Our best tips to ask when interviewing

  • 10-06-24
  • Cass Pratt | Richard Lloyd

The hiring process when recruiting for any position can be draining, but it is worth taking your time to ensure you make the right decision. Below are some of our best friendly yet professional questions to ask when hiring a Bookkeeper. For more information, you can also read these blogs' key qualities to look for when hiring a Bookkeeper, and how to recruit a Bookkeeper.

What are your qualifications?

First things first, you will want to know about their educational background and if they have any professional certifications. Keep in mind many Bookkeepers have fallen into the profession without formal qualifications and are backed by years of experience. In our experience, both academically qualified and qualified by experience candidates have excelled in Bookkeeper positions.

Can you share your previous experience with 'X' position?

It's important to ask about specific roles, especially if the candidate you are interviewing has relevant industry synergy. Hearing someone clearly and concisely explain their job duties and experiences in different industries will allow you to identify what skills and insights they can bring to your business.

How do you stay updated with changes in accounting standards?

Accounting standards are a revolving door with constant change, and your Bookkeeper must stay on top of these changes. It’s a good idea to ask about their commitment to professional development and know how they stay informed about the latest updates in accounting standards.

How familiar are you with Australian taxation laws?

Being a Bookkeeper often means this person will oversee tax matters and will need to ensure documentation is up-to-date and compliant. A Bookkeeper must be well-versed in the intricacies of Australian taxation laws to save you potential headaches in the future.

What software packages are you proficient in?

In today’s digital age, there are limitless software packages available to businesses with some being more common than others (Xero, MYOB, QuickBooks etc). It is important to ask about a candidate's software and general IT skills, including their Excel ability; how proficient are they using more complicated functions such as V-lookups and Pivot tables? Asking this will give you a good understanding of their software skills that are relevant to your business.

How do you manage confidential information?

A Bookkeeper will know the intricacies of your business, including payroll details and the overall financial health of the business. It is important that you can trust your Bookkeeper to be discreet. Enquire about their approach when handling confidential information or, even better, ask them about a time when they had faced a situation where they had to understand the sensitivity of financial data and how they handled it. A good Bookkeeper will be able to articulate a time they have faced when they had to commit to maintaining sensitive and confidential information.

Can you provide examples of cost-saving strategies you have implemented?

Questions like this one will not only give you clarity about cost-saving measures the candidate has undertaken, it will also give you an idea of their level of initiative. A good Bookkeeper will do their job, a great one goes beyond the numbers to find ways to save costs. Asking this will give you clarity on what they have done to go the extra mile in their previous roles.

How would you handle a situation where there was a discrepancy in financial records?

It would be a miracle if we could get through without any errors in our financial records, we’re all human after all! Financial discrepancies do and will continue to happen - it is a part of running a business. It’s important to ask this question to analyse their problem-solving and commitment to resolving issues promptly and professionally.

What support or training would you require to adapt to our business?

Every company is unique and has its intricacies and ways of doing things. It is important to understand exactly what support you will need to provide to the new employee, especially during the onboarding process. It will also demonstrate in the interview that you are committed to understanding what they require to be the best they can be.

Can you share references from previous employees?

This is one of the most important aspects of the hiring process. References from previous employers will provide invaluable insights into your new Bookkeeper’s work ethic, reliability, punctuality, how they get along with others and their overall performance. Of course - if you’re using Richard Lloyd to find your new Bookkeeper, we’ll do this part for you.


Hiring a Bookkeeper can be daunting as they are vital to the successful running of your finance function and the overall financial health of your business. Asking the right questions in an interview will enable you to assess each candidate you are meeting for your Bookkeeper position and you'll thank yourself when the right person is looking after your financials. If you’re looking for more general interview questions, you can find our Hiring Manager's guide on interview questions here.

As always, if you need advice to help you start the recruitment process, please contact us at 02 8324 5640 or here.