial data and discern economic trends, costly errors and business opportunities. An ideal candidate is well versed with a wide variety of tools that allow him to do just that. An individual with technical skills and proficiency in accounting software should have the necessary expertise required for this role.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience with general accounting software
  • Understanding of resource planning systems
  • Expertise in data analytics and business intelligence software

Example:

“In my previous job, I used ProfitBase to forecast the expenditure for the last financial year and was able to cut costs by 10 percent.”

Q:

Share some tips and tools that you employ to avoid data entry errors and other accounting mistakes.

A:

Due to technological advancements, accounting has been made easier, and data entry errors can now be limited. However, a good candidate should adhere to prudent habits that reduce the aforementioned errors and further improve work accuracy. Ideally, an individual should review their work habitually, follow good bookkeeping practices, be an excellent organizer and time manager, and apply error-checking software solutions where needed.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Great attention to detail
  • Ability to remain focused for extended periods of time
  • Good error-limiting work habits

Example:

“I make it a priority to reconcile balance sheet accounts at least biweekly. This helps me limit data entry errors and catch fraudulent activity.”

Q:

Share an experience where you had to finish multiple accounting tasks on a tight schedule.

A:

A competent accounts assistant should understand that all projects in any workload need clear and definite prioritization. The candidate’s answer should demonstrate how they are able to assess the value of finishing critical work first and their ability to work on multiple tasks under pressure.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Time management and task prioritization
  • Organizational skills and strategic thinking
  • Ability to create and keep deadlines

Example:

“In my previous job, I was running late while working on a critical project. I collected a list of all my tasks and tackled them in order of priority. In the end, the most urgent work was finished on time ahead of less critical tasks.”;

Q:

Do you possess any accounting certifications that help you stand out in your field?

A:

While formal education is not a mandatory requirement to become a competent accounts assistant, it is certainly helpful. This is especially essential if the individual is required to do some financial analysis and planning. An ideal applicant should have a college degree in accounting or a related field. Moreover, extra certifications or associate degrees can also further strengthen the candidate’s qualifications.

What to look for in an answer:

  • Willingness to sharpen their accounting skills
  • Relevant experience with accounting tasks in a similar role
  • Accounting-related formal education

Example:

“I am a Certified Public Accountant, or CPA, and a Chartered Financial Analyst, or CFA, who has vast experience in handling critical tasks, such as tax preparation and auditing.”;

Q:

If you submitted a financial report to an accountant and they asked you to re-do it, how would you respond?

A:

Accounts assistants work in a support role where they help other accounting staff accomplish their goals. They may have to adapt their work styles to meet the needs of different roles, so it is important for candidates to have the ability to accept feedback and apply it to their work. Strong candidates will take initiative to determine what they could do better next time and actively try to improve when collaborating on team projects.

A strong answer may highlight:

  • Asking questions
  • Tracking progress
  • Research skills

One possible response to this question is:

Example:

"I'd start by asking the accountant what about the original report did not meet their expectations so I could be mindful about making improvements next time. I'd search for examples of similar reports to model mine after and make note of the best practices for producing reports in the future. Before turning in the updated report, I'd compare it to the original to confirm an improvement in quality."

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