Accounting companies and top employers look for an Accounting Managers who is integrally involved with the operations and who enjoys walking onto the shop floor and being intimately knowledgeable about all aspects of the business.
So remember that in you cannot impress them by just telling them about your professional accounting designation (CGA/CMA/CA). Be prepared to talk about your solid track record in a senior management role. Show them that you are a hands-on individual and have experience developing and leading change. Explain how you have proven that you are a strong business advisor, that you are an independent and what you have done in past jobs to improve your environment.
As far as what employers look for when it comes to hiring an accounting manager, one of the key skills is the ability to present information to senior management. Many accounting managers can just explain or relay financial information. However, great managers can tell the story behind the data and present strategic big picture ideas to senior management. Be ready in your job interview to be able to speak to when you presented a complex set of financial data to executives and you were able to paint an important strategic picture. If you can do this you are well on your way to landing the job.
Of course it’s important that you understand, and work or responsibilities of a manager in accounting and that you know how to perform them well, this means make sure that you are comfortable speaking to how you monitored year end or maintained a leger. But the number one quality is to show that you are able to supervise junior accounting staff.
What will help you stand out from the crowd is your experience working with third party periodic contracts audits and your experience with month end of year and closing processes. Speaking to these kinds of accounting processes really show your experience.
Anyone can work when there’s no pressure but how would you perform under pressure? There are many people that are really smart with accounting but there are only few people who can deliver under pressure. Great accounting managers will always be challenged to deliver under pressure so make sure that you all the employer that you are a person who thrives in a fast-paced environment and that you can manage multiple urgent deadlines. And of course your answer will be stronger if you have concrete examples so prepare a few of these and you should be golden in your next job interview.
Here are some fantastic job interview questions designed specifically for an accounting
Sometimes you will have to explain financial information to individuals without a financial background. Described a time when you had to explain accomplice accounting issue to a manager who had difficulty understanding.
What was the most complex statistical report, information and analysis that you had to prepare? What made this financial report so complex? What did you learn?
In this position, you will have to lead a team of over 25 accounting professionals. Describe a time when you had to deliver an unpopular idea, program, message to your direct reports. What was the message? How did you handle it?
As accounting manager you will need to interpret various accounting data look at reports and give advice to managers based on this information. Sometimes the managers or your clients are not receptive to your message. How do you go about securing cooperation?
In this position, you will have to collaborate with other finance department managers. Describe a time when you had difficulty working with another manager to support overall department goals and objectives. How did you resolve this issue?
We are looking someone with an ability to build a strong accounting team. What do you think is the most important ingredient in building a strong team?
We defined leadership in our company is getting people on board with your vision. When have you had to do this?
Part of your job will be to present financial data to the senior management team. Of all the presentations you’ve made, which one stands out in your mind?
What have you done differently as a Accounting Manager than your predecessors in the position? Why?
For the biggest challenges you face will be HR issues within your team. When have you had a difficult conversation regarding performance with your employee?
As mentioned, coaching is a key skill in this position because you’ll be leading a team of to 25 direct reports. When have you have to advise staff on how to handle non-routine reporting transactions?
How have you worked with government taxation departments?
You will need to work with the controller on the year-end audit. Give me an example of when you disagreed with the auditor, what was the disagreement about?
This position reports to and will work closely with the director of finance. She will be your boss, and sometimes you may not agree with her direction. How do you think you will respond? We
Tell me about the most difficult personnel issue you have to deal with. For example conflict between direct reports, performance issues, and absenteeism.
How do you set priorities for the department?
What have you done to improve the workflow process in your previous jobs?
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