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Bookkeeper Interview Questions

bookkeeper interview questions

Do you have an important bookkeeper interview coming up?

Even if you have been working as a bookkeeper for several years, this is the perfect time to brush up on your technique. Being able to perform well in an interview is a skill that can make or break many candidates.

During the interview, the interviewer is likely to want to get a feel for both your hard and soft skills. While your resume reveals your work experience and education, soft skills are revealed by your answers to certain questions.

So, let’s take a look at some of the most common bookkeeper interview questions and the best way to answer them…

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Bookkeeper Interview Questions

Most companies need to employ at least one qualified bookkeeper. The main roles of this job include properly maintaining books, recording transactions, and completing tax returns. It is essential for companies to find qualified bookkeepers that they can trust and can work with well.

You are likely to find that many of the interview questions are designed to test your skills and knowledge. However, the interviewer will also want to learn about your personality. It is important to establish a rapport with the interviewer and show that you have strong communication and interpersonal skills.

Why are you interested in bookkeeping, and what is your accounting background?

Bookkeeping is a challenging profession, and interviewers and employers need to be sure that you are committed. The last thing employers want is to take on a new bookkeeper only for them to leave a few months later. Therefore, it is important to demonstrate that you are a dedicated professional who will go the distance.

Bookkeeping also involves precise knowledge of finances and economics. You need to highlight your relevant experience and work history, as well as your love for numbers. Illustrate your answer by providing your extensive accounting knowledge and skills.

What steps have you taken to become a better Bookkeeper?

If you have any special certificates from recognized boards, this is the time to mention them. Also, highlight the steps you have taken to make sure that your skills are current. This could include reading professional publications, participating in industry chat rooms, and updating your bookkeeping software.

Which bookkeeping software systems do you use?

You should be able to discuss both the merits and pitfalls of different types of accounting software systems. Highlight the systems that you choose to work with and why you are drawn to them. Make sure that your answer is as detailed as possible, and try to illustrate it with a working example.

bookkeeper interview question

How would you locate an error if your ledger was off?

There are several different approaches you can take, and it is a good idea to highlight the main options. Your answer should clearly and methodically outline the way that you tackle this common bookkeeping task.

One systematic approach to this task is calculating columns backwards, starting from the bottom and moving to the top. Your answer should highlight your analytic abilities and problem-solving skills. You should also highlight the fact that you are detail-orientated and have a strong ability to focus on intricate tasks.

Describe the accomplishment that most impacted your career

This question gives you the chance to highlight your core values, career goals, and work habits. You should be able to outline at least one professional accomplishment that you are particularly proud of. Explain how the accomplishment benefited the client or company that you were working for at the time.

Describe a work problem that you solved that saved money or improve systems

It is important to be able to take the initiative to challenge current bookkeeping procedures and make recommendations for improvement or change. The main goal of most companies is making money, but being able to save money is just as important. Give a clear example of how you did this in the past, including figures to illustrate the benefit to the company.

How do you go about finding subsidiary entry errors?

You should start by highlighting that subsidiary entries are transactions that are not recorded accurately. This can include an invoice entered in accounts receivable with an extra zero or an incorrect decimal place. While you were not responsible for this error, you should be experienced enough to identify it quickly.

What are the merits of cash basis and accrual reporting?

A business can use two main methods to report finances, and each has its pros and cons. When answering the question, start by providing clear definitions of the two methods. You should then be able to clearly explain the strengths and weaknesses of each method.

Make sure that your answer highlights your specialized accounting knowledge and your discernment qualities. Your answer will also reveal that you have the ability to use different approaches depending on the circumstances.

bookkeeper interview question guide

Did you interact with clients and in your last Bookkeeping position?

If this question comes up, it is likely to be an important part of the role you are interviewing for. Therefore, you need to provide examples of working directly with clients and vendors. Your answer should highlight your ability to establish a rapport and your strong communication skills.

In a worst-case scenario, you may have little or no experience with direct interaction. However, it is best to be honest while giving the situation a positive spin. Explain that you enjoy interacting with people and you are looking forward to this aspect of the job.

What’s the first thing that you would do on your first day on the job?

There are a range of different activities that you are likely to be responsible for when you start work. However, you should dedicate your first day to learning about your new company and how it operates. You should start by focusing on the current accounting methodologies that are used to support that operation.

The rest of your day should be dedicated to reviewing the balance sheets, bank accounts, cash flow statements, and income statements. When answering this question, it is important to outline your plan for your first day clearly and concisely. The interviewer needs to see that you will become familiar with how the company operates first.

How would you describe the relationship between a bookkeeper and an accountant in the workplace?

Part of the role of a bookkeeper is to support the accounting staff, and you may sometimes work together closely. Therefore, you should highlight the importance of establishing a rapport with the account as soon as possible. Your answer should emphasize your understanding of accounting roles, your previous professional experience, and your team working skills and experience.

Need More Quality Interview Advice?

Then, you’ll love my guide to Answering Tell Me About Yourself in Interview, or even the best way to answer questions such as Why We Should Hire You and the tricky Why Do You Want to Work Here in 2023?

Or, if you’re leaving your current position, you may need some helpful advice on How to Write a Resignation Letter. But, if you want to look at the lighter side of the process, I would definitely recommend reading Work Sucks!: A Funny View of a Serious Problem, How to Quit Your Job Gracefully, as well as Good Luck Finding Awesome Coworkers Like Us Again.

And, staying on the funny side, if you need a great T-shirt (but not one that you should wear to an interview) or mug, check out the Womens Half Coffee Half Bookkeeper Gift, Bookkeeper V-Neck T-Shirt, or the Super Cool Bookkeeper T-Shirt Funny Gift. And for your morning coffee, how about the Spreadsheet Whisperer Mug or the Ohh This Calls For A Spreadsheet Mug.

Final Thoughts

As a bookkeeper, you need to have the skills and knowledge to perform the job well. However, the interviewer also needs to know that you will be the right fit for their company. Therefore, it is important to research the company, their working environment, and their mission statement.

When researching the company and reading the job description, highlight the key aspects that stand out. During the interview, make sure that you highlight your relevant soft skills to the best effect. It is also important to spend time working on your interview technique so that you stand out from the crowd.

We wish you all the best for your next job interview.

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