TAX Accountant Interview Preparation Guide
Download PDF

TAX Accountant related Frequently Asked Questions by expert members with job experience as TAX Accountant. These questions and answers will help you strengthen your technical skills, prepare for the new job interview and quickly revise your concepts

40 TAX Accountant Questions and Answers:

1 :: Tell us are you familiar with current accounting standards?

I am familiar with both IAS and IFRS standards. I studied both accounting standards in college and relied heavily on on IAS during my last job to make sure all financial reporting was correct. I have access to both IAS and IFRS online and stay abreast of the most recent updates and changes in accounting standards.

2 :: Tell us how hands-on were you?

At a bigger organization, your responsibility may be a bit more siloed, whereas at a smaller company you probably have to wear many hats, and there are not as many checks and balances compared to a big company

3 :: Explain me a time when you helped to reduce costs at a previous accounting job?

All accountants should be able to reduce costs. That’s a major part of why employers hire them. Describe a time when you reduced costs unexpectedly through your personal innovation or diligence. Have the financial details of your success available in case your interviewer asks you to elaborate.

4 :: Tell us what kinds of clients do you work with?

You want to make sure your accountant understands your type of business. A restaurant will have certain rules to follow for wages and tips, for instance, just as a construction business must deal with issues related to contract workers and a real estate development firm will have certain criteria about how income is reported. You need an accountant who has worked with other businesses like yours and knows the ins and outs of the industry.

5 :: Tell me what makes you the best candidate for this position as TAX Accountant?

I have over five years experience in multi-state payroll tax administration and I have led my team to process over 35-thousand W2s and 1099 forms annually. I bring high-attention to detail, data analysis skills and experience with researching changes to tax and payroll legislation. Typically, employers use a third party vendor for printing payroll, which limits some experience. I did everything in house, timesheet to the printing of the checks.

6 :: Please explain what is the significance of reconciliation in accounting?

Reconciliation is a must when it comes to accounting. One set of record should be matched/reconciled with another so that records are updated on timely basis. It also helps to verify if any incorrect entry/amount is posted in the books. Some basic types of reconciliations which are very essential are bank reconciliations (bank ledger in our books vis-a-vis bank statement), vendor reconciliation (vendor ledger in our books vis-a-vis our ledger in vendor’s books), inter-company reconciliations, etc. Internal reconciliations should also be done. These include quantity reconciliation of closing stock, cost of goods sold reconciliations, etc.

7 :: Tell me the difference between working capital and available cash/bank balance?

The formula to calculate working capital = Current Assets – Current Liabilities. This looks fairly simple but working capital management practically involves – debt management, inventory management, revenue collection, short-term investments, planning payments as per the net working capital inflow.

8 :: Tell us why do you want to become an accountant?

Why do you want to become an accountant, why did you choose this career path or why accountancy are common questions an interviewer will use to start off an interview. They're pretty straightforward questions that require straightward answers, but don't underestimate their importance.

9 :: Explain me how do you feel about creative accounting?

In my book, a good accountant is a creative accountant. You could hire any number of professionals to take care of bookkeeping and generate financial reports. However, a good accountant is able to find ways to reduce expenses, restructure debt, find legal loop holes in the system, and improve efficiency. A good accountant knows how to play the game without compromising their integrity or the reputation of the company they work for. That's the type of accountant I am.

10 :: Can you tell us what is your experience with developing business metrics?

By keeping your response brief, it can open up the conversation to be more like a dialogue about the employer’s business metrics rather than a Q&A,

11 :: Tell us a time when you had to work exceptionally hard to provide great service to a customer or client. What did you do and what was the outcome?

Share information on what you did to provide service and how you accomplished it. Make it clear that you’re willing to go the extra mile to get the job done.

12 :: Tell us what's your experience with the IRS?

Often people will tell you it's important to hire a certified public accountant rather than an EA, or enrolled agent, because CPAs have more comprehensive certification requirements. While CPAs are state-certified and have training in such areas as financial planning and bookkeeping, EAs are certified by the federal government specifically to handle taxes and are often former IRS agents with extensive experience dealing with audits. "They've been in the belly of the beast. They may have more inside knowledge of how the IRS really works,

13 :: Please explain what are Accounting Standards?

Currently, GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) need to be followed by all companies which need to adhere to the rules of the U.S SEC (Securities & Exchange Commission). These are issued/modified by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). On the other hand, IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) are also a set of Accounting Standards which are issued by another body known as FASB. There are statutory requirements in each country to follow either of these Accounting standards depending upon the country and their laws.

14 :: Please explain what according to you is the importance of budget in any organization?

The budget sets the tone for the organization i.e. what is the approach to the management for the coming year? Is the management planning to be aggressive with its sales targets or planning to cut down costs or wants to maintain a steady pace just like last year? It is also very important to keep a check on expenses and create a culture where employees start taking responsibility. Employees tend to be careful with their approach as they know that all current year numbers will be tracked and then compared to the budgets allotted to them and their team.

15 :: Tell us what do you consider to be the biggest challenge facing the accounting profession today?

There is no one right answer to this question, but you should be able to demonstrate knowledge of and commitment to your profession by having a well-thought-out and intelligent answer.

The interviewer wants to see that you are familiar with the industry and its challenges and that you care about your job enough to have an opinion.

16 :: Tell us a time when you faced a particularly demanding deadline to prepare a financial statement or report. How did you react? What was the result?

If you don’t have a professional example to share, a relevant experience from college might work. Regardless of the example you pick, do not exaggerate or over-dramatize for effect.

Your interviewer will notice and might decide that you’re being less than honest.

17 :: Tell me which accounting software / ERP, according to you, should be used for maintaining the Accounts of an MNC?

It is important to make yourself clear about the size of the organization and then correlate the usage of the ERP with the size. This is required because if you are interviewing for a start-up where survival is the focus rather than the effectiveness of controls, they will prefer using Tally which will be very cost efficient for them.

18 :: Do you know what are expense provisions? Is it important to book these provisions?

Very simply put, provision is an amount of profit which is put aside on the books to cover an expected / potential expense in the foreseeable future. In day-to-day accounting, there is a high chance that expenses already incurred in the given period may not be booked. The reasons for this could vary e.g. the vendor is yet to raise an invoice, or let’s say that the invoice is raised once in 6 months only and at the year end we have already availed services of 3 months. A provision should be created in the books for these expenses which have already been availed by us. Expenses incurred in a given financial year should be booked in the same year to maintain the true and fair view of the financial statements. But if can’t book expenses for any reason, then provision is the next best thing to do.

19 :: Tell us what's the most challenging accounting task you've have to solve?

Having just graduated from college, I haven't faced a lot of tough accounting tasks in the real world. However, I'm graduating at the top of my class from the University School of Accounting, which is ranked one of the top schools in the nation. And I'm confident I can solve any accounting problem as well, if not better, than any of my fellow students--and probably as well as most first or second year associates. This last summer I worked as an intern with Ernst & Young on their tax consulting team based in San Francisco. Over 200 students applied for the internership. Myself and one other student were selected to participate. While working with Ernst & Young I was assigned several challenging accounting tasks including one where I was required to make recommendations for restructing the debt of a multi-national corporation...

20 :: Please explain about time when you reduced costs for a previous employer?

I haven't had much experience reducing cost for corporations, but I have worked on several high profile case studies where cost reduction was a key element of the financial strategy. In a recent case study that dealt with a struggling KFC franchise I was able to identify several cost reducing strategies that helped minimize expenses, reduce equipment financing costs, and decrease the overall burden of the companies debt through restructuring.