Hiring a QuickBooks Bookkeeper: 50 Great Interview Questions

If you are going to hire an internal bookkeeper, you will notice that, within a week or two, you will have a hundred resumes from which 95% or more will claim to have QuickBooks® experience. Now, to be fair, the experience a QuickBooks ProAdvisor® has cannot really be compared to the average bookkeeper (or candidate). However, I do consider these 50 questions to be a great way to filter through so many applicants:

  1. What is the relationship between an account and item?
  2. What is the Chart of Accounts?
  3. What happens if you click on the Home icon?
  4. Which transactions in QuickBooks are considered Non-posting?
  5. How do you record a payment from a client that is paying multiple invoices?
  6. How does the “Enter Bills & Pay Bills” feature differ from the “write check” feature?
  7. How do you determine if a check has been reconciled in QuickBooks?
  8. How do you export QuickBooks Reports into excel?
  9. How do you switch to Multi-User Mode?
  10. What is the purpose of having a Single-User Mode?
  11. How does Accrual Basis of Accounting differ from Cash Basis?
  12. If you want to modify the account or name filters within a specific report you have open, where do you click?
  13. What is the keyboard shortcut for the date to jump to “Today’s” Date?
  14. What account(s) does an Inventory item post to when it’s purchased? What about when it’s sold?
  15. What account(s) does an Inventory item post to when it’s sold?
  16. What are some of the different types of items?
  17. What are the most used reports in QuickBooks/Accounting for understanding the financial health of the business?
  18. What does “Billable” Time and Expenses mean?
  19. What does Accounts Payable mean?
  20. What does Accounts Receivable mean?
  21. What does Bank Reconciliation mean?
  22. And, what do you do with the transaction left uncleared after completing the reconciliation?
  23. What are “Undeposited funds”?
  24. What does it mean when you have a balance in Undeposited Funds?
  25. What does Memorized Transactions mean?
  26. How do you pay Payroll Taxes from QuickBooks?
  27. What is a “Petty Cash,” or “Cash on Hand”?
  28. What is the difference between an Estimate and a Sales Order?
  29. What is a Sub-Account, and what is it used for?
  30. What is the best function for entering inventory being purchased?
  31. Before the invoice has been created, what is the best way to record a customer prepayment for the sale of inventory items on backorder?
  32. What is the best way to record a pre-payment for inventory to a vendor before the inventory has been received or the Bill created?
  33. What is the best way to record a single vendor payment to a vendor in order to pay multiple bills?
  34. What is the default function of the “Tab” key and the “Enter” key in most of QuickBooks?
  35. What is the difference between a Customer and a Job?
  36. What is the difference between reconciling a Bank Account and a Credit Card Account?
  37. What would happen if you try to delete an item that was sold a couple of years ago, but has not been used in awhile?
  38. When analyzing Financial Reports, such as Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss, what is the best way to spot potential bookkeeping or classification errors?
  39. How do you pay Sales Taxes from QuickBooks?
  40. When viewing a detail level report, such as Open Invoices Report, what happens when you double click on the amount shown on any particular transaction?
  41. When viewing a summary style financial report, such as a Profit and Loss Standard, what happens when you double click on the amount shown on any account?
  42. If you are going to pay with a check, when should you not use the “Write Check” Function in QuickBooks?
  43. Where, or how, are items used in QuickBooks?
  44. Which forms can be customized (Ex: adding a logo) in QuickBooks?
  45. Which report shows the value of the business assets and liabilities?
  46. Which Reports in QuickBooks show the activities of the company, such as sales and expenses?
  47. How do you write-off an invoice?
  48. What are the benefits of connecting your bank directly to download transactions (Bank Feeds) into QuickBooks?
  49. What is the difference between Cost of Goods Sold and an Expense?
  50. What type of accounts would you put in the Other Income and Other Expense account types?

In my experience, the average percentage of correct questions (with multiple choice answers) is about 61%. Usually, the top 10 applicants do score above 75%, and those typically move to the next phase of the interview process. I personally like to ask these questions without multiple choice (essay style) to get a much better feel for the person’s knowledge and ability to talk about bookkeeping/QuickBooks concepts; however, it does take a lot longer to grade.