17 Property Accountant Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a property accountant, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

From overseeing the budget to ensuring all property-related paperwork is in order, property accountants are responsible for the financial health of their company’s real estate holdings. This role is critical to the success of any property management company, and interviewers will be looking for key qualities such as attention to detail, analytical skills, and strong communication.

To help you prepare for your interview, we’ve gathered some of the most common property accountant interview questions and answers. Review these questions and answers so you’re ready to discuss your skills and experience with potential employers.

Are you familiar with the property management industry?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have experience working in a property management setting. If you don’t, it’s important to show that you’re willing to learn and adapt to this type of work environment.

Example: “I’ve worked as an accountant for several different industries, but I haven’t had any experience with property management. However, I am eager to learn more about the industry and how accounting works within it. I understand that there are some differences between financial accounting and property management accounting, so I’m excited to learn what those are.”

What are some of the most important qualities for a successful property accountant?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your personality and how you would fit in with their team. They want someone who is organized, detail-oriented and passionate about accounting. When answering this question, think of a few qualities that are important to you and explain why they’re beneficial for property accountants.

Example: “I believe the most important quality for a successful property accountant is organization. Property accountants have so much information to keep track of, including financial records, client data and tax documents. If you aren’t organized, it can be difficult to find what you need when you need it. I am also very detail-oriented, which helps me ensure all my work is accurate. Finally, I love working with numbers and helping others achieve their goals. Accounting is a great career choice for people like me.”

How would you manage the reconciliation of accounts if multiple people were responsible for making deposits and withdrawals from a single account?

This question can help interviewers understand how you might handle a specific task in your role as property accountant. Use examples from previous experience to explain how you would complete this process and ensure accuracy.

Example: “In my last position, I was responsible for reconciling the accounts of multiple properties that were managed by one company. To make sure all deposits and withdrawals were accounted for, I created a spreadsheet where I could enter each transaction made on each account. Then, I compared the transactions between each account to ensure they matched up. If there were any discrepancies, I contacted the person who made the deposit or withdrawal to confirm whether it was accurate.”

What is the difference between depreciation and amortization?

This question is a great way to test your accounting knowledge and see how you apply it in the workplace. When answering this question, make sure to define both terms clearly so that the interviewer can understand their differences.

Example: “Depreciation and amortization are two different methods of accounting for fixed assets. Depreciation is an expense method that reduces the value of an asset over its useful life. Amortization is a process where the cost of an asset is spread out evenly over its useful life. For example, if I were depreciating a building, I would calculate the total cost of the building and divide it by the number of years it will be used. Then, I would subtract that amount from my company’s income statement.”

Provide an example of a situation in which you would recommend a property tax audit.

An interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your analytical skills and how you apply them in the workplace. In your answer, try to describe a situation that involved property tax audits and how it helped your company or organization save money or improve its financial processes.

Example: “In my last position as an accountant for a large apartment complex, I noticed that our property taxes were higher than they should have been because we had not filed all of our paperwork correctly. After researching the issue, I discovered that we had failed to file several exemptions on some of our properties, which resulted in us paying more in taxes than we should have. By filing the correct paperwork, we saved thousands of dollars.”

If you discovered that a property accountant had embezzled funds, what would be your course of action?

This question is designed to assess your ethics and integrity. It’s important that you demonstrate a commitment to honesty and transparency in your answer.

Example: “I would immediately report the embezzlement to my supervisor, who would then inform our company’s board of directors. I would also ensure that all evidence was documented so that law enforcement could investigate the crime. If the property accountant was found guilty, I would expect them to be fired from their position and prosecuted for their crimes.”

What would you do if you noticed that a property accountant was consistently late in submitting financial reports?

This question can help interviewers understand how you would handle a situation that could arise in the workplace. Your answer should show your ability to work with others and communicate effectively.

Example: “I would first speak with them about their progress on submitting reports, and if they continued to be late I would meet with my supervisor to discuss what we could do to ensure timely submission of financial reports. If it was within my power, I would offer to assist the property accountant by providing them with any resources or information they needed to complete their tasks.”

How well do you perform under pressure?

Property accountants often work under tight deadlines. Employers ask this question to make sure you can perform well when the pressure is on. In your answer, share a time where you had to meet a deadline and how you managed it. Explain what steps you took to ensure you met the deadline.

Example: “I am used to working under pressure. I have been in my current position for five years now, but I started as an intern. During that time, I was responsible for completing all of the property accountant’s tasks while she was out sick. It was quite a lot of work, but I managed to get everything done by the end of the day. Since then, I’ve learned more about accounting and feel much more confident in my abilities.”

Do you have experience using property management software?

This question can help the interviewer determine your comfort level with using software to complete accounting tasks. If you have experience using property management software, share what type of software it was and how comfortable you were using it. If you don’t have experience using this kind of software, explain that you are willing to learn new systems if hired.

Example: “I’ve used several different types of software in my previous roles as a property accountant. I am most familiar with QuickBooks Online because I used it for two years at my last job. However, I also know how to use other property management software like RealPage and Tenant Tracker.”

When is it appropriate to use the net present value formula?

This question can help interviewers determine your knowledge of accounting formulas and how you apply them to real-world situations. When answering this question, it can be helpful to provide an example of when you used the net present value formula in a previous role.

Example: “The net present value formula is useful for determining whether or not a project will be profitable. For instance, I once worked with a client who wanted to know if they should invest in solar panels for their property. Using the net present value formula, I was able to calculate that the solar panels would pay for themselves within five years. The client decided to move forward with the installation.”

We want to increase the value of our properties. What strategies would you implement to achieve this goal?

This question can help the interviewer determine your knowledge of property accounting and how you would apply it to increase the value of a company’s properties. Use examples from your experience or explain what strategies you would use if you had no prior experience.

Example: “I have worked with several clients who wanted to increase the value of their properties, so I’ve learned some strategies that work well for this purpose. One strategy is to reduce expenses by making repairs before they become more costly. Another strategy is to make improvements to the property that will attract new tenants. For example, adding a pool or updating appliances may be enough to convince renters to choose one property over another.”

Describe your experience with financial modeling.

This question can help the interviewer understand your experience with financial modeling software and how you use it. Use examples from your previous job to explain what type of financial modeling software you used, how often you used it and any specific skills you have that helped you complete projects more efficiently.

Example: “In my last position as a property accountant, I used Microsoft Excel for most of my financial modeling. I was responsible for creating monthly reports on revenue and expenses, which included tracking rent payments, utility bills and other expenditures. I also created quarterly projections for income and expenses using Microsoft Excel. This allowed me to identify trends in revenue and expenses so I could make adjustments before they became an issue.”

What makes you stand out from other candidates for this position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you can contribute to their company. Before your interview, make a list of the skills and experiences that qualify you for this role. Focus on what makes you unique from other candidates and highlight any transferable skills or certifications you have.

Example: “I am passionate about accounting and finance, which is why I decided to pursue an accounting degree. In my previous internship, I learned valuable financial management skills that helped me create reports and analyze data. I also have experience working with property managers and landlords, so I understand the challenges they face when managing their properties.”

Which accounting standards are you most familiar with?

This question is a great way for employers to learn more about your accounting knowledge. When answering this question, it can be helpful to list the standards you are most familiar with and explain why they’re important to you or how you use them in your daily work.

Example: “I am most familiar with GAAP and AICPA standards. I find these two standards to be the most useful when working on property accounts because they help me ensure that my clients’ financial statements are accurate and complete. In my last role, I used both of these standards to create monthly reports for my client’s investors.”

What do you think is the most important aspect of property accounting?

This question is your opportunity to show the interviewer that you understand what’s important in this role. Your answer should include a few key responsibilities of property accountants and how they help their organizations succeed.

Example: “I think the most important aspect of property accounting is accuracy. Property accountants are responsible for ensuring all financial records are accurate, which means we have to be meticulous about our work. I also believe communication is an essential skill because it allows us to collaborate with other professionals on projects. These two skills allow me to ensure my organization has reliable information and can make informed decisions.”

How often should you perform a physical inventory?

A physical inventory is a process that involves counting all of the items in a property. This includes furniture, appliances and other fixtures. The interviewer may ask this question to assess your knowledge about how often you should perform a physical inventory. Use your answer to highlight your attention to detail and organizational skills by explaining how frequently you performed physical inventories at previous jobs.

Example: “I typically performed a physical inventory once every six months while working for my last employer. I would always make sure to do it during times when there were fewer guests staying on-site so we could avoid disrupting their stay. Performing a physical inventory was one of my favorite parts of the job because it allowed me to get an idea of what our properties looked like from a guest’s perspective.”

There is a discrepancy between the amount of cash that should be in an account and the actual amount of cash in the account. What would you do?

This question is a great way to test your problem-solving skills and ability to work independently. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe the steps you would take to solve the issue and how you would document your actions in case there are any questions about your process later on.

Example: “I would first make sure that I had counted all of the cash in the account correctly. If I was certain that I had counted everything, then I would look for other places where the money could have gone. For example, if there were no deposits made into the account, then I would check to see if there were any withdrawals or checks written out of the account. If there were none, then I would contact the client to ask them if they had used the funds elsewhere.”


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