37 Accounting Assistant Interview Questions (With Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 23 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Recent graduates or those making a career change to finance may find accounting assistant jobs to be best suited to their needs, as they can provide opportunities to gain relevant experience and learn from more experienced accountants. When applying for entry-level roles like these, it's essential to prepare thoroughly and understand how your skills and expertise apply to the role. Reviewing sample interview questions can help you think about your responses, recollect your previous experiences before the interview and present yourself as a well-qualified candidate. In this article, we review some accounting assistant interview questions and sample answers.

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33 accounting assistant interview questions

Here are some common accounting assistant interview questions:

General questions

The interviewer may begin by asking broad questions about you and your professional goals to understand you better and form a first impression. Here are some questions you may consider preparing for in an accounting assistant interview:

  1. What makes you interested in accounting?

  2. Why did you apply for this accounting assistant role?

  3. What professional strengths would you bring to our team?

  4. What are your professional weaknesses, and how do you work to improve in those areas?

  5. What are your career goals?

  6. How would you describe the role of an accounting assistant?

  7. Do you prefer to work on a team or by yourself?

  8. Do you plan to advance within this company or go back to school?

  9. Are you comfortable working with deadlines?

  10. Would you consider yourself a detail-oriented person?

Questions about experience and background

Your answers to questions about your experience and background can show the hiring manager how qualified you are for this position. Here are some questions hiring managers may ask about your work experience and knowledge in an accounting assistant interview:

  1. Have you worked as an accounting assistant before? Why did you leave that role?

  2. Can you talk about how your education prepared you for this role?

  3. Have you worked in an assistant role before?

  4. Have you worked in a data entry position before that involved filing?

  5. Are you familiar working with financial documents such as bank statements and invoices?

  6. What accounting software are you familiar with?

  7. Do you feel comfortable handling confidential documents?

  8. Do you have experience preparing financial reports?

  9. Have you got any experience balancing multiple projects at the same time?

  10. How have you built relationships with more senior professionals or accountants at other jobs?

  11. Do you have experience processing payroll?

In-depth questions

Hiring managers in accounting firms or other companies may use in-depth questions to understand how you might fit in with their organisation. Here are some in-depth questions interviewers may ask in an accounting assistant interview:

  1. What personal processes do you follow to check your work for errors?

  2. What are the most important attributes to succeed in an accounting assistant work?

  3. Describe a time you had a conflict with a colleague or supervisor and what you did about it.

  4. Tell me about a significant project that you worked on, what was your role and how did the project turn out.

  5. If I asked you to process an invoice, how would you do that?

  6. Describe when you had to adjust to a new situation or procedure at work.

  7. Are you willing to undertake training to advance in this role?

  8. Do you follow any time management strategies, especially when there are several deadlines at once?

  9. What role do you think the accounting assistant has on our team?

  10. Can you share some of the strengths and weaknesses of any bookkeeping software you're familiar with?

  11. How would you handle an audit?

  12. Can you tell me about a situation where you applied an accounting principle in your daily work?

4 accounting assistant interview questions with sample answers

Here are some interview questions and sample answers to review as you prepare for an accounting assistant interview:

1. How would you design a spreadsheet to track daily cash receipts?

Interviewers typically ask in-depth questions to know if you understand accounting principles and methods beyond common bookkeeping software. In your response, demonstrate your personal organisation skills by clearly explaining your process.

Example: "My approach would depend on the company's overall process, but I would generally start by adding a main page to track totals. I'd record the cash on hand, total sales and collections on accounts receivable on this page. Then, I'd take a subtotal here of all incoming cash. Next, I'd list all outgoing cash, including bank deposits, refunds and any money taken from the business owner. Finally, I'd also include a space for net expected cash on hand, the actual count and the discrepancy.

If the business isn't tracking their transactions anywhere else, I'd add pages to track incoming and outgoing cash transactions. Finally, I'd also save a blank copy of this spreadsheet as a template for future reference."

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2. How strong are your math and computer skills?

Employers may ask such questions to understand your expertise in these fields and how confident you are in your skills. For example, if you have previous work experience, you may want to describe a situation when you were able to solve a work-related issue with your math or computer skills. If you're a recent graduate, you may include any relevant university or college information, such as awards or internships.

Example: "I enjoyed math and computer science throughout my schooling, so I found a few different opportunities to explore them further when I joined University. I have completed a minor in data processing and my accounting degree, which helped me understand how to apply accounting practices and interpret financial data on a large scale. I also prepared budgets and tracked accounts for several student groups and college events. I also gained valuable experience from my internships with entertainment companies during summer terms, where I feel like my math and computer skills have grown through these business settings."

Related: 4 Situational Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

3. Are you comfortable communicating with customers, vendors and team members from other departments in the company?

Hiring managers may ask such questions to see whether you're good at communicating information effectively and professionally. As accounting assistants are responsible for working along with senior accountants, answering customer service questions or investigating discrepancies, these types of questions can be important. You can include any relevant written or spoken communication experiences you've had.

Example: "In my previous roles working in retail and doing reception work for a local hotel, I've had a lot of experience talking to a wide range of people. I understand how important confidentiality is and learned how to communicate sensitive information effectively. I believe these previous experiences can help me greatly when communicating with outside clients and vendors about receipts or discrepancies. Working in the hospitality industry also helped me realise how important communication is within an organisation, so I'm motivated to do what I can to share information between different departments."

4. How do you think this role can help you develop professionally?

As accounting assistant positions are generally entry-level roles, employers may ask similar questions to understand your career plans. They hope to understand if you plan to move up within their company, whether you'd return to school or whether you're currently involved in any professional development activities. If you plan to pursue further education or certification, you may consider mentioning this to know if the company offers any continuing education resources or tuition help.

Example: "I believe this position can offer valuable opportunities to help me gain useful knowledge about the different aspects of accounting and how the accounting department functions in a business of this size. From what I've learned about your firm, you have some well-experienced accountants here, and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to learn from them. Ideally, I'd like to become a CPA eventually, and I feel like this company offers great possibilities for continuing education and career advancements that can help me attain my career goals."

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