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Accounts Receivable Specialist Interview Questions

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  1. What should be included on an invoice for services rendered? See answer
  2. What accounting software have you used, and how would you describe your experience level with these programs? See answer
  3. Do you have experience or interest in analyzing large amounts of accounting data? See answer
  4. In your own words, can you describe the importance of the accounts receivable department to the larger company? See answer
  5. What steps do you take in resolving an accounting discrepancy? What examples can you provide from your previous roles?
  6. Can you describe your experience in complying with financial laws and regulations? How do you prepare for a potential audit?
  7. A client promises you that they sent out a check by mail to pay for the services they used, but you still haven’t received it. What do you do?
  8. How would you rate your attention to detail skills as an accounts receivable specialist?
  9. What’s the largest volume of client accounts you’ve been in charge of? How did you manage them all to ensure you received payments on time?
  10. What strategies do you use to maintain excellent customer service even when contact clients about late payments?
  11. A client calls you and asks if they can pay you double the amount for your services the next month, as they need more time to gather revenue. What do you do?
  12. Can you tell me about a time you overcame a challenge as an accounts receivable specialist?
  13. Based on your previous experiences, how would you describe the relationship between accounts receivable and accounts payable?
  14. Do you know what a delinquent account is? What examples can you provide?
  15. What is DSO and why is it important?
  16. Have you ever worked for a company that accepted foreign currencies and other forms of payment to reconcile debts? If so, what was your process for handling it?
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6 Accounts Receivable Specialist Interview Questions and Answers

Q:

What should be included on an invoice for services rendered?

A:

You’ll want to assess your candidate’s understanding of basic accounting information. The interviewee should mention items such as a purchase order number, price per hour or item, dates, contact information, descriptions of items or services, payment terms and due dates and shipping or handling charges, if necessary. You may also want to discuss whether the candidate has experience using or creating invoice templates as well. What to look for in an answer:

  • Understanding of key invoice elements
  • Experience with invoice template use and/or creation
  • General comprehension of accounting terms

Example:

“A comprehensive invoice should include contact information, descriptions and costs of items or services, payment terms and due dates and any additional charges.”

Q:

What accounting software have you used, and how would you describe your experience level with these programs?

A:

You’ll want to evaluate your candidate’s experience level with whatever software program your company uses. Evaluate the candidate’s familiarity with common accounting programs include Quick Books, ZoHo, GnuCash, Microsoft Dynamics, and SAP. If your company uses a proprietary system, you may want to select a few components of this system, and discuss whether your candidate has experience with similar accounting software. What to look for in an answer:

  • Experience with the accounting system you use
  • Desire to learn a new or proprietary system
  • Broad understanding of accounting software

Example:

“Although I have specific experience with QuickBooks, I understand the basic principles of accounting and feel I can master any program with minimal training.”

Q:

Do you have experience or interest in analyzing large amounts of accounting data?

A:

An accounts receivable specialist needs to enter, track and manage a great deal of financial information for most organizations. You’ll want to assess your candidate’s experience in analyzing transactions, debits, and credits. Many specialists will also be asked to create financial reports and statements for management. Accounts receivable specialists may need to manage bank deposits and check receipts as well as handle payments. You’ll be looking for experience in these areas. What to look for in an answer:

  • Understanding of accounting analysis
  • Experience in producing standard reports and statements
  • Detail-oriented philosophy on career and position

Example:

“I understand that being detail-oriented is critical to doing a good job, especially when it comes to analyzing and reviewing payments, receipts and other data.”

Q:

What steps do you take in resolving an accounting discrepancy?

A:

Even the most cautious accounts receivable specialist will make or discover an error from time to time. You’ll want to understand how your candidate researches and resolves accounting discrepancies. Look for an emphasis on documenting findings and comprehensive descriptions of why the discrepancy occurred. Financial information can be sensitive, and there’s the risk of mismanagement of funds. You’ll want to understand how your candidates handle those situations. What to look for in an answer:

  • Ability to provide extensive explanations
  • Experience with finding and resolving discrepancies
  • Willingness to work within your operating procedures

Example:

“It’s important to resolve accounting discrepancies completely and honestly. I always try to detail why the discrepancy occurred and assure a great deal of transparency.”

Q:

Describe your experience in complying with financial laws and regulations. How do you prepare for a potential audit?

A:

Accounts receivable specialists must have a basic understanding of financial rules and regulations, including compliance with records and file management. Evaluate your candidate’s experience in this area by listening to how they’ve ensured compliance with accounts receivable document aging. This may be a manual system or an electronic one. You will want to understand whether your candidate has experience in managing information so it can be audited easily as well. What to look for in an answer:

  • Knowledge of financial rules and regulations
  • Understanding of audit requirements
  • Experience with accounting records retention

Example:

“Although accounting software has automated some of the regulation checks and balances, I have worked with an organization through an audit in the past.”

Q:

In your own words, can you describe the importance of the accounts receivable department to the larger company?

A:

Accounts receivable specialists are responsible for supporting accounting duties on behalf of an organization. This question helps interviewers determine a candidate's knowledge and understanding of their role within the larger context of their organization.

A candidate's answer should emphasize:

  • Ability to see the bigger picture
  • Previous relevant experiences
  • Commitment to quality work

Here is an example of a quality candidate answer:

Example:

"The accounts receivable team is an important part of a company's financial or accounting department because they are in charge of making sure clients or customers pay their debts to their employer. An accounts receivable specialist's ability to identify outstanding debts and communicate finance needs to clients ensures that their employer receives payment to contribute to their overall income and revenue streams."

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