Our new survey report on AI in hiring and the workplace is now out! DOWNLOAD NOW

Bookkeeper interview questions and answers

This Bookkeeper interview profile brings together a snapshot of what to look for in candidates with a balanced sample of suitable interview questions.

Make sure that you are interviewing the best bookkeepers. Sign up for Workable’s 15-day free trial to hire better, faster.

10 good bookkeeper interview questions

  1. Talk about your previous work experience as a bookkeeper.
  2. What have you done recently to become a better bookkeeper?
  3. How do you stay updated on regulatory changes that impact your work?
  4. What sort of financial reports were you responsible for preparing?
  5. Which bookkeeping systems are you familiar with?
  6. How would you rate your computer skills?
  7. As a bookkeeper, how do you avoid errors in your work?
  8. Explain the balance sheet equation.
  9. The ledger is off by $0.80. What process would you use to find the error?
  10. How would you record an insurance premium using the accrual accounting method versus the cost accounting method?

Here are 10 essential interview questions and sample answers to help identify the best candidates for this role.

1. Talk about your previous work experience as a bookkeeper.

This question aims to gauge the candidate’s experience level and the types of bookkeeping tasks they have handled.

Sample answer:

“I have five years of experience as a bookkeeper in a manufacturing company. My responsibilities included accounts payable, accounts receivable, and monthly financial reporting.”

2. What have you done recently to become a better bookkeeper?

This question assesses the candidate’s commitment to professional development.

Sample answer:

“I recently completed a course on advanced Excel functions to improve my data analysis skills, which has made me more efficient in my work.”

3. How do you stay updated on regulatory changes that impact your work?

This question evaluates the candidate’s awareness of the ever-changing financial regulations and how they keep themselves updated.

Sample answer:

“I subscribe to industry newsletters and follow relevant financial news. I also attend webinars to stay updated on regulatory changes.”

4. What sort of financial reports were you responsible for preparing?

This question aims to understand the candidate’s experience with financial reporting.

Sample answer:

“I was responsible for preparing monthly income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements.”

5. Which bookkeeping systems are you familiar with?

This question assesses the candidate’s familiarity with different bookkeeping systems.

Sample answer:

“I am proficient in QuickBooks and have some experience with Zoho Books.”

6. How would you rate your computer skills?

This question gauges the candidate’s computer literacy, which is essential for modern bookkeeping.

Sample answer:

“I would rate my computer skills as excellent. I am comfortable using various accounting software and Microsoft Office applications.”

7. As a bookkeeper, how do you avoid errors in your work?

This question aims to understand the candidate’s attention to detail and their methods for ensuring accuracy.

Sample answer:

“I always double-check my entries and reconcile accounts at the end of each day. I also use error-detection features in accounting software.”

8. Explain the balance sheet equation.

This question tests the candidate’s understanding of basic accounting principles.

Sample answer:

“The balance sheet equation is Assets = Liabilities + Equity. It ensures that the company’s books are balanced.”

9. The ledger is off by $0.80. What process would you use to find the error?

This question assesses the candidate’s problem-solving skills in a practical, job-related context.

Sample answer:

“I would start by reviewing the most recent transactions, then work my way backward to identify any discrepancies that could have led to the error.”

10. How would you record an insurance premium using the accrual accounting method versus the cost accounting method?

This question evaluates the candidate’s understanding of different accounting methods.

Sample answer:

“In accrual accounting, I would record the insurance premium as an expense when incurred, regardless of payment. In cost accounting, I would record it only when the payment is made.”

What does a good bookkeeper candidate look like?

A strong bookkeeper candidate should have a solid understanding of accounting principles, be detail-oriented, and have excellent computer skills. They should also be committed to continuous learning and staying updated on industry changes.



Bookkeeper Interview Questions

On paper, there’s a few things that may give some Bookkeeper candidates an edge over the others. Professional certification from the National Association of Certified Public Bookkeepers (NACPB) or the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers generally means that your candidates’ knowledge and skills are current. Being a member of a professional bookkeeping association is also a strong indicator of a candidate’s commitment to their career.

Once you’ve selected your top candidates, use the interview process to evaluate hard skills. The interview questions below are written to verify that candidates can perform basic accounting tasks such as processing accounts payable and receivable, reconciling bank statements, checking your books for errors, and using bookkeeping tools such as QuickBooks. In many cases, relevant experience trumps duration of experience. For best results, add questions that refer to accounting practices specific to your industry. You may even want to include a short skills test in your hiring process.

The interview process is also a great opportunity to assess problem-solving skills, communication skills, and a mindset of continual learning, all traits of excellent bookkeepers. Keep an eye out for candidates who can explain their thought processes clearly and concisely. It’s also a good sign when candidates contribute smart, spontaneous questions of their own to your conversation.

Let’s summarize some of the questions and add a few more divided into specific types.

Operational and Situational questions

  • Talk about your previous work experience as a bookkeeper.
  • What have you done recently to become a better bookkeeper?
  • How do you stay updated on regulatory changes that impact on your work?
  • What sort of financial reports were you responsible for preparing?
  • Which bookkeeping systems are you familiar with?
  • How would you rate your computer skills?
  • As a bookkeeper, how do you avoid errors in your work?
  • Explain the balance sheet equation.
  • The ledger is off by $0.80. What process would you use to find the error?
  • How would you record an insurance premium using the accrual accounting method versus the cost accounting method?
  • What process would you use to prepare and process invoices?
  • How have you contributed to cost savings or profits in your department?
  • How often did you interact with vendors and clients?
  • Have you faced any ethical dilemmas in your work? How did you handle it?
  • Recall a time you worked with your team to complete a complex project under a deadline.

 

Frequently asked questions

Ready to fine-tune this interview kit?
Regenerate with AI

Jump to section

    Let's grow together

    Explore our full platform with a 15-day free trial.
    Post jobs, get candidates and onboard employees all in one place.

    Start a free trial