Bookkeeper Questions and Answers

The bank account is off $0.72. How long will you spend looking for the problem and what steps will you take to find it?

This problem is tricky and really depends on what you would like to see in the right bookkeeper. Some won’t stop looking until they find it. Sure, there could be numerous things causing any discrepancy so you do want them to spend some time looking for the problem. But how much time? Is spending 2 hours looking for $.72 the best use of time? If we look at return on investment, that’s absolutely a bad use of time. If they answer 2 hours, you’ll want investigate their tolerance for non-perfect circumstances. If you’re in the creative field, an extreme perfectionist may just drive you insane. If, however, they won’t look for the error at all, their attention to detail probably isn’t strong enough and you should keep looking.

When looking for the error, the ideal candidate will say it’s likely a transposition error and they would start there first (transposition errors are divisible by 9). They may just say they would check every line item against the statement, which is perfectly valid.