Accounting Interview Questions

Accounting plays a crucial role in any business by accurately recording and reporting financial transactions. Regardless of whether you are a fresh graduate or an experienced professional, the challenge of preparing for an accounting interview is universal. This comprehensive guide is designed to equip you with an understanding of the most common accounting interview questions. Each question is followed by a detailed answer, supplemented with examples or tips. This approach will enable you to understand and articulate your responses more effectively.

Boost your confidence for your upcoming accounting interview with our detailed guide. We cover the top 31 accounting interview questions, providing in-depth answers, practical examples, and expert tips. Prepare to impress your interviewer and land your dream job!

Table of Contents

Top 31 Accounting Interview Questions & Answers

1. What is Financial Accounting?

Financial accounting involves recording, summarizing, and reporting a multitude of transactions from business operations over a specific period. The preparation of financial statements, including the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement, summarizes these transactions. These statements record the company’s operating performance over a designated period.

2. What Skills are Required for an Accountant Role?

An accountant needs a variety of skills to be successful. Some of these include:

  1. Attention to detail: Accountants must be able to identify and correct errors in complex financial reports.
  2. Mathematical proficiency: Basic mathematical skills are essential in this role.
  3. Technological skills: Familiarity with accounting software and platforms is necessary in today’s digital age.
  4. Analytical skills: Accountants must be able to analyze numbers and figures quickly.

3. Can You Name Some Accounting Software?

There are numerous accounting software available today. Some of the most popular ones include:

  • QuickBooks
  • Xero
  • Sage
  • Zoho Books
  • FreshBooks

4. How Many Types of Business Transactions are There in Accounting?

In accounting, business transactions can be broadly classified into two types:

  1. Revenue Transactions: These are transactions that increase the income of the company.
  2. Capital Transactions: These are transactions related to the owner’s equity and long-term liabilities.

5. What is TDS and Where is it Shown in the Balance Sheet?

In India, Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) serves as a method for collecting income tax. The deduction occurs at the time of income generation, not at a later date. The balance sheet displays TDS under the ‘Current Assets’ heading.

6. What is Tally Accounting?

Tally is a popular accounting software used by small and medium businesses. It provides comprehensive solutions for managing accounting, inventory, and tax matters.

7. Can You Explain Departmental Accounting?

In departmental accounting, an organization maintains separate accounts for each department. This approach enables more detailed financial analysis and supports better decision-making.

8. What are the Abbreviations for the Accounting Terms Debit and Credit?

In accounting, the abbreviation for debit is “dr”, and for credit, it’s “cr”.

9. What is the Difference Between Inactive and Dormant Accounts?

An inactive account refers to an account that has been closed and won’t be used again. Conversely, a dormant account, while not in use currently, may undergo reactivation in the future.

10. What is Working Capital?

Working capital is a measure of a company’s operational liquidity. It is calculated as current assets minus current liabilities. It is used to gauge the short-term financial health of a company.

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11. How Do You Maintain Accounting Accuracy?

Maintaining accounting accuracy is crucial for the financial health of a company. This can be achieved through regular audits, using reliable accounting software, and by following a stringent set of internal controls.

12. Can You Differentiate Between Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable?

Accounts payable represents the amount a company owes its suppliers or vendors for received goods and services. Conversely, accounts receivable refers to the amount customers owe the company for provided goods or services.

13. What are Some Common Errors in Accounting?

Common errors in accounting include:

  1. Errors of omission occur when a transaction doesn’t make it into the books at all.
  2. Errors of commission happen when a transaction gets recorded, but the amount is incorrect.
  3. Errors of principle arise when a transaction ends up recorded in the wrong account.

14. Why are Accounting Standards Necessary?

Accounting standards are necessary to ensure consistency and comparability between financial statements of different companies. They provide a set of guidelines and rules for accounting of financial transactions.

15. What are Some of the Ways to Estimate Bad Debts?

Various methods, such as aging analysis, percentage of outstanding accounts, or percentage of credit sales, can estimate bad debts.

16. What is a Deferred Tax Asset and How is its Value Created?

A deferred tax asset arises when a business has paid more taxes to the government than they have shown as an expense in their income statement in a particular period. The value is created by the difference between the tax paid and the tax expense shown in the income statement.

17. What is the Equation for the Acid-Test Ratio in Accounting?

The acid-test ratio, also known as the quick ratio, measures a company’s ability to meet its short-term obligations with its most liquid assets. It is calculated as (Current Assets – Inventory) / Current Liabilities.

Some popular accounting applications include:

  • Microsoft Dynamics
  • SAP
  • Oracle Financials
  • NetSuite
  • Intuit QuickBooks

19. Can You Explain the Basic Accounting Equation?

The basic accounting equation is Assets = Liabilities + Owner’s Equity. This equation represents the relationship between the assets, liabilities, and owner’s equity of a business.

20. What are the Different Branches of Accounting?

The three main branches of accounting are:

  1. Financial Accounting: It involves recording and classifying business transactions, and preparing and presenting financial statements.
  2. Management Accounting: It involves the preparation of detailed reports and forecasts for managers inside the organization.
  3. Cost Accounting: It involves the recording, classification, analysis, and reporting of all costs incurred in a business.

21. What is Retail Banking?

Retail banking refers to the provision of services by a bank to individual consumers, rather than to companies or other banks. Services offered include savings and transactional accounts, mortgages, personal loans, debit cards, and credit cards.

22. What are Trade Bills?

Trade bills, also known as Bills of Exchange, are a kind of negotiable instrument that guarantee the payment of a specified amount of money, either on demand or at a set time.

23. What is Scrap Value in Accounting?

Scrap value, also known as salvage value or residual value, is the estimated value that an asset will have at the end of its useful life.

24. What are the Golden Rules of Accounting?

The three golden rules of accounting are:

  1. Debit what comes in, credit what goes away.
  2. Debit the receiver, credit the giver.
  3. Debit all expenses and losses, credit all incomes and gains.

25. What are Premises in Accounting?

In accounting, premises refer to a fixed asset, such as land and buildings, owned by a business.

26. What is Depreciation in Accounting?

Depreciation is the method of allocating the cost of a tangible asset over its useful life. Businesses depreciate long-term assets for both tax and accounting purposes. For instance, companies can take a tax deduction for the cost of the asset, meaning it reduces taxable income.

27. What is a Journal Entry in Accounting?

In accounting, a journal entry is a logging of transactions into accounting journal items. The journal entry has equal debit and credit amounts, and it can consist of multiple entries, but the debit and credit entries must balance.

28. What is a Ledger in Accounting?

In accounting, a ledger is a book that holds accounts where debits and credits from original entry books get posted. It serves as the final repository for all financial transactions and aids in the preparation of a company’s financial statements.

29. What is a Trial Balance in Accounting?

A trial balance is a bookkeeping worksheet in which the balances of all ledgers are compiled into debit and credit account column totals that are equal. A company prepares a trial balance periodically, usually at the end of every reporting period.

30. What is a Fiscal Year in Accounting?

A fiscal year is a one-year period that companies and governments use for financial reporting and budgeting. A fiscal year is most commonly used for accounting purposes to prepare financial statements.

31. What is the Difference Between Cash and Accrual Accounting?

The main difference between cash and accrual accounting lies in the timing of when revenue and expenses are recognized. The cash method is a more immediate recognition of revenue and expenses, while the accrual method focuses on anticipated revenue and expenses.

Interview Preparation Tips

Preparing for an accounting interview requires a clear understanding of accounting principles and practices. Here are some tips to help you prepare:

  1. Review the basics: Make sure you have a solid understanding of basic accounting principles and concepts.
  2. Practice problem-solving: Many accounting interviews will include problem-solving questions. Practice these to improve your analytical and problem-solving skills.
  3. Stay updated: Keep yourself updated with the latest developments in the field of accounting.
  4. Review the job description: It’s important to understand what the company seeks in a candidate. Tailor your responses to demonstrate how your skills and experiences align with their needs.
  1. Prepare examples: Be ready to provide examples of how you have used your skills in real-world situations.


While accounting interviews can pose a challenge, the right preparation can lead you to success. This guide provides you with a comprehensive set of questions that you might face in an accounting interview, along with detailed answers, examples, and tips. Remember, the key to acing an interview is understanding the concepts thoroughly and being able to apply them in real-world scenarios. Good luck with your interview preparation!

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Published by Sarah Samson

Sarah Samson is a professional career advisor and resume expert. She specializes in helping recent college graduates and mid-career professionals improve their resumes and format them for the modern job market. In addition, she has also been a contributor to several online publications.

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