A person responsible for performing different accounting and clerical tasks is called an accounts payable clear. He performs financial transactions of the firm, company, organization or a person. Let us know ‘Accounts Payable Clerk Interview Questions ‘.
Duties of an accounts payable clerk and qualifications
The duties and functions of an accounts payable clerk include processing, receiving, verifying invoices, keeping records of purchase orders and processing payments. All the work is performed within the limitations of financial policies and procedures. The accounts payable clerks are also responsible for preparing bills and fiscal receipts. It is the most typical work of any finance department. Discrepancies are also verified and checked by him from time to time, and an account payable clerk also helps in facilitating payments among two or more different companies or organizations. He is also responsible for maintaining the records of all financial transactions that are done during his tenure. It is possible by making and sending bill reminders. Since he deals with finance, it is mandatory for an accounts payable clerk to know and understand expenses, accounting and cost centres. Moreover, subjects like mathematics, finance accounts and economics play an important role. One must have a keen knowledge of these subjects. Also, the account payable clerk has to deal with financial records and reports, which requires dealing with large numbers and calculating mathematical equations in less time. Therefore, it is preferable for the person applying for the post of accounts payable clerk to be handy with digits and mathematical calculations. Moreover, the reconciliation of bank receipts is done with the help of an accounts payable clerk for that particular company or organization. Today since most of the accounting details are operated through computer systems, it is preferable if people have good coding skills and fast and accurate data entry skills.
Purpose of an account payable clerk
Following are some of the purposes and tasks that are performed by them includes: –
1. Purchase requisition
2. Purchase order
3. Goods receive
4. Inspect goods
5. Invoice receiving and verification
6. Receive payment
7. Make payment
All these tasks are performed by an accountant daily. While appearing for an interview for the vacant post of accounts payable clerk, the person must be well aware of these eight tasks that he will be performing.
Difference between an accountant and account payable clerk
Many people assume that accountants and accounts payable clerks are the same and they share the same duties and responsibilities as well, but there is a big difference between them. An accountant acts as a supervisor in most cases, he has administrative duties. However, the accounts payable clerks are responsible for creating and verifying and in a few cases, reconciling bank statements. He is also responsible for creating invoices to bill clients. The department of finance in any organization, company, bank or firm is incomplete without the presence of an accountant as well as an accounts payable clerk. Although, both of them have different tasks to perform and they deal with different types of financial and economical issues and statements in their day to day lives. Although, both of them require good critical and analytical thinking skills. Also, it is needed for both of them to be handy with mathematical equations and calculations.
Questions related to commerce and accounting
These might include questions related to the subjects such as finance, accounts, economics or mathematics as well as commerce. Such questions will help the interviewers to understand the knowledge of interviewees in the field of accounting.
• what are the golden rules of accounting?
It is a necessary topic that is taught to a student who has opted Accounting. All the subjects and subject matter of accounting can be understood under three basic rules that are: –
1. First is, debit the receiver, credit the giver.
2. Second is to debit all expenses and losses and credit all incomes and gains.
3. And the last one is debit what comes in, credit what goes out.
These rules resolve most of the problems related to debits and credits. While working in finance and economics, the person will now and then face the issue of dealing with debits and credits. This is why it is important to know about the person to be hired and is well aware of the topic of debits and credits. It is one of the most common questions asked while interviewing an accountant or an accounts payable clerk.
• How would you resolve the issue of an invoice discrepancy?
The discrepancy can occur due to many reasons such as typing errors, errors in the data, inaccuracies in calculations and mathematical equations as well, due to ambiguity in software. A well-experienced accountant knows many ways of resolving the discrepancy and can fix the problem in very little time. Few ways in which discrepancy can be resolved includes: –
1. Recounting stocks
2. Checking computation level
3. Ensuring correct units of measurement
4. Revising the invoice amount
• How to verify the documents of an invoice?
Verifying the invoices is an important part of an account clerk’s daily duty. Verifying invoices is important to make sure whether the other company or organization has given an accurate bill or not. This issue is faced by all the companies and organizations on a day to day basis. While recruiting an account payable clerk it is necessary to know if he is capable of fixing the problem of invoices or not. There are necessarily three steps that are needed to be taken before approving payment of invoice. These are:-
1. Before checking any holds, the accountant must validate the financial statement of both the companies or organizations. In such a manner, any clause outside the policy of the firm can be verified and removed. This decreases the chances of creating any kind of ambiguity in future regarding the invoices.
2. Before heading for the payments, first approve the invoices. The invoice must be approved before the workflow is implemented. Following this hierarchy will decrease the chances of coming across any form of problem in the invoice.
3. Account should be created only after the endorsement of the invoice. Every company before hiring people for the accounts department seeks to hire people who are well aware of entering invoices. And also know how to get accurate results while dealing with invoices. People who are capable of fixing the issue of any ambiguity in data are offered jobs by the company and firms.
• What skills or qualities do you have that can be helpful in this post as an accounts payable clerk?
This is another important question that can be asked to a person who has been applying for the post of accountant or accounts payable clerk. A good answer to this question can help the company to sort a lot of things and help them know their employee in a better way. Few skills can help any person to crack the interview and be good accounts, payable clerk. These skills are: –
1. Good at sorting, classifying and storing the same data together.
2. Preparing the processing transfers and transactions through the internet.
3. Keep an eye on the bills and monitor the payment.
4. Maintaining the records of all past transactions and transfers.
5. Fast typing and editing. It is necessary to reduce the time spent on entering large entities in the spreadsheets.
6. Producing monthly reports and storing monthly records. It is important to keep monthly data to facilitate future transactions.
7. Making and securing audits from time to time.
• What are your educational qualifications?
To get a job as an account payable clerk, it is necessary to have a high school diploma. It is also preferred to have an associates#39;s degree in accounting. Also, one must have proficiency in Microsoft Office. The person must know about finance, economics, business and commerce and also accounting. A degree in accounting plays an important role to get a job as an accounts payable clerk. Proficiency in mathematics, finance and economics go hand in hand for an accountant. In some places, companies give much more importance to an MBA degree while recruiting. Also, a person with M. Com in finance and accounting is liable to get a job. Moreover, a person who has pursued a Master in commerce in accounting along with auditing is too fit for this post. Along with these degrees and diplomas, many courses offer a crash course to inculcate relevant skills for that job. This is the most important question that is needed to be known before hiring a person and giving them a job.
• What steps will you take to advance your accounting career?
People who have been working in accounting for too long have a better understanding of finance and accounts. Along with this, they are also familiar with subjects such as business and tax laws, spreadsheet analysis, management and banking and finance. A person can advance these skills as an accountant or accounts payable clerk and then become a financial planner, banking specialist and fund manager and
many more. Many skills like fast calculations, using software, entering data in the spreadsheet in less time and many more. These can be enhanced through time, that is why experience plays an important role in accounting.
• What are the reasons that attract you towards the post of an accounts payable clerk?
It is an important question to know about the person before hiring him. A satisfactory answer can tell a lot about a person’s interest, dedication and knowledge of the job or service he has applied for. There can be many different answers to these questions. Some people may prefer the post of an accountant or accounts payable clerk because of salary and other allowances. Although, other people might have opted for this field for their attraction towards finance, economics or mathematics. It is necessary to ask a person to check his interest and dedication in the field he has applied in. A person who applied for that post without any form of parental pressure or coercion is likely to be in a better position than a person who is working under pressure and lacks interest. Different people can have different views and ideas in this regard.
• What are your previous experiences of working as an accountant or an accounts payable clerk?
While hiring an employee it is very important to know his past experiences for the post he or she is applying for. Many companies prefer experience over graduate degrees. Accounting is a degree as well as an experience-based field of work. Proficiency in this field can be achieved through a good working experience. That is why many companies prefer to hire experienced accountants for their companies. Many multinational companies do not recruit people who have less than five years of experience. Although, some others believe in recruiting new employees with less experience solely based on skills. Experience plays a vital role while hiring in any company or organization for any job, post or field.
• Which software you are most familiar to work with?
In technology-driven works, it is vital to know if the person who has been interviewed can fulfil the criteria of the technology or not. An accountant and accounts payable clerk must know Microsoft Office, Microsoft word as well as Microsoft Excel. Alongside, the person must be aware of the basics of a programming language. Other than this, the software used by him includes Tally, Xero, QuickBooks etc. Therefore, the person must have known of this software before beginning to work in the company. Moreover, the clerks will be hired based on their knowledge of the software and ability to adapt to the new software as the technology changes.
The job sector in the field of an accountant is a respectful profession. There has been a significant growth of Companies, firms and startups, for the post of an accountant is likely to grow more in future. Therefore, to secure a position of an accounts payable clerk in any firm it is necessary to crack the interview as per the job criteria of the company. Apart from the above-mentioned questions, their questions related to a person’s qualifications, education and knowledge can be asked. It plays a vital role during their recruitment.