20 CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen) Interview Questions and Answers

Prepare for the types of questions you are likely to be asked when interviewing for a position at CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen).

When it comes to interviews, every company has their own unique set of questions that they like to ask. This can make it difficult to know what to expect when you go in for an interview, especially if you’re interviewing with a company that you’re not familiar with.

If you’re interviewing with CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen), you can expect to be asked questions about your experience in the accounting and finance industry, as well as your knowledge of CLA’s services and how you would fit into the company. To help you prepare, we’ve compiled a list of sample CLA interview questions and answers.

CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen) Interview Process

The interview process at CLA is thorough but not as structured as other companies. Assistant controllers report that the process was enjoyable and all virtual for this remote opening. The recruiter was so helpful along the way and always kept them informed as to what to expect next. They ended up having four different calls with different individuals from CLA before an offer was extended. Finance/accounting interns report that there is two rounds of interviews, a phone screen interview that mainly focuses on the behavioral questions, and an interview that is set up for 30 minutes but only took 10 minutes. Tax senior associates report that the process was very easy and the recruiters and interviewers were all informative and pleasant. The interview took place via a Zoom meeting. It seems like a great place to work, given the type of people they have spoken with so far.

1. What do you understand about the accounting industry?

This question is an opportunity to show your knowledge of the accounting industry and how you can contribute to it. You should explain what you know about the accounting industry, including its challenges and opportunities.

Example: “I understand that the accounting industry has a lot of potential for growth. I also know that there are many issues facing accountants today, such as the need for more qualified professionals and the challenge of finding talented people who want to work in this field. However, I believe that with my experience and education, I can help solve these problems.”

2. How much experience do you have with auditing, tax and business consulting?

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your experience level and determine if you’re qualified for the position. If you have little or no experience, consider explaining what steps you would take to gain that experience.

Example: “I’ve worked as an auditor for three years now, so I’m quite familiar with the process of auditing financial statements and tax returns. In my current role, I also provide business consulting services to small businesses looking to grow their operations.”

3. Describe a time when you had to deal with an angry client, how did you approach it?

An interviewer may ask this question to assess your conflict resolution skills. This is because working with clients can sometimes be challenging, and it’s important that you have the ability to diffuse a situation. In your answer, try to show how you would use your communication skills to resolve the issue.

Example: “I once had a client who was upset about our audit findings. They were expecting us to find nothing wrong with their financial records, but instead we found some discrepancies. I met with them in person to explain why we found these issues and what steps they could take to prevent similar problems in the future. By being honest and transparent, they understood my reasoning and appreciated that I took the time to meet with them.”

4. Do you feel comfortable working for clients in multiple industries?

The interviewer may ask this question to determine if you have experience working with clients in multiple industries. If you do, they may want to know how you handled the challenges of that type of work and what skills you developed from it.

Example: “I’ve worked for a variety of different types of companies throughout my career, so I feel comfortable working with clients in multiple industries. In fact, I enjoy learning about new industries and helping businesses grow. One of my favorite projects was when I helped a small business transition into an international company. It was challenging at first, but we were able to overcome those challenges by developing strategies to help them expand their reach.”

5. Tell me about your previous work with audits.

Audits are a key part of the accounting process, and employers want to know that you have experience with them. Auditing is also one of the most important parts of an accountant’s job, so it’s likely that your interviewer will ask you about this topic during your interview.

Example: “I’ve worked on several audits in my career, including both internal and external audits. I find that working on these types of projects helps me understand how to work more efficiently when performing other tasks. Internal audits help me learn what areas of the company need improvement, while external audits help me ensure that our clients’ financial statements are accurate.”

6. Can you describe what is important to remember when preparing financial statements?

This question is an opportunity to show your knowledge of accounting and financial reporting. You can use examples from your experience or describe what you would do if faced with this task.

Example: “Financial statements are important because they provide a snapshot of the company’s finances at a specific point in time. They’re also used for tax purposes, so it’s essential that they’re accurate and complete. I always make sure to double-check all numbers before submitting them. It’s also important to remember that there are different types of financial statements, such as balance sheets, income statements and cash flow statements.”

7. Give us an example of a difficult situation that you were able to handle well.

This question is a great way to show your problem-solving skills and ability to work under pressure. When answering this question, it can be helpful to think of a time when you had to make a decision quickly or solve a challenging issue.

Example: “At my previous job, I was working on a project with a team that included several other accountants. One day, one of the accountants left for vacation without telling anyone. This meant we were missing an accountant from our team, which made completing the project more difficult. However, I decided to take over all of their responsibilities while they were gone so that we could still meet our deadline.”

8. Why are ethics so important in this role?

The interviewer may ask this question to assess your commitment to ethical behavior. They want to know that you will uphold the company’s values and act in a way that protects their clients’ interests. In your answer, explain how you would handle situations where there is a conflict between what is legal and what is ethical.

Example: “Ethics are very important to me because I believe they help us make better decisions. If we always put our client’s best interest first, then we can avoid making choices that could harm them. For example, if I were working with a client who was considering investing in a new fund, I would ensure that it met all of its stated objectives before recommending it. I would never recommend an investment that I knew was not suitable for my client.”

9. We are looking for candidates who can build relationships with co-workers and clients. Can you give us examples of when you’ve done that in past roles?

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer that you are a team player and can work well with others. You should highlight your interpersonal skills, communication abilities and problem-solving skills in your answer.

Example: “I have always been passionate about working with people and helping them solve their problems. I enjoy being able to help clients understand complex financial information and make informed decisions. In my last role as a senior accountant, I was responsible for managing client accounts and building relationships with new clients. I would regularly communicate with clients via email and phone calls to ensure they were happy with our services.”

10. How would you manage different deadlines on different projects?

This question can help the interviewer understand how you manage your time and prioritize tasks. Use examples from previous work experience to explain how you plan your schedule, set deadlines and meet project goals on time.

Example: “I have worked with multiple clients at once in my current role as a financial advisor, so I am used to managing different deadlines for different projects. For example, when working with a client who needed investment advice, I had to balance their needs with other clients’ requests for tax preparation services. To ensure that all of these projects were completed by their respective deadlines, I scheduled weekly meetings with each client to discuss their progress and any questions they may have.”

11. What questions do you have for us?

This question is your opportunity to show the interviewer that you have done some research on CLA and are interested in learning more about the company. Use this time to ask questions about the position, the company or any other information you would like to know.

Example: “I am very excited about this opportunity with CLA. I did a little bit of research online and found out that CLA has an excellent reputation for providing quality services to clients. I also read that CLA was named one of the top places to work by CPA Trend Magazine. My only question is what it’s like to work here? What do employees enjoy most about working at CLA?”

12. What steps do you take to ensure accuracy on your work?

The interviewer may ask this question to understand how you ensure the accuracy of your work and if you have any processes in place for double-checking your work. Use examples from past experiences where you’ve implemented quality control measures or other methods that help you maintain accuracy on your work.

Example: “I always take time to review my work before submitting it to clients, which helps me catch any errors I might have missed during the initial process. In addition, I also use a software program that automatically checks for spelling and grammar mistakes as well as ensures all calculations are correct.”

13. CLA has a reputation of being very innovative, how could you contribute to that?

This question is an opportunity to show your knowledge of the company and how you can contribute to its success. You should highlight a specific example from your past experience that shows your ability to be innovative.

Example: “In my last role, I was tasked with finding new ways to streamline our client onboarding process. After researching other companies in our industry, I found one that had a similar process but used technology to make it more efficient. We implemented some of their processes into ours and saw a 10% increase in efficiency.”

14. Have you ever worked in a fast paced environment before?

This question is an opportunity to show your ability to adapt and thrive in a fast-paced environment. You can describe how you handled the pace of work, whether it was through your own skills or by working with others.

Example: “In my previous role as a financial advisor, I worked alongside other advisors who were also helping clients. We had to balance our client’s needs while meeting deadlines for reporting and tax filings. This required me to be organized and efficient when completing tasks so that I could meet all of my responsibilities on time.”

15. What is your greatest strength? Weakness?

This question is a common one in interviews, and it’s important to be honest. Your interviewer will likely want to know that you are aware of your weaknesses and have strategies for improving them.

Example: “I would say my greatest strength is my ability to work well with others. I am always looking for ways to help my colleagues succeed, and I believe that teamwork is the key to success. My weakness is that sometimes I get so focused on helping others that I forget to take care of myself. I’ve learned to set aside time each day to focus on my own needs.”

16. Tell me about a time where you put the team first over yourself.

This question is a great way to show your leadership skills and willingness to help others. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention how the team benefited from your actions or how you helped someone else succeed.

Example: “At my previous job, I was working on a project with another employee who had a tight deadline for their work. They were having trouble completing their part of the project because they were out sick that week. I offered to complete their portion of the project so they could submit their work on time. This allowed them to focus on getting better while still meeting our company’s deadlines.”

17. Would you be available overtime if needed?

This question is a great way to determine if the company values employees who are willing to work overtime when necessary. If you’re interviewing for an accounting position, it’s likely that you’ll be asked this question at some point in your interview process. It’s important to show that you’re willing to put in extra time and effort when needed.

Example: “I understand that sometimes there will be times where I’m needed to stay late or come in early. As long as my performance doesn’t suffer, I am happy to do whatever is required of me.”

18. How would you rate your level of Excel skills?

The interviewer may ask this question to assess your technical skills and determine if you would be able to complete the job duties. If you have limited Excel experience, consider describing a time when you learned new software or technology quickly.

Example: “I have five years of experience using Microsoft Excel for data analysis and reporting. I also completed an online course on advanced Excel functions last year that helped me learn how to use pivot tables and other formulas to analyze large amounts of data.”

19. How do you think communications will change in the next 5 years?

This question can help an interviewer understand how you think about the future of your industry and how you might adapt to those changes. Use examples from your own experience or research to explain what you predict will change in the next few years.

Example: “I believe that communications will continue to become more digitalized, which is something I’m already seeing as a social media specialist for my current employer. In the last year alone, we’ve seen our company’s social media accounts grow by 10% due to our increased use of video content. I also expect there to be more emphasis on customer service, especially with the rise of online reviews.”

20. Why do you want to work at CLA?

This question is an opportunity to show your enthusiasm for the position and the company. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a specific aspect of CLA that you admire or something about the company’s culture that appeals to you.

Example: “I want to work at CLA because I am passionate about helping businesses succeed. In my last role as a financial advisor, I helped small business owners create plans to grow their companies while also managing their finances. It was rewarding to see how much they appreciated my help and advice.”


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