Interview Questions for Accountants.

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Are you preparing for an accounting interview? There is a lot of competition in the job market nowadays for the position of accounting and you need to be well-prepared. This article will list some of the common accounting interview questions along with answers to help you ace it.

Accounting is an important part of any organisation and they usually hire someone who has good knowledge in the field. It is popularly known as the language of business and is core to the growth of an organisation.

Interviewers are likely to cover all the basics of accounting and challenging questions as well. Here are some of the top accounting interview questions which are generally expected:

Q1. How many types of business transactions are there in accounting?

Ans.There are two types of business transactions in accounting – revenue and capital.

Q2. Explain real and nominal accounts with examples.

Ans. A real account is an account of assets and liabilities. E.g. land account, building account, etc.

A nominal account is an account of income and expenses. E.g. salary account, wages account, etc.

Q3. Which accounting platforms have you worked on? Which one do you prefer the most?

Ans. Describe the accounting platforms (QuickBooks, Microsoft Dynamic GP, etc.) that you have worked with and which one you liked the most.

Q4. What is double entry bookkeeping? What are the rules associated with it?

Ans. Double entry bookkeeping is an accounting principle where every debit has a corresponding credit. Thus, the total debit is always equal to the total credit. In this system, when one account is debited then another account gets credited at the same time.

Q5. What is working capital?

Ans. Working capital is calculated as current assets minus current liabilities, which is used in day-to-day trading.

Q6. How do you maintain accounting accuracy?

Ans. Maintaining the accuracy of an organisation’s accounting is an important activity as it can result in a huge loss. There are various tools and resources which can be used to limit the potential for errors to creep in and address quickly if any errors do arise.

Q7. What is TDS? Where do you show TDS on a balance sheet?

Ans. TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) is a concept aimed at collecting tax at every source of income. In a balance sheet, it is shown in the assets section, right after the head current asset.

Q8. What is the difference between ‘accounts payable (AP)’ and ‘accounts receivable (AR)’?


Accounts PayableAccounts Receivable
The amount a company owes because it purchased goods or services on credit from a vendor or supplier.The amount a company has right to collect because it sold goods or services on credit to a customer.
Accounts payable are liabilities.Accounts receivable are assets.

Q9. What is the difference between a trial balance and a balance sheet?

Ans. A trial balance is the list of all balances in a ledger account and is used to check the arithmetical accuracy in recording and posting.  A balance sheet, on the other hand, is a statement which shows the assets, liabilities and equity of a company and is used to ascertain its financial position on a particular date.

Q10. Is it possible for a company to show positive cash flows and still be in grave trouble?

Ans. Yes, if it shows an unsustainable improvement in working capital and involves lack of revenue going forward in the pipeline.

Q11. What are the common errors in accounting?

Ans. The common errors in accounting are – errors of omission, errors of commission, errors of principle and compensating error.

Q12. What is the difference between inactive and dormant accounts?

Ans. Inactive accounts are which that are closed and will not be used in the future. Dormant accounts are not currently functional but may be used in the future.

Q13. Are you familiar with the Accounting Standards? How many accounting standards are there in India?

Ans. There are currently 41 Accounting Standards which are usually issued by the Accounting Standards Board (ASB).

Q14. Why do you think Accounting Standards are mandatory?

Ans. Accounting Standards play an important role in preparing a good and accurate financial report. It ensures reliability and relevance in financial reports.

Q15. Have you ever helped your company to save money or use their available financial resources effectively?

Ans. Explain if you have proposed an idea which has affected the company’s finances positively. Tell how you have optimised the process and how you came to such a decision through historical data reviewing.

Q16. If our organisation has three bank accounts for processing payments, what is the minimum number of ledgers it needs?

Ans.Three ledgers for each account for proper accounting and reconciliation processes.

Q17. What are some of the ways to estimate bad debts?

Ans. Some of the popular ways of estimating bad debts are – percentage of outstanding accounts, aging analysis and percentage of credit sales.

Q18. What is a deferred tax liability?

Ans. Deferred tax liability signifies that a company may pay more tax in the future due to current transactions.

Q19. What is a deferred tax asset and how is the value created?

Ans. A deferred tax asset is when the tax amount has been paid or has been carried forward but has still not been recognized in the income statement. The value is created by taking the difference between the book income and the taxable income

Q20. What is the equation for Acid-Test Ratio in accounting?

Ans. The equation for Acid-Test Ratio in accounting

Acid-Test Ratio = (Current assets – Inventory) / Current Liabilities

Q21. What are the popular accounting applications?

Ans. I am familiar with accounting apps like CGram Software, Financial Force, Microsoft Accounting Professional, Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Small Business Financials.

Q22. Which accounting application you like the most and why?

Ans. I find Microsoft Accounting Professional the best as it offers reliable and fast processing of accounting transactions, thereby saving time and increasing proficiency.

Q23. Tell me something about GST.

Ans. GST is the acronym for Goods and Service Tax and it is an indirect tax other than the income tax. The seller charges it to the customer on the value of the service or product sold. The seller then deposits the GST to the government.

Q24. What is bank reconciliation statement? 

Ans. A bank reconciliation statement or BRS is a form that allows individuals to compare their personal bank account records to that of the bank. BRS is prepared when the passbook balance differs from the cashbook balance.

Q25. What is tally accounting?

Ans. It is an accounting software used by small business and shops to manage routine accounting transactions.

Q26. What are fictitious assets?

Ans. Fictitious assets are intangible assets and their benefit is derived over a longer period, for example good will, rights, deferred revenue expenditure, miscellaneous expenses, preliminary expenses, and accumulated loss, among others.

Q27. Can you explain the basic accounting equation?

Ans. Yes, since we know that accounting is all about assets, liabilities and capital. Hence, its equation can be summarized as:

Assets = Liabilities + Owners Equity.

Q28. What are the different branches of accounting?

Ans. There are three branches of accounting –

  • Financial Accounting
  • Management Accounting
  • Cost Accounting

Q29. What is the meaning of purchase return in accounting?

Ans. As the name suggests, purchase return is a transaction where the buyer of merchandise, inventory or fixed assets returns these defective or unsatisfactory products back to the seller.

Q30.  What is retail banking?

Ans. Retail banking or consumer banking involves a retail client, where individual customers use local branches of larger commercial banks.

Q31. What is offset accounting?

Ans. Offset accounting is a process of canceling an accounting entry with an equal but opposite entry. It decreases the net amount of another account to create a net balance.

Q32. What are trade bills?

Ans. These are the bills generated against each transaction. It is a part of documentation procedure for all types of transactions.

Q33. What is fair value accounting?

Ans. As per fair value accounting, a company has to show the value of all of its assets in terms of price on balance sheet on which that asset can be sold.

Q34. What happens to the cash, which is collected from the customers but not recorded as revenue?

Ans. It goes into “Deferred Revenue” on the balance sheet as a liability if no revenue has been earned yet.

Q35.  Why did you choose accounting as your profession?

Ans. I was good at numbers and accounting since my school days, but it was during my 10+2; I decided to adopt this field as a profession and did Bachelor’s and then Master’s in Accounting.

Q36. What is a MIS report, have you prepared any? 

Ans. Yes, I have prepared MIS reports. It is an acronym for Management Information System, and this report is generated to identify the efficiency of any department of a company.

Q37.  What is a company’s payable cycle?

Ans. It is the time required by the company to pay all its account payables.

Q38.  What is Scrap Value in accounting?

Ans. Scrap Value is the residual value of an asset that any asset holds after its estimated lifetime.

Q39. Which account is responsible for interest payable?

Ans. Current liability account is responsible for interest payable.

Going through the above question and answers will probably have given you an idea of the type of questions that are asked during an accounting interview. These will also help you to freshen up your accounting knowledge.

Be prepared for some specific accounting interview questions too. Take a look.

Q40.  What is departmental accounting system?

It is a type of accounting information system that records all the financial information and activities of the department. This financial information can be used to check profitability and efficiency of every department.

Q41.  What is a perpetual inventory system?

Perpetual inventory is a methodology that involves recording the sale or purchase of inventory immediately using enterprise asset management software and computerized point-of-sale systems.

Q42.  What do you mean when you say that you have negative working capital?

When a company’s current liabilities exceed its current assets, it is named as negative working capital. It is a common terminology in certain industries like retail and restaurant businesses.

Q43.  What are the major constraints that can hamper relevant and reliable financial statements?

  1. Delay, which leads to irrelevant information
  2. No balance between costs and benefits
  3. No balance between the qualitative characteristics
  4. No clarity in true and fair view presentation

Q44.  Tell me the golden rules of accounting, just mention the statements.

There are three golden rules of accounting –

  • Debit the receiver, credit the giver
  • Debit what comes in, credit what goes out
  • Debit all expenses and losses, credit all incomes and gains

Q45. Please elaborate, what this statement means – “Debit the Receiver, Credit the Giver”.

So, this is among the most frequently asked accounting interview questions. Your reply should be –

This principle is used in the case of personal accounts. If a person is giving any amount either in cash or by cheque to an organization, it becomes an inflow and thus that person must be credited in the books of accounts. Therefore, when an organization received the money or cheque, it needs to credit the person who is paying and debit the organization.

Q46. Any idea what is ICAI?

Of course, it is the abbreviation of Institute of Chartered Accountants in India.

Q47. What do you mean by premises?

Premises refer to fixed assets presented on a balance sheet.

Q48. What is Executive Accounting?

Executive Accounting is specifically designed for the service-based businesses. This term is popular in finance, advertising and public relations businesses.

Q49. What are bills receivable?

Bills receivable are the proceeds or payments, which a merchant or a company will be receiving from its customers.

When replying to accounting interview questions, be very specific and don’t speak up generic stuff.

Q50. Define Balancing.

Balancing means equating or balancing both debit and credit sides of a T-account.

Q51. What is Marginal Cost?

If there is any increase in the number of units produced, the total cost of output is changed. Marginal cost is that change in the cost of an additional unit of output.

Q52. What are Trade Bills?

Every transaction is documented and the trade bills are those documents, generated against each transaction.

Q53. Can you define the term Material Facts?

Yes, these are the documents such as vouchers, bills, debit and credit notes, or receipts, etc. They serve as the base of every account book.

Q54. What are the different stages of Double Entry System?

There are three different stages of double entry system, which are –

  • Recording transactions in the accounting systems
  • Preparing a trial balance in respective ledger accounts
  • Preparing final documents and closing the books of accounts

Q55. What are the disadvantages of a Double Entry System?

  • Difficult to find the errors, especially when transactions are recorded in the books
  • In case of any error, extensive clerical labor is required
  • You can’t disclose all the information of a transaction, which is not properly recorded in the journal

Q56. What is Assets Minus Liabilities?

It stands for an owner’s or a stockholder’s equity.

Q57. What is GAAP?

GAAP is the abbreviation for Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956.  It is a cluster of accounting standards and common industry usage, and it is used by organizations to:

  • Record their financial information properly
  • Summarize accounting records into financial statements
  • Disclose information whenever required

Q58. Can you tell me some examples for liability accounts?

Some popular examples of liability accounts are –

  • Accounts Payable
  • Accrued Expenses
  • Bonds Payable
  • Customer Deposits
  • Income Taxes Payable
  • Installment Loans Payable
  • Interest Payable
  • Lawsuits Payable
  • Mortgage Loans Payable
  • Notes Payable
  • Salaries Payable
  • Warranty Liability

Q59. What is the difference between accounts receivable and deferred revenue?

Accounts receivable is yet-to be received cash from products or services that are already sold/delivered to customers, whereas, deferred revenue is the cash received from customers for services or goods not yet delivered.

Q60. Where should you record a cash discount in journal entry?

A cash discount should be recorded as a reduction of expense in cash account.

Going through the above accounting interview questions will probably have given you an idea of the type of accounting interview questions that are asked during an accounting interview. These will also help you to freshen up your accounting knowledge.

Naukri Learning offers a variety of professional online accounting certifications and courses, which will make you an expert and improve your chances of acing any accounting interview that you go for.

About the Author

Hasibuddin Ahmed

Hasibuddin Ahmed

Hasib is a professional writer associated with He has written a number of articles related to technology, marketing, and career on various blogs and websites. As an amateur career guru, he often imparts nuggets of knowledge related to leadership and motivation. He is also an avid reader and passionate about the beautiful game of football.

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