21 Accounting Interview Questions To Ask

accounting discussion questions

The chief executive and founder of the shapewear company Spanx surprised employees with two first-class plane tickets and $10,000 each. Jordan Strauss, managing director in the Forensic Investigations & Intelligence Practice of Kroll, LLC, details the major risks of corruption existing in supply chains today, and offers tips on addressing them. Definition of Credit Sales As opposed to cash sales, credit sales allow the customer to pay the seller at a later date.

Email to contribute a question and get answers from our community of seasoned finance professionals. Generally speaking, however, attention to detail is a key component in accountancy, since accountants must be able to diagnose and correct subtle errors or discrepancies in a company’s accounts. The ability to think logically is also essential, to help with problem-solving.

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You might be asked that question in the interview, so you should be prepared with an answer. Keep in mind that employers are finding they must increase salaries to attract and retain skilled professionals. Of all the hard and soft skills you interview for, adaptability and a willingness to embrace new challenges may be two of the most critical ingredients for an accounting professional’s success. Answers should cover not only the failure in an accounting project but also offer a view into the mind of the candidate and how he or she might have learned something substantive as a result. As with the previous interview question, the answers to this inquiry will give you a hint as to the candidate’s critical thinking skills. It will also elicit a better picture of their leadership aptitude. Candidate answers should not be vague here; either they have direct experience with an ERP system or not.

One of the most pivotal decisions you will make when starting your enterprise is choosing your business structure. The entity you choose impacts taxes, liability, your control, and how to pay yourself from your business. I recorded a video for one of my online auditing courses to help our students with this skill. Studypool is not sponsored or endorsed by any college or university.

How To Create Your First Company Expense Policy

You must understand how accounting concepts work and be able to apply them. Accounting interview questions like this one can help bring to light how the applicant has approached a routine process with previous employers. For recent grads, this line of inquiry allows them to apply theoretical knowledge in venturing educated guesses, which could open a dialogue about how your company handles this issue. This is another basic question, but you could also present a few journal samples for the applicant to read and explain as a skills test.

  • There is no better way to learn how to do accounting than practicing accounting problems.
  • Manufacturers and industrial companies are subject to the loss of intellectual property or sabotage by disgruntled employees.
  • The hiring process for accounting roles is challenging, especially when you need to find, interview and hire skilled talent remotely.
  • Minimum thresholds for company sanctions that must be reached before paying out incentives to whistleblowers can also be effective in limiting frivolous tips.

The history of accounting has been around almost as long as money itself. Accounting history dates back to ancient civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Babylon. For example, during the Roman Empire, the government had detailed records of its finances.


He also purchased a $2.0 million cashier’s check made out to Same Day Windshield, an LLC exclusively in his wife’s name with no substantial assets. Jensen did not disclose these transactions during bankruptcy. Explain whether Same Day Windshield is a shell company and whether this action is an abuse of an LLC entity. Segregation of duties, sound policies and authorizations, independent checks, and physical safeguards are critical elements in reducing the potential for fraud. Several reasons explain why the fraud detection rate on crowdfunding platforms remains low. As a result, they do not filter out questionable projects, leaving some fraudulent cases. In this context, the crowdfunding community can help to detect them.

The various social engineering techniques allow the theft of network credentials that enable introducing malware to perpetrate the fraud. Cyber security training and improving the awareness of users to recognize and avoid these attacks are good ways to avoid cyber fraud. Cybercrime occurs when criminals can gain unauthorized access to computer networks, usually through identity theft. The methods for engaging in identity theft include social engineering exploits such as phishing, spear phishing, and whaling. In many regimes, whistleblowers who are convicted of a criminal offense in relation to the matter on which they are tipping are ineligible to receive a financial award. For individuals who are less culpable, some whistleblowing programs reduce the award provided or offer a maximum payout value. The information benefit gained by including culpable individuals in rewards must be balanced against potential negative consequences such as undermining the integrity of the whistleblowing program.

Equity compensation may influence top executives to commit fraud because they are earning a larger portion of their salary through stock holdings. Therefore, they may seek to make decisions to drive results in the short or near term – the period of time in which their decisions are likely to affect the executive’s power, influence, and monetary gain. Focusing on the short term, however, may prevent executives from taking a longer-term approach that would provide greater benefit of the overall organization and its longevity as a going concern. SPEs are legitimate accounting vehicles set up by the parent firm to segregate specific assets and liabilities of the SPE with the intent to lower the cost of debt to the parent firm. To be considered off-balance sheet, and hence avoid consolidation with the parent, the SPE must satisfy various conditions.

The term credit means decrease when applied to an asset account, but it means an increase when applied to a liability or owners’ equity account. Here are some basic accounting questions related to selling your goods or services. Accounts receivable is money owed to your business, or an asset. Record accounts receivable in your books when customers purchase something on credit. Credits increase liability, equity, and revenue accounts.

accounting discussion questions

The parent firm can set up the SPE to appear that it satisfies the conditions for nonconsolidation and thus avoid reporting liabilities on the parent’s consolidated balance sheet. However, management of the parent company can obscure the true set up of the SPE and in reality the SPE does not satisfy the conditions for nonconsolidation and should be consolidated with the parent company. The scope, timing, and nature of financial statement audits and fraud examinations differ. Financial statement audits are a review accounting discussion questions for compliance with generally accepted accounting principles or International Financial Reporting Standards . Financial statement audits are nonadversarial and exist to provide stakeholders with confidence – not to find fraud. The auditors sample the data and do not investigate every transaction or specifically look for fraud. Fraud is an intentional act by one or more individuals among management, those charged with governance, employees, or third parties, using deception to obtain an unjust or illegal advantage.

Your Top 18 Accounting Questions, Answered

Over time, the gap between real and fictitious cash and revenues became massive. Raju only admitted to this fraud when he could no longer hide this huge gap. In fact, the admission came soon after the failure of an attempted merger, which was the final effort to conceal the fictitious assets. Before the endorsement of the SOX, the Securities and Exchange Commission previously allowed companies to report the issuance of stock options up to two months after granting the options. Today, SOX’s Provision 403 requires companies to report option grants to the SEC within two business days.

GAAP requires expensing of an expenditure when it does not have a life exceeding one year. GAAP allows capitalizing an expenditure as an asset when the expenditure benefits more than one year such as when purchasing machinery and equipment. By improperly capitalizing expenditures, WorldCom overstated net income on its income statement and overstated assets on its balance sheet giving the impression that the company was healthier than it really was. Cynthia Cooper uncovered the fraudulent activity when performing a routine internal audit of WorldCom’s capital expenditures.

Accounting students can take help from Video lectures, handouts, helping materials, assignments solution, On-line Quizzes, GDB, Past Papers, books and Solved problems. Also learn latest Accounting & management software technology with tips and tricks. In the FIFO method each department is regarded as a separate accounting unit. All-purpose forum that is a fantastic resource for highly technical SMB accounting questions.


For a company that sells goods the first subtotal is the amount of gross profit. They are still the responsibility of the supervisor of that department. How are equivalent production figure computed when FIFO costing is used? Accounts payable represent the amounts that business owes as a https://accounting-services.net/ result of purchasing goods or services on credit from suppliers. Accounts receivable represent business right to collect owed resulted of selling goods or services on credit to customers. What requirement is imposed by the double-entry system in the recording of any business transaction?

accounting discussion questions

The SEC and PCAOB are regulatory agencies that may act separately or in conjunction with the DOJ. The SEC may protect the financial system by barring issuers of securities from selling securities through the use of stop orders. The PCAOB may bar certified public accountants and public accounting firms from auditing publicly traded companies by using disciplinary orders. Corporate fraud is not necessarily a firm specific or idiosyncratic event. When a firm’s fraud is revealed, stockholders and lenders may suspect that other firms are engaged in similar activities, or they may revise their expectations about the industry’s future prospects.

Other research shows the importance of differences in legal environment at the domestic level, based on evidence across SEC regional offices and over-time changes in SEC enforcement intensities. Harold Averkamp has worked as a university accounting instructor, accountant, and consultant for more than 25 years. He is the sole author of all the materials on AccountingCoach.com.

Operating profitably causes an increase in owners’ equity. Usually, this increase in equity is accompanied by an increase in total assets. You can report your business’s profit by creating an income statement.

Chapter 11: The Spillover Impact Of Corporate Fraud On Peer Firms

Other companies in the IT sector did not increase their payments to their auditors to the same extent over this period. PwC earned an audit fee of about $878,000 for the financial year 2007–2008, which is twice the amount spent by other IT companies in the same league on audit fees. Even Tata Consultancy Services, the largest Indian IT company, spent only about $566,000 that year. Discuss the accounting fraud perpetrated by the executives at Enron, WorldCom, and Global Crossing and discuss how it was uncovered and who uncovered it. Identify the type of corporate fraud discussed in this chapter. Explain the differences between financial statement audits and fraud examinations. Several steps can be taken to encourage whistleblowing without threat of retaliation.

Again, if you have a question about something you don’t understand, ask it. Chances are there are several other students who have the same question but are afraid to raise their hand. If you can’t work problems without referring to your textbook or your notes, you aren’t remembering the material – and aren’t ready for your next test. When you finish studying a new topic from your textbook, try to put it in your own words. Putting concepts in your own words and explaining them aloud is far more effective than reading a text over and over again. Accounting doesn’t require you to memorize as much information as other subjects do.

It directed and participated in creating fictitious invoices and bank statements. Such a tone at the top in Satyam signaled to employees that loyalty was more important than integrity and that manipulating accounting records and concealing fraudulent activities was acceptable. As a result, its members may not have understood the consequence and liability for such misreporting, and/or may have been unable to detect or prevent such misreporting.

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