Cost Accountant qualifications to look for
Cost Accountants collect and analyze data to determine fixed and variable costs. These may include salaries, benefits, leasing agreements, and purchases.
They also provide assistance to senior managers in preparing budgets.
Look for candidates with an academic background in Accounting or Finance and relevant work experience. A Certified Management Accountant (CMA) certification or similar is a sign this potential hire is invested in their profession.
Keep an eye out for candidates who have:
- Industry-specific knowledge
- Excellent analytical skills
- An ability to present financial data
- Experience with expense databases
Top tip: Hire candidates willing to grow by making sure their personal career goals align with your company's mission.
Problem-solving interview questions
- How would you organize the company’s fixed costs to ensure they’re accurate and accessible?
- You’re asked to forecast quarterly and annual costs. What information do you need?
- The CEO is thinking about opening a new branch. How would you analyze if it would be a profitable move?
- What data would you collect and analyze a business opportunity that involves taking big risks but has large profit margins?
Role-specific interview questions
- How do maintain accuracy in large spreadsheets?
- What accounting software are you familiar with?
- What invoice processing systems do you know? What are your favorite features?
- When do you use discounted cash flow (DCF)?
- Tell me about SFAS (Statement of Financial Accounting Standards).
Behavioral interview questions
- When have you suggested a way to improve a regular accounting process? How was it received?
- How do you keep up with changes in financial regulations?
- Have you ever made a mistake in calculations that resulted in false forecasts? What did you do to correct it?
- How do you organize your workflows under tight deadlines?
- Have you ever discovered a cost-effective solution? How did you present your idea to senior managers?