Accounting Associate Interview Questions And Answers

What Is Your Background Working in Various Industries?

Recruiters want to see if your experience aligns with the companys size and industry, says Chris Robbins, Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist with Dixon Huges Goodman, a top 20 public accounting firm. Since accounting is such a vast profession, rules and processes differ across industries.

How Do You Handle Challenging Situations or Difficult Conversations With Others?

Accountants don’t work in silos and will be working with internal or external clients to get the books in order. There may be times when you encounter a discrepancy with a client or when an account reconciliation is inaccurate and you have to confront your colleague about the error. Recruiters want to see that you have no issue handling difficult conversations and are efficient at quickly solving problems that may arise, especially if you’re under a tight deadline. Be sure to avoid badmouthing your company or colleagues as this could reflect poorly on you as a future employee or coworker.

Do You Have Your CPA?

The Certified Public Accountant license is the ultimate certification, and it shows commitment to the profession. If you have your CPA, it will make you stand out against the competition. However, there are many other certifications in accounting that you could pursue—having a CPA isn’t the only way.

Cash is king. The cash flow statement gives a true picture of how much cash the company is generating. That being said, it’s important to note that all three statements truly are required to get a full picture of the health of a company. Learn more about how the three financial statements are linked.

On the balance sheet, the asset account of inventory is reduced by the amount of the write-down, and so is shareholders’ equity. The income statement is hit with an expense in either COGS or a separate line item for the amount of the write-down, reducing net income. On the cash flow statement, the write-down is added back to operating cash flows as it’s a non-cash expense but must not be double-counted in the changes of non-cash working capital.

There are essentially four areas to consider when accounting for PP&E on the balance sheet: initial purchase, depreciation, additions (capital expenditures), and dispositions. In addition to these four, you may also have to consider revaluation. For many businesses, PP&E is the main capital asset that generates revenue, profitability, and cash flow.

Negative working capital is common in some industries, such as grocery retail and the restaurant business. For a grocery store, customers pay upfront, inventory moves relatively quickly, but suppliers often give 30 days (or more) credit. This means that the company receives cash from customers before it needs the cash to pay suppliers. Negative working capital is a sign of efficiency in businesses with low inventory and accounts receivable. In other industries, negative working capital may signal a company is facing financial trouble.

Step back and give a high-level overview of the company’s current financial position, or companies in that industry in general. Highlight something on each of the three statements. Income statement: growth, margins, profitability. Balance sheet: liquidity, capital assets, credit metrics, liquidity ratios. Cash flow statement: short-term and long-term cash flow profile, any need to raise money or return capital to shareholders.

What Is Your Technical Experience With Accounting Software?

The interviewer will ask this question to assess your experience using accounting tools and software in your day-to-day work. Bonus points if you have experience using the specific software that the company you’re interviewing with uses. Some companies use common industry software while others might have customized software—this varies by company size and industry.

Top 20 Accounting Assistant Interview Questions and Answers for 2022

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