Accounting Interview Questions

Question: Were there problems with the integrity of financial data when you started with the company?
Answer: Redesigned accounting systems and established internal controls to eliminate variances… earned “gold star” on audit package from Big 6 firm.

Question: Was there a prior history of qualified audit opinions?
Answer: Reversed several-year history of qualified opinions.

Question: Did you negotiate loan terms to the benefit of the company?
Answer: Improved loan terms, saving company 21/2% through renegotiation of annual interest rates.

Question: Did you have a strong record of controlling costs in comparison with other branches or plants?
Answer: Ranked as lowest-cost producer among four comparable U.S. plants, consistently operating at 10% below norm.

Question: Did you improve a past history of write-offs?
Answer: Corrected balance sheet deficiencies, virtually eliminating several-year history of 7-figure write-offs.

Question: Did you design or implement policies that reduced the company’s debt?
Answer: Implemented fiscal policies that enabled corporation to operate without debt for first time since its inception in 1975.

Question: Was the company in a mergers and acquisitions mode?
Answer: Recruited to speed privately held company’s aggressive growth mode, providing financial savvy and tax expertise to position company for profitable M&A activity.

Question: Were you involved in stock offerings?
Answer: Strengthened corporation’s financial and secondary stock offerings, including positioning through involvement in initial filing of 10-Ks, 10-Qs, S-3s, and S-4s.

Question: Was the company in a growth mode?
Answer: Established and managed financial and operational infrastructure that supported a doubling in revenue from $27 to $56 million.

Question: Were you responsible for treasury functions?
Invested reserve funds to perform above industry average, representing an additional 4% in net profit.

Question: Did you rectify an antiquated cost accounting system?
Answer: Introduced Activity-Based Costing (ABC)—system provided first-time detailed costing and enabled general manager to identify and eliminate unprofitable items.

Question: Did you reduce tax liabilities?
Answers: Saved $30,000 in tax liens through partnership dissolution and re-creation of corporate entity.
Negotiated a $35,000 reduction in IRS taxes for improperly filed fuel tax (returns submitted prior to my arrival).

Question: Did you reduce CPA fees?
Answer: Brought previously outsourced accounting functions in-house, saving some $25,000 in annual CPA fees.

Question: Did you improve management of a 401(k) plan?
Answer: As trustee for 401(k), increased employee participation 20% and access to funds without jeopardizing financial stability of plan.

Question: Did you reduce the time to complete end-of-month closing of books?
Answer: Reduced month-end closing time by two days, year-end by five days.

Question: If you managed accounts payable, did you save money in some way?
Answer: Identified and eliminated more than $40,000 in double billings through new payables-review process.

Question: If you managed accounts receivable, did you improve collections and, if so, by how much?
Answer: Improved 30-day collections from 82% to 95% through improvements in medical billing process.

Question: Did you convert a system from manual to computer or make improvements in use of computer software?
Answers: Catalogued 10-year income and expense history to create company’s first comprehensive financial report.
Built sophisticated Excel spread-sheets to capture timely financial data, a first for the company.
Researched, recommended, and directed installation of $100,000 technology upgrade.

Question: Did your rainmaking skills boost the client list or client billing?
Answer: Brought established client base of 250 to firm and added 50 new clients representing large financial, manufac-turing, and construction accounts.

Question: How do your billable hours compare with others in the firm?
Answer: Generated highest billable production in a seven-member firm.

Question: Did you add products or services that generated increased revenue?
Answer: Introduced business-advisory services that expanded gross billings 25%.

Question: What did you accomplish for your clients?
Answer: Negotiated favorable client settle-ments with IRS and lending institu-tions. Sample cases:
• Negotiated loan reduction of 25% for client, saving 2,400 acres of prime farmland.
• Presented IRS Offer in Compromise that eliminated 95% of client’s federal tax liability.
• Represented client with potential accumulated earnings tax of $600,000, reducing tax liability to zero.
• For publicly traded corp. and nine subsidiaries, provided in-depth analysis of financial/ADP records, resulting in substantial reduction in tax deficiencies.
• Negotiated multimillion-dollar lease settlement with RTC for S&L client.

Question: Were you selected for any significant projects?
Answer: Selected over senior staff to man-age audit functions for firm’s largest California client; reported directly to Chairman of Deloitte & Touche.

Question: Did you turn around outstanding receivables?
Answer: Turned around 60+ day outstand-ing receivables from 18% to an average of 3.8% (and as low as .8%) for DFW and OKC Divisions.

Question: Did you pursue past-due accounts that others had given up on?
Answer: Researched and collected on accounts as many as 5 years in arrears, collecting $500,000 in funds deemed “uncollectible.”

Question: Did you revise policy to improve the company’s financial standing?
Answer: Redefined credit policy to reduce exposure; authorized credit lines of up to $100,000.

Question: Was your percentage of charge-offs less than industry or company average?
Answer: Held write-offs to less than .5% on loan portfolio of $26 million, ranking #1 in state for minimizing charge-offs.

Question: Did you counter the trend of borrowers filing chapter 7?
Used negotiation skills to persuade dozens of bankruptcy customers to reaffirm entire debt (collectively valued at more than $2 million).

Question: Did you reduce days sales outstanding?
Answer: Reduced DSO from 68+ days to under 30 (below company directive of 35 days).

Question: Did you eliminate a collections backlog?
Answer: Eliminated collections backlog of more than $275,000.

Accounting Related Jobs

These Accounting Interview Questions can be used in other related careers such as:

  • Financial Accountant
  • Management Accountant
  • Cost Accountant
  • Auditors
  • Actuaries
  • Tax Analysts
  • Tax Planning Executives
  • Loan Officers
  • Debt Planners
  • Budget Analysts
  • Brokerage Clerks
  • Cashiers
  • Claims Adjusters
  • Economist
  • Debt Counselors
  • Financial Analysts
  • Investment Bankers
  • Investment Managers
  • Custodian Bankers
  • Insurance Sales Agents
  • Insurance Account Managers
  • Financial Services Officers and Sales Agents
  • Insurance Underwriters
  • Securities and Commodities Sales Agents
  • Tax Inspectors
  • Revenue Agents
  • Forensic Accountant
  • Tax Auditors
  • Payroll Analyst
  • Cost Accounting Director
  • Investment Accountant
  • Foreign Exchange Analyst
  • Corporate Finance
  • Financial Planning for Corporates
  • Chartered Financial Analyst
  • Chartered Accountant
  • Accounts Research Analyst
  • Financial and Equity Researcher
  • Professor of Accounting
  • Government Accountant