Accounting is supposed to be all about the numbers — and it is, at its most basic level. But relationships are what matters most, even in accounting. That means if you don't have high emotional intelligence — or EQ — then it's hard to connect with customers, prospects, managers, and your team.
 
Why does this matter? Teamwork and partnerships are about more than cooperating. They're about understanding how to work in a healthy, professional, and effective way. That's why emotional intelligence tests are essential for evaluating emotional intelligence skills. 
 
In this article, we'll explore how EQ impacts your accounting firm and how you can ensure the people you hire possess these skills.
 
 
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What Is Emotional Intelligence?

Simply put, emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions and successfully navigate the emotions of others. 
 
This skill includes self-awareness, social awareness, relationship management, and self-management. Let's look at these in more detail below:
 

Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is essential to EQ because it allows you to remain calm and cool under pressure. 
 
When you feel confident in yourself and your abilities, you're better able to conduct yourself well in social situations. And when it comes to accounting, it's crucial to remain poised during high-pressure situations (e.g., tax season or other important filing deadlines). 
 

Social Awareness 

We've all been around people who don't know how to "read the room". When someone lacks social awareness, they aren't tuned into the needs of others and are typically not very empathetic. 
 
Hiring employees who can't seem to care about others is a big problem and is why an emotional intelligence test can be helpful when hiring new team members.
 

Self-Management

Accounting is about exact numbers and knowing which and when specific reports and forms are needed.
 
You need to have an accurate picture of how hard-working, reliable, organized, and forward-thinking applicants are to ensure to ensure business success. In accounting roles, these skills keep your business running smoothly, smoothly, and effectively.
 

Relationship Management 

We hinted at this above, but relationship management is a key component of EQ. Communicating and collaborating well with team members and customers is essential for building solid foundations within your business and with those that utilize your services. 
 

Benefits Of High EQ

It's important to discuss the benefits of finding someone with a high EQ. For example, those with higher EQ levels tend to have better job performance and leadership skills. In fact, 90% of top performers have a high EQ.
 
In addition, these top performers are better able to manage teams, be active participants in difficult conversations, and solve problems eagerly as they arise.
 
Also, people with a high EQ tend to be more motivated to do well and work hard, which can positively affect your business's bottom line. Employees with high EQ are four times less likely to leave their job. 
 
This saves you from going back to the drawing board and going through the hiring process all over again — a costly mistake that can throw a wrench in how your business operates. You want to trust that your team is working positively together towards their goals.
 

Why Testing For Emotional Intelligence Matters 

Although we shared reasons why EQ is important earlier in this article, emotional intelligence matters for your accounting firm because, without it, you could end up with employees who are inconsiderate and completely unable to regulate and read their emotions. Not only is this frustrating to work with, but it can literally cost you business and make other employees discontent with their work environment. 
 
So, what can you do? Pre-employment testing can help evaluate whether candidates can relate to others. This ultimately saves you time, money, and dissatisfaction within your existing team and business. While it may sound simple, an emotional intelligence test could save your business from hiring someone who simply doesn't have high relationship management skills. 
 
The bottom line is relationship management matters whether an employee is in an entry-level position or in management. And finding ways to evaluate how a candidate handles different situations and types of stress helps you see whether they have what it takes to help your team. 
 

Emotional Intelligence Testing To The Rescue 

Numbers are important, and so are emotional intelligence skills. When you have both accurate data and an accounting team that is kind, detailed, reliable, and can read the room, you've got something special.
 
But how can you get there? And how do you know how to weed out those that aren't going to be a good fit? Using pre-employment testing is a step in the right direction. These tests can evaluate anything from EQ to behavioral traits to industry-specific knowledge and everything in between. 
 
Knowing your candidates have not only technical skills, but also the social know-how for great teamwork gives you peace of mind. Especially with a remote workforce, it's important to have a standard for evaluating behavioral traits in addition to job-specific skills. 
 
Are you interested in learning more about pre-employment testing? Just contact us or request a sample test. We can help to make your accounting team hires more successful.

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