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3 Questions to Ask the Next Candidate You Interview for an Accounting Role

by | Jul 31, 2020 | For Companies

Red flags. Danger is ahead. Warning, slow down. Alert, alert!

We all have seen them, felt them, and experienced the consequences in a variety of situations from work to personal life. Our internal red flag goes up when we just know something is off.

After years and years of sitting on the other end of a phone call or across the conference room table with employers, I’ve heard my share of hiring nightmares and how all along they saw the red flags coming for miles and miles.

The worst of the tales? A sour accountant hire that solely from a lack of knowledge on IRS protocol cost the business six-figures. Don’t think it can happen to you? It can happen to anyone.

From being on the other end of these hiring flops, I’ve compiled three easy questions you SHOULD be asking any candidate you interview for an accounting role.

What are some items I should be discussing with you on an ongoing basis?

A knowledgeable accountant should get to know you, your business, and your goals well enough to regularly keep you aware of a large variety of factors that could impact your bottom line, for better or for worse. A knowledgeable accounting should be discussing with you the current status, potential challenges, and more on a continual basis to perform their job well.

Can I rely on you to assess the overall value of my business?

Your accountant should be up to the task of estimating your company’s fair market value in excess of your tangible assets. He or she should start by examining your financial plan and then execute a discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis, a common but effective valuation method. If a candidate has no clue how to get to an overall value of your business, they’re probably not the right fit for a key accounting role.

Whose responsibility is it when there is an error in our reporting?

Remember that story of my most memorable hiring nightmare? In the end, somebody has to be responsible for an accounting error. Whether it’s a lack of knowledge on processes or a complete oversight, you’ll want to hire the candidate who is able to admit fault.

Are you looking to place a top candidate in an accounting role in the coming weeks? Whether looking to place one candidate or an entire team, our talent pool consistently provides high interview to hire ratios and matchless retention rates.