An accounting pro is not someone who will just crunch the numbers, but also is a team player, a skilled analyst and consultant – helping you to reduce expenses, maximize income, and drive growth. But qualified, job-ready accountants are difficult to come by in today’s evolving job market.
Bloomberg reports that the number of students with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Accounting reached an all-time high in 2012, but the situation has changed since then. Compared to this peak, the number decreased by nearly 7% in 2018, causing a shortage of competent accounting professionals.
The turnover rate has nearly doubled compared to the standard, and many companies are under pressure, said Gary Boomer, a strategist with Boomer Consulting Inc. At the same time, the demand for accounting services has never been higher.
With fewer applicants to choose from, it’s important to make sure the chosen one has the required skills. Pre-employment assessments are the key to identifying that optimal hire. With the choice of tests available today, you can determine whether your candidates have the necessary skills and the right mindset for your team.
In this article, we will discuss different kinds of assessments available for entry-level accounting jobs and positions requiring previous accounting-related and management experience.
Table of Contents:
- Entry-Level Accounting Tests
- Mid-Level and Senior-Level Accounting Tests
Entry-Level Accounting Tests
All office jobs today require a minimum level of keyboarding skills, not to mention an eye for detail. This simple assessment tool will show you who can quickly create accurate reports and communications.
- Data entry test – There are two subcategories, depending on the job description. Alpha Data Entry tests require job candidates to type simulated customer contact information, while the Numeric test, especially important for accounting roles, measures numerical accuracy (entering numbers only, no other characters).
- Typing test – The candidate types paragraphs in report format, which generates a score analysis, including gross and net typing speed, and shows typing mistakes.
EmployTest offers a variety of pre-employment accounting assessments, such as:
- Accountant Knowledge – credits and debits, depreciation methods, inventory costing methods, basic math and more.
- Bookkeeper Knowledge – knowledge of balance sheet classification, annual reports creation, filing methods, calculating account totals and more.
- Business Documents – covering the details of official documentation.
- Credit and Debits – essentials of balancing accounts.
- Payroll – knowledge of various tax forms and payroll calculations.
The responsibilities of each position determine which accounting tests you should administer.
There’s a reason why testing for Microsoft Excel skills is a must for most hiring processes today. According to recent research, the average office worker spends 38% of their working day using Excel. For accountants, it could be double that amount.
With more than a hundred tools, formulas, functions, data visualization options, and additional valuable editing tools, Excel offers versatility like no other business analysis, data management and reporting program.
But its complexity can also lead to mistakes. Even small mistakes can have serious consequences, as in the example of a cut-and-paste error that cost TransAlta Corp. $24 million.
Microsoft Excel skill assessments range from entry-level to advanced tests, simulating real-world tasks that the candidates will perform daily.
- Beginner Excel test – basic editing and formatting knowledge, such as creating workbooks, formatting text and spreadsheet layout.
- Intermediate Excel test – pivot table creation, conditional formatting and margin adjustments, plus beginner tasks.
- Advanced Excel test – editing pivot tables, data validation, and advanced customization and charts.
If these pre-set tests are not specific enough or too easy, you can create custom Microsoft Excel tests to reflect the requirements of your open position.
Mid-Level and Senior-Level Accounting Tests
The entry-level accounting tests mentioned above are applicable to mid- and senior-level positions as well.
But higher positions also take on different challenges with more responsibility. That’s why they require greater accounting experience, knowledge, and more soft skills. Team managers should know how to get the most out of team members to fuel efficiency and accuracy.
Here are two tests to assess the level of knowledge of candidates when hiring for non-entry level accounting positions:
Accounting pros must be familiar with GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles), as well as major accounting software. But that doesn’t mean candidates applying for mid- and senior-level accounting positions don’t need pre-employment testing. The cost of hiring mistake is higher given the salary, replacement costs and time spent hiring. EmployTest offers test topics such as:
- Accounts Payable – billing methods and analyzing assets and liabilities.
- Accounts Receivable – credit term calculation methods, balance sheet listing, auditing receivables, and more.
- Advanced Accounting – calculating basic owner equity and variable costs, breakeven analysis knowledge, and more.
- Cost Accounting – knowledge of fixed and variable costs, inventory methods, and variance analysis.
- Financial Statements – knowledge of ROIs, gross profit percentage, return on equity, and more.
Management and Supervisor Aptitude Tests
There are no guarantees that an experienced accountant can effectively lead an accounting team. Beyond accounting expertise, higher positions require superb managerial skills.
Our Management aptitude tests can show:
- Interpersonal effectiveness
- Performance orientation and drive
- Influence on others
- Stress management
Resumes and interviews aren't consistently reliable enough to know if they will succeed as a supervisor. Administering a quick 15-minute Supervisor Profile, assessing personality traits such as the candidate’s reliability, self-confidence, and candidness, can give you more confidence in your hiring decision.
Managers and supervisors play an essential role in motivating others to perform at a high level and achieve goals. With pre-employment management and supervisor aptitude tests, you get a step closer to finding the right person to lead your accounting team.
Healthy, stable financials are the backbone of every business, not to mention a decisive factor in an organization's success. EmployTest can help you make that informed hiring decision. Our tests provide you with information that can’t be known from resumes or interviews alone.
Request a free sample of our accounting skills test to learn more and contact us to find out how we can help you hire the best person for the job.