6 Accounts Receivable Interview Questions (With Answers)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 4 May 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
The role of an accounts receivable professional requires data literacy and excellent mathematical and analytical skills. During an interview for this position, the recruiter or hiring manager may want to assess your accounting knowledge and familiarity with common accounting software and tools. Preparing for such questions in advance can improve your chances of succeeding in the interview. In this article, we outline six commonly asked accounts receivable interview questions, share their example answers and explain the qualifications and skills required to become an accounts receivable professional.
Common accounts receivable interview questions
Hiring managers can ask different types of accounts receivable interview questions to evaluate your data processing skills, accounting expertise, finance knowledge, technical experience and expertise in relevant tools and accounting software. Here are some frequently asked questions that you may expect during an accounts receivable interview, along with sample answers to help you prepare better:
1. Do you have experience with using any accounting software?
The recruiter may want to know if you can work with common accounting tools and software solutions. Having relevant experience in this area would mean a shorter training period. Most commercial software solutions have similar features, whereas internal and customised tools may take longer to learn. If you lack experience as an accounts receivable clerk, you can complete a short-term certification course to learn some popular accounting software tools.
Example answer: "Yes, in my previous role with a small tech startup, one of my duties was to collect payments from customers and keep a record of those payments. For this, we used Zoho Books, which is a popular online accounting tool. I worked with this software for one year during my tenure with the company and can work on most of their modules."
2. What do you think are the advantages of this accounting software that you have used?
The hiring manager may want to know if you can identify the pros and cons of a tool or software. If you can explain these aspects of a software solution satisfactorily, it can help show that you have some experience with using that tool. This can also help to highlight your analytical abilities. As you identify and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a tool in your response, you can also suggest measures for improvement or innovation.
Example answer: "I know there are many great accounting tools in the market, and each one comes with a significant advantage. But I found Zoho Books really easy to use and navigate. It provides an end-to-end accounting solution and is also tax-compliant. One of its best features is that we can integrate it with many other applications for better tracking and analytical reporting. I think the only area where it requires improvements is timely updates."
3. What information would you include in an invoice for services rendered?
Invoices are important documents that contain essential information regarding the client, the billing entity and the service provided. It is crucial to ensure that all the details of an invoice are correct and complete, to prevent discrepancies and late payments. Through this question, the recruiter wants to know how much attention you pay to details and whether you can fulfil your duties adequately as an accounts receivable clerk.
Example answer: "An invoice for services rendered includes essential information pertaining to the client, the company and other payment-related information. These include names and contact details, registration or tax number, issuing and due dates, invoice number, applicable taxes, accepted payment methods and the total amount due. The part of the invoice that requires focus and attention to detail is the information related to the services rendered. Services are not physical products, and so it is important to define them clearly in the invoice to avoid any differences in interpretation or confusion."
4. What is the purpose of performing a bank reconciliation?
While working as an accounts receivable clerk, it is essential to know the purpose of the accounting activities and tasks that you perform. This can confirm that you are capable of meeting the goals and expectations associated with your position. This process ensures that there is no difference in different amount balances. In your response, you can explain the significance of this accounting method.
Example answer: "Often, there are differences between the closing book balance and bank balance because of delays in payments or encashment. It is crucial to perform bank reconciliation periodically to ensure that there are no negative repercussions because of such discrepancies. Such difference, if unnoticed for a long time, can result in compliance issues as well."
5. What training have you received for accounting?
Completing any accountant training or related courses can help you show your potential employers that you are serious about this profession. This can be especially helpful if you lack industry experience in this domain. In your answer, highlight some of the courses you completed. If you have any internship experience, you can also mention that.
Example answer: "I have completed a bachelor's degree in finance and have also done a three-month accounting diploma. Apart from the basics of accounting, I also learnt the purpose of accounts in accounting, journal entries, ledger accounts, cash-books and other subsidiary books. During the diploma course, I also worked with popular accounting software tools."
6. Can you describe the journal entry process?
Companies update their accounting records with accounting transactions for creating audit reports and financial statements. With this question, the interviewer may want to check if you are familiar with the journal entry process and can ensure that the records are clean and free of errors.
Example answer: "Making a journal entry involves identifying the accounts that are going to be affected. This depends on whether it is a debit or credit entry, expense or cash account. Once this is clear, we can start preparing the journal entry in the correct account. It is also important to make sure that the information being entered is accurate. This often involves double-checking the dates, account names, account numbers and the debit or credit amount."
Qualifications required for accounts receivable professional
Here are some qualifications that recruiters may expect candidates to have for an accounting role:
Bachelor's degree: Having a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, business or a related subject is usually beneficial in such roles. It shows the recruiter that you are serious about this career and have the fundamental knowledge and skills required to succeed.
Relevant work experience: While professional experience may not be necessary for an entry-level position, having one to three years of work experience can make you a more appealing candidate. Any work experience with numbers, audits, data, finance or accounting can be relevant.
Computer literacy: As an accountant, you can do most of your work on the computer and use various tools and bookkeeping software. Having sufficient knowledge of computers and such tools can significantly enhance your ability to perform well in this role.
Skills required for accounting professionals
A combination of technical, accounting and soft skills can help you succeed in this role. Here are some important skills for an accounts receivable professional:
Mathematical ability: As an accounting professional, it is most important to be good with numbers, mathematical formulas and calculation. If you are good at mental math, doing quick calculations and deriving quick conclusions from numerical data, you can do well as an accounts receivable clerk.
Ability to prioritise: In this role, you often collect payments that are pending or overdue. Knowing which payments to retrieve first based on the time, amount and account can help you perform better.
Attention to detail: It is important to pay attention to detail regarding account details, payments and transactions, as minor errors can cause costly mistakes.
Communication skills: Accounts receivable clerks require excellent communication skills to interact with different stakeholders, prepare reports and present data and figures for senior leaders.
Time management skills: Collecting payments, tallying accounts and verifying transactions can be time-consuming. Knowing how to manage time well and reminding customers of the pending payments can ensure that the company receives their payments on time.
Proficiency in using Microsoft Office tools: As an accounts receivable clerk, you may often work with Office tools such as Microsoft Excel, Word and Outlook. You may require these for creating invoices, storing, organising and analysing data.
Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
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