Top 5 Questions You Must Ask an Accountant While Hiring


Accounting recruitment for your business can be a vexing and long process. The candidate pool is highly competitive, making it rather difficult to filter out the perfect individual for your business. You will need to test their accounting abilities while also determining whether they are professional, updated, and skilled in analytics. These questions have been designed to test it all, allowing you to single out that one interviewee who is sure to bring massive value to your company.

Let’s have a look!

What Do You Consider the Top 3 Qualities of an Accountant?

You may be hiring for a single accountant position, but you’re going to need someone who hasn’t placed all their eggs in one basket. Your accountant should be a person of numerical abilities, of course, but they should also be well-versed in data analytics and how to present it effectively. Moreover, having an accountant that can communicate well will do wonders for your business’s success.

No, this isn’t asking for too much! There are accounting professionals who will bring all of these skills to your workplace. You just need to be prepared to seek them out.

When you ask this question, look for responses that indicate the applicant has general business know-how, along with some technological expertise and accounting specialization. If they’re customer service-oriented, that’s even better!

What Methods Do You Prefer Using to Estimate Bad Debt?

While general questions are a great way to determine the professionalism of an interviewee, you will also need to ask some accounting-related questions to gauge their competence. Asking them how they prefer estimating bad debt will let you test how good their basic routine processing is. If you’re hiring recent graduates, this question will test how they apply theoretical knowledge effectively.

Do You Have Experience in Developing Business Metrics?

Developing efficient business metrics is a job best handled by your accountant. Therefore, be sure to ask candidates if they have any experience in it and test whether they’d make a good fit in instances of budgeting or staff oversight. 

When Was the Last Time You Made an Accounting Error, and How Was It Handled?

The hiring process isn’t so you can find somebody who promises to make no mistakes or misjudgments. Expecting perfection from people is unrealistic, no matter how experienced they are. If a candidate does claim to make no errors, we’d consider it a major red flag.

That is why we always recommend asking about the last accounting error they made. It shows an understanding that mistakes happen and sets you up as employers who don’t demand perfection. Now, coming to the second part of the question, how are errors handled?

Your candidates should be willing to admit they made mistakes and open to learning from them. See if the interviewee takes responsibility for the error or plays the blame game. You should also probe to find out how well they handled the situation and if they were proactive in finding a solution.

What Are Your Opinions on Recent Updates of the Accounting Standards?

The last essential question we recommend tests your candidates’ current knowledge. Instead of focusing the entire interview on their past experience, problem-solving skills, and accounting abilities, it’s always wise to see whether they stay updated with the ever-changing and developing world of accounting practices.

Ask them about any recent training they signed up for, or seminars attended. Question their knowledge on recent tax changes. Their response will show you just how dedicated they are to the accounting profession.