10 good staff auditor interview questions
- What would you do if a client asked you to cover up fraud?
- How would you present your suggestions to reduce a client’s costs?
- If you suspected that a company was exposed to a major financial risk, what risk management procedures would you employ?
- What accounting or audit software do you use?
- What are some key metrics you monitor to check a company’s financial status?
- What industries and business types do you have the most experience with?
- What are the most effective methods to estimate bad debt?
- How do you check your work for accuracy? (e.g. in reports and spreadsheets)
- Describe a time your attention to detail saved you from making a mistake at work (e.g. noticing numerical errors on audit documents.)
- How do you prioritize work when you have to conduct audits for multiple clients on a deadline?
Here are 10 essential interview questions and sample answers to help identify the best candidates for this role.
1. What would you do if a client asked you to cover up fraud?
This question evaluates the candidate’s ethical stance and commitment to upholding financial integrity.
“I would firmly decline the request and explain the legal and ethical implications of covering up fraud. It’s essential to maintain professional integrity.”
2. How would you present your suggestions to reduce a client’s costs?
This question assesses the candidate’s ability to communicate financial insights effectively.
“I’d prepare a detailed report highlighting areas of excessive spending, provide data-driven recommendations, and present them using clear visuals and concise explanations.”
3. If you suspected that a company was exposed to a major financial risk, what risk management procedures would you employ?
This question tests the candidate’s knowledge of risk management and their proactive approach.
“I’d first conduct a thorough financial analysis to confirm the risk, then communicate my findings to senior management, and recommend mitigation strategies.”
4. What accounting or audit software do you use?
Understanding the tools a candidate is familiar with can gauge their technical proficiency.
“I’ve extensively used QuickBooks and ACL for auditing purposes. I’m also familiar with SAP and Oracle Financial Services Analytical Applications.”
5. What are some key metrics you monitor to check a company’s financial status?
This question delves into the candidate’s analytical skills and their understanding of financial health indicators.
“I monitor metrics like liquidity ratios, debt-to-equity ratio, net profit margin, and return on assets to gauge a company’s financial health.”
6. What industries and business types do you have the most experience with?
Industry-specific experience can be invaluable for an auditor.
“I’ve primarily worked with manufacturing and retail sectors, but I’ve also audited tech startups and non-profits.”
7. What are the most effective methods to estimate bad debt?
Bad debt estimation is crucial for financial forecasting. This question tests their expertise in this area.
“I typically use the aging of accounts receivable method and the percentage of sales method, depending on the company’s historical data and industry standards.”
8. How do you check your work for accuracy? (e.g. in reports and spreadsheets)
Accuracy is paramount in auditing. This question assesses their attention to detail.
“I use built-in audit tools in software, double-check my calculations, and often have a peer review my work.”
9. Describe a time your attention to detail saved you from making a mistake at work (e.g. noticing numerical errors on audit documents.)
This behavioral question provides insights into the candidate’s meticulousness.
“Once, while reviewing a financial statement, I noticed minor discrepancies that hinted at a larger error. Upon deeper investigation, we uncovered a significant oversight that would have impacted the company’s tax liabilities.”
10. How do you prioritize work when you have to conduct audits for multiple clients on a deadline?
Time management and prioritization are key skills for auditors. This question evaluates their approach.
“I create a detailed audit schedule, allocate tasks based on complexity, and set interim deadlines. Regular progress checks ensure I stay on track.”
What does a good Staff Auditor candidate look like?
A competent Staff Auditor possesses a blend of analytical prowess, keen attention to detail, and a strong ethical foundation. They should be adept at using modern auditing tools, understanding complex financial regulations, and communicating their findings effectively.
Beware of candidates who lack a structured approach to auditing, have limited experience with modern audit tools, or struggle to articulate complex financial concepts clearly.
Staff Auditors evaluate financial statements and ensure compliance with relevant regulations and generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP.) They also conduct risk control across businesses/departments and report on their financial health.
Qualified candidates will have an Accounting degree along with relevant work experience (e.g. as an External Auditor.) Additional qualification, like a CPA license, is a plus. Candidates should also be familiar with external auditing practices to prevent fraud (e.g. Sarbanes-Oxley Act.)
For this role, it’s best to hire people with an attention to detail, as they are more likely to spot numerical errors and reporting discrepancies. Candidates should also be critical thinkers who can effectively evaluate business risks. Keep an eye out for candidates with communication skills, who’ll be able to contact clients in a professional manner.
Let’s summarize some of the questions and add a few more divided into specific types.