7 interview questions to ask when recruiting an accountant

November 10th 2023 | Posted by phil scott

Recruiting a new in-house accountant is not an easy task. They are deeply involved in financial decisions and report the all-important monetary position of your business.

Therefore, your candidates must be extremely ethical and have very good bookkeeping skills. They cannot be disorganised or dishonest.

Here are some questions to ask your potential accountant to ensure they are the perfect fit.

1. What skills do you believe all accountants need?

This is a great opportunity to discover someone’s strengths. You need to be looking for answers such as:

  • Strong maths skills
  • Analytical thinking
  • Attention to detail.

2. Tell me about a time you helped to reduce costs in a previous role

This should be part of an accountant’s day-to-day work. It should be easy to obtain a few examples of cost-cutting and it’s a big red flag if they can’t come up with anything.

3. How do you avoid accounting errors?

Accountancy errors can be costly for your company. Ensure he or she has a set system to avoid errors and::

  • Is a team player who will ask others for help.
  • Will double-check all their work
  • Is not software dependent, using other methods to check their work.

4. Describe the most difficult accounting task you have ever faced.

You must listen for evidence of helping former employers:

  • Cut costs
  • Reduce financial waste
  • Stay out of legal trouble

5. Why do you want to work here?

Accountants have a lot of working options, extending even as far as running their own freelance business. This is why it’s important to know the reasons why they want to work for you.

Watch out for weak answers to this question if you want them to stick around at your company.

6. Is there anything you would like to improve within our company?

You’ll understand the candidate’s business sense by asking this question. Look for those who are enthusiastic about improving your company and understand how some of your processes work.

7. What software do you use? Would you want to change our existing ones?

Accountancy software is varied in function, price, and size. You will get a good idea of their professional background in answering this question. Experienced accountants will know the difference.

Other potential interview questions to ask:

  • Why accountancy?
  • How do you bring companies up-to-date with tax legislation?
  • Do you prefer working as a team or part of a group?
  • Do you have any questions for us?

At Accountancy Recruit, we can help you find the ideal candidate for your organisation, saving you valuable time. Contact us to find out more. Click here for further recruiting tips.