16 Bookkeeper Job Interview Practice Questions
Can you describe your understanding of what is bookkeeping, and what a bookkeeper does?
Bookkeeping is the process of recording, classifying, and organising financial transactions in a company's financial records. A bookkeeper is responsible for performing this process accurately and efficiently, using tools such as accounting software and spreadsheets.
What skills do you think are important for a bookkeeper to have?
Answer: Some key skills for a bookkeeper include attention to detail, strong organisational skills, good communication skills, and the ability to work independently. Familiarity with accounting software and spreadsheet programs, as well as a basic understanding of accounting principles, is also important.
How do you ensure the accuracy of your work?
Answer: To ensure the accuracy of my work, I always double-check my calculations and make sure to review my entries for mistakes. I also make use of tools like accounting software, which can help catch errors and discrepancies. In addition, I am always open to feedback and willing to ask for help when needed to ensure that my work is as accurate as possible.
Can you describe your experience with accounting software?
I have experience using a variety of accounting software programs, such as MYOB and Xero. I also have a good working knowledge of Excel. I am comfortable navigating these programs and using their various features, including creating and tracking invoices, reconciling bank statements, and generating financial reports.
In what way could you minimise repetitive tasks and automate some parts of regular processing?
One of the great features of accounting software is the use of bank and credit card feeds. This will save hours of previously time consuming data entry and reconciliations. The other advantage is the up to date and accurate financial position of your business always available at your fingertips. Another time saver is the automation of outstanding customer invoice reminder notifications which also improve your cashflow by reducing average debtor days. It's important we have a conversation about utilising the many productivity improvements accounting software has to offer.
Have you ever had to handle a problem with a client's financial records? If so, how did you resolve it?
Yes, I have had to handle problems with client financial records in the past. In one instance, I noticed that there were several errors in the coding of expenses, which was causing the financial reports to be incorrect. I worked with the client to correct the errors and re-ran the reports to ensure their accuracy. In the end, we were able to resolve the issue and bring the client's financial records up to date.
How do you prioritise your tasks as a bookkeeper?
As a bookkeeper, I prioritise my tasks based on their importance and the deadlines that need to be met. For example, I make sure to complete tasks related to payroll and tax payments before other tasks, as these have strict deadlines and can have serious consequences if not completed on time.
What steps do you take to protect sensitive financial information?
Protecting sensitive financial information is a top priority for me. To do this, I always make sure to log out of my computer when I am not using it, and I never share login information or passwords with anyone. I also make sure to properly secure any physical documents containing financial information, such as by storing them in a locked cabinet or shredding them when they are no longer needed.
How do you keep up to date with changes in bookkeeping and accounting regulations?
As a bookkeeper, it is important to stay up to date with changes in bookkeeping and accounting regulations. To do this, I regularly read industry news and updates and attend any relevant training or continuing education opportunities. I also make sure to research and understand any new regulations that may affect my work.
My professional memberships require that I undertake continuing professional development to ensure I am compliant and to maintain my accreditation.
Could you elaborate on those memberships?
I am an accredited Xero Partner, a registered BAS agent and a member of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers.
Can you describe a time when you had to work with a tight deadline?
I have had to work with tight deadlines on several occasions in the past. In one instance, I had to complete the month-end close process for a client in just two days, rather than the usual five. I worked efficiently and prioritised my tasks to make sure everything was completed on time. I also kept the client informed of my progress and addressed any issues that came up as quickly as possible.
How do you handle difficult clients?
I try to approach difficult clients with empathy and understanding, as they may be experiencing stress or other challenges that are causing them to act in a difficult manner. I also try to keep my communication with them professional and respectful, even if they are not doing the same. If necessary, I may involve a manager or another member of the team to help resolve the issue.
Do you provide any other services?
I can assist with data entry, filing (I am very organised), and general office administration.
What happens if you are sick or on holidays?
I prioritise my leave according to my clients’ demands, minimising any disruption to continuing work and deadlines. If I am sick, I have many industry colleagues who can step in and handle any work at short notice. My client bookkeeping tasks are clearly documented, so a temporary replacement would know precisely is expected.
Will I save on my accounting fees?
Most likely, yes. Much of the standard of work I undertake is identical (if not better than) low level accounting services but provided at a very competitive price. Consider me to be the bridge between you and your public accountant.
Do you have any questions?
Yes, I have a few questions.
- Are there any other people in the organisation using your accounting software?
For example salespeople directly entering invoices; purchasing officers entering supplier bills?
- Is your accounting software integrated with any other programs or apps?
- Have you used a bookkeeper before? And if so, what were your experiences like?
- How involved are your external accountants in overseeing and configuring your software?
Or do you use an external specialist consultant, or perhaps you are looking to the bookkeeper to
implement and maintain the system?
- Do you do all your payroll internally or do you rely on an external third party?
- Will you be looking to me to produce internal financial and management accounting reports?
Some extra tips...
Research the company
Learn as much as you can about the company, its products, and its mission. Understand the company's industry and its place within it. It will also be beneficial to find out the company's current initiatives, and understanding their recent news related to the company.
Study the job requirements
Review the job requirements and responsibilities, and understand what skills and experience are required for the position. Prepare examples of how you have demonstrated these skills and qualifications in your past experiences.
Brush up on your technical skills
Review and practise the technical skills required for the job, such as programming languages, frameworks, and tools. It's also a good idea to stay up to date with recent developments and new technologies generally.
Prepare answers to common interview questions
Be ready to answer common interview questions such as why you want the job, what interests you about the company, what makes you a good fit for the position, etc.
Plan to ask questions (see also item no. 16 above)
Prepare questions to ask your interviewer about the company, the team, and the position. This will show your interest in the company and the role and will help you gather information that can help you make an informed decision about whether to accept a job offer.
Prepare a portfolio
If applicable, prepare a portfolio of your work that demonstrates your skills and experience. This can include code samples, project reports, or any other relevant material.
Practise your communication skills
Make sure you can clearly and effectively communicate your ideas and experiences. This may involve practicing your interviewing skills with a friend or family member.
Dress and show up on time
Make sure you are dressed professionally and arrive at the interview location on time. Being punctual and professional in your appearance will make a good first impression.
Practise positive self-talk and visualization before your interview, it can be a great way to boost your confidence and help you put your best foot forward.
By following these tips, you can be well-prepared for your bookkeeping job interview and increase your chances of impressing the interviewer and landing the job.
Measure your Bookkeeping skill level with our complimentary online competency assessments