Top 25 Financial Due Diligence Interview Questions and Answers in 2024

Are you hoping to win a job in any field related to financial due diligence? If so, you’re in the right place! If you’re considering engaging in any financial due diligence – such as an analysis of a company’s financials, an investment, or a merger – this post will help you with the questions you’ll likely be asked. The article provides an overview of the most commonly asked questions about financial due diligence and answers to some of the key considerations employers need to consider if you’re qualified for a job in this field. Please note that this list is not exhaustive, but it should provide a good starting point for your research.

1. What Are The Types Of Financial Analysis? Explain At Least Three.

There are three main types of financial analysis: operational, economic, and strategic.

  • Operational analysis is typically used to examine how a company performs on the fundamentals, such as revenue growth, earnings per share (EPS), liquidity, and debt levels. 
  • The financial analysis looks at ratios such as return on assets (ROA) or debt-to-equity ratio to gauge performance. 
  • And finally, strategy analysis focuses on long-term planning and determining where one should position the company to achieve its objectives over time.

Each type of analysis has its strengths and weaknesses that need to be considered when deciding which one is most appropriate for a given situation. For example, while ROA can help me understand how efficiently a business is managing its resources, it may not tell the whole story if the excessive risk is involved with the business model. Besides, I always use appropriate caution when interpreting results from any financial assessment!

2. What Are The Advantages Of Raising Debt Over Equity?

As a financial due diligence specialist, raising debt over equity has various benefits. In this case, debt is seen as a more secure investment, providing investors with predictable returns and minimal risk. Additionally, debt can be used to finance long-term investments. At the same time, it may better suit equity financing for shorter-term initiatives or companies with high uncertainty levels. Equity holders can also sell their shares at any time should they desire, resulting in increased liquidity for the company.

Regarding downside risks associated with both options, debt typically comes with higher interest rates than equity (though this varies depending on the issuer’s credit rating). In addition, if interest rates rise.

3. Should You Increase The Consumer Base By 1% Or Price By 1%?

Increasing the consumer base by 1% may be a better option if you want to increase revenue and profits. This will result in an increased number of transactions, which can increase sales or margins. Additionally, customers already engaged with your product or service will likely continue to do so as long as the price remains reasonable. Increasing the price by 1% may be safer if you’re concerned about potential customer backlash. However, it’s important to note that this approach could lead to decreased profitability over time due to lost revenues from defections among current consumers.

4. Give One Reason Why You Should Analyze Long-Term Liability. 

One reason to analyze long-term liabilities is to ensure that the company’s financial stability is not at risk. Suppose a significant disadvantage comes due (for example, a loan). In that case, it could substantially impact the company’s overall balance sheet and liquidity. It’s also important to know how much money the company has available should unforeseen events occur (such as litigation). By understanding both short- and long-term liabilities, I can better decide where to allocate resources and manage risks for future growth.

5. Why Is The Asset Turnover Ratio Calculated?

The asset turnover ratio is a standard performance measure used in finance and accounting. It is calculated as the number of times your company’s assets (assets fewer liabilities) are turned over during a given period, expressed as a percentage. The higher the asset turnover ratio, the more frequently your company can generate cash flow from its assets by selling them or using them for other purposes.

From my experience as a financial due diligence expert, I feel that this statistic can help assess how well my organization is managing its resources and determine whether there are improvement opportunities.

6. What Are The Components Of The Dupont Model, And How Are They Calculated?

Before explaining how to calculate the components of the DuPont model, let me first define them.

In this case, the components of the DuPont model are 

  • fixed assets (property, plant, and equipment);
  • working capital; and
  • debt.

First, determine the value of your company’s total fixed assets to calculate each component. Then subtract the net cash inflows from operating activities for the period (including purchases of property, plant, and equipment and payments for employee benefits). This number is your company’s working capital deficit. Next, divide this figure by your long-term debt outstanding to get your debt/equity ratio. Finally, multiply each component by 100 to determine a percentage score for that particular.

7. Why Are Dividends Not A Part Of Income Statements?

Dividends are not a part of income statements because they represent cash distributions paid by the company out to its shareholders. Instead, they are included in the combined information of operations and comprehensive income, also known as the “income statement.”

8. What Are Data Formats In Excel? Mention Three Common Ones.

Before mentioning the three standard data formats in excel, let me define them.

Data formats are a way of organizing and presenting your data in a more user-friendly format. Excel allows you to create different data formats, including: date/time, text, number (decimal, fractional), table, graphMLMV (.gmlv), and web chart (.hcxl). By creating custom data formats, I can make it easier for other users on my team to understand my information and work with it more effectively. Additionally, exporting my data as a formatted file makes it easy to share with others offline or online.

Several built-in templates come preloaded with Excel, which lets me quickly create various charts without having to write code or design from scratch. So, if visualizing my data is important to me (and it probably is!), then using Excel’s various data formats helps make the process much smoother!

The data formats in Excel are:

  • Text Formatting: Used for entering text information into cells
  • Number Formatting: Used to format numbers and send them to the printer
  • Data Tables: Used to group data together so that you can easily manipulate, analyze or chart it

9. How Can Negative Working Capital Help A Business?

A company with negative working capital could be experiencing several issues, including declining revenue or sales, inadequate inventories, and outstanding liabilities. All these factors would require the business to spend more money than it takes to cover its operating expenses and debt payments. This can lead to financial problems for the industry, reduced profitability, and potential closure. Moreover, if negative working capital becomes a long-term problem, it can damage the company’s image and reputation.

10. Explain The Syntax Of 2 Lookup Functions.

The syntax for the LOOKUP function is as follows:

LOOKUP(value, column1[, column2][,…])

where value can be a list of values or a single value. The specified columns must be in the same order as your data table. The lookup returns any row with an entry equal to (or greater than) the value in the cell conditional on matching at least one of the other cells in your lookup range. 

The syntax for the VLOOKUP function is as follows:

VLOOKUP(value, table, column1[, column2][,…]) where the value can be a list of values or a single value. The table and columns you specify must be in the same order as your data table. The lookup returns any row with an entry equal to (or greater than) the value in the cell conditional on matching at least one of the other cells in your lookup range.

11. Mention And Explain Any Financial Reporting Software You Have Used Before.

I have used accounting software such as QuickBooks and Peachtree. One thing to remember with any financial reporting software is that it will require inputting your company’s accounting data, such as revenues and expenses. This can be time-consuming, so make sure you have enough resources to devote to this task. Additionally, most financial reporting software allows you to create reports on various aspects of your business’s performance (such as profits and losses). These reports can help you understand why your working capital may be harmful and which measures could contribute the most to this problem.

12. Mention The Differences Between NPV And IRR If You Think There Are Any. 

I think there are two main differences between NPV and IRR. The first difference is that NPV measures the net present value of all cash flows generated by a project. In contrast, IRR measures the internal rate of return on a given investment. The second difference is that NPV considers positive and negative cash flow scenarios while only considering optimistic cash flow scenarios with IRR. The third difference is that NPV typically requires a higher level of financial input than IRR, such as information on interest rates and payments.

13. What Do You Understand By Financial Benchmarking?

Financial benchmarking is the process of measuring a company’s performance relative to other companies in its industry. One can track key financial metrics such as earnings per share (EPS), return on assets (ROA), and debt-to-equity ratio. By doing this, management can identify areas where their company outperforms or falls short of the competition and make strategic decisions based on these findings.

14. What Happens If NPV Is Less/Greater Than 0 And IRR Is Less Than The Cost Of Capital?

In this scenario, the company would be unable to make further investments in the project due to its negative cash flow. This could lead to a decline in profits and stock prices as investors become concerned about the viability of future projects. 

If NPV is greater than 0 and IRR is less than the cost of capital…

In this scenario, the company could make further investments in the project due to its positive cash flow. This could lead to an increase in profits and stock prices as investors become optimistic about future projects.

15. What Will Be The Magnitude Of Returns If (I) NPV=0 And IRR=Cost Of Capital, (Ii) NPV Is Greater Than 0, And IRR Is Less Than The Cost Of Capital?

If NPV and IRR are equal, the returns will be 100%. This means that no matter how much money is put into the project, it will always return at least as much as was invested. 

If NPV and IRR are equal, the returns will be zero. This means that no matter how much money is put into the project, it will always return nothing.

16. Can You Tell Us How Assets And Liabilities Affect A Company’s Cash Flow?

Yes, assets and liabilities can affect a company’s cash flow. For example, if a company has more assets than liabilities, it will have more money to pay its bills. Conversely, suppose a company has more liabilities than assets. In that case, it will need to find additional sources of funding to cover those obligations.

17. Why Would You Need To Calculate Depreciation?

Depreciation is a way of accounting for the gradual loss of value over time of an asset. For example, if you purchase a car with a five-year lifespan, at the end of each year, you would record the depreciation amount (the decrease in worth due to wear and tear) on your loan agreement. 

Similarly, if you lease office space from someone else and have it hired back to them for another six months, you would record depreciation on your bank statement at the end of every month.

18. What Will Happen To The Cash Flow If There Is An Increase In Accounts Receivable? Explain In Detail.

If there is an increase in accounts receivable, it will generally mean that the company is doing better financially. This means that it has been able to attract more customers and collect on its debts. Consequently, the company’s cash flow will be higher than if fewer customer payments come in.

19. Please Walk Us Through An Investment Declaration You Will Show Your Senior Management.

In a recent investment declaration, I would likely state that the company had invested in a new software program. The primary purpose of this investment was to reduce costs and improve efficiency within our organization. Additionally, I would say that we expect this software program to be profitable in the short term and have positive long-term effects on our business overall.

20. Why Should IRR Be Higher Than WACC?

IRR should be higher than WACC because the company’s cash flow goals are more important than its interest rate targets. Suppose a business has high levels of debt. In that case, it wants to pay off that debt as quickly as possible to increase its earnings and financial stability. However, suppose a company only cares about meeting long-term interest rates without worrying about short-term fluctuations. In that case, this could lead to inconsistent business decision-making and, ultimately, poorer results for shareholders.

21. Are Debts And Dividends Included In The Cash Flow Statement?

Debts and dividends are considered cash flow sources. Still, they are not typically included when calculating a company’s overall profit and loss. This is because these payments come out of a company’s earnings before taxes have been paid – which can reduce the net income that shareholders see.

22. What Is The Importance Of Conducting Sensitivity Analysis?

Sensitivity analysis is a critical step in forecasting financial performance. Managers can make more informed decisions about their overall business strategy by understanding how different factors – like interest rates, sales figures, or exchange rates – could impact a company’s results. Further, sensitivity analysis can help identify potential problems early on, allowing corrective action to be taken before they become too large of a financial burden.

23. Explain ‘Financial Modeling.’

Financial modeling is a standard tool businesses use to project future financial performance. This process involves using mathematical models to simulate how different changes – like income or sales volume fluctuations – could affect a company’s overall health. Managers can make more informed decisions about their long-term strategy by understanding the various factors that can impact their business.

24. Walk Me Through A ‘Cash Flow Statement.’

A cash flow statement is an important financial tool businesses use to analyze their earnings performance. This document provides details about how much money a company has earned and spent over the past period and its current liquidity, which measures how easily the business can access additional funds.

One of the essential elements of a cash flow statement is the net income section. This section shows how much money a company has made after taking into account all expenses (like wages and rental costs), subsidiary distributions (dividends paid out from subsidiaries that are not part of the parent company), and other non-cash items (like depreciation or amortization).

A company’s liquidity is also critical to its cash flow statement. Liquidity refers to a company’s ability to meet short-term financial obligations – like paying off debts or making new investments. A high level of liquidity is generally desirable since it suggests that the business has enough resources to cover short-term needs.

25. Can A Company Have A Positive Cash Flow But Still Be In Severe Financial Trouble?

Yes, it’s possible for a company to have a positive cash flow but still be in severe financial trouble. A company with solid fundamentals – like high profits and low debt levels – may still be in a situation if its overall revenue and spending growth aren’t keeping pace with inflation or other economic factors. Suppose the business becomes too leveraged (i.e., uses more debt than necessary). In that case, there’s a greater risk that it could experience rapid earnings declines, leading to significant financial problems.


We’ve just reviewed the top 25 questions and provided sample responses on how to answer them in a financial due diligence interview. Now you stand a better chance than before if you were to vie for a job vacancy in this field. Be it for a senior financial analyst role, getting through the eClerx aptitude test, or an MBA Finance interview. The above questions will help prepare the answers in the best way. Keep referring to it on the go.

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