Employ a diverse set of software skills tests, math proficiency tests, and simulation assessments to select qualified innovative accountants. Strong accounting candidates blend advanced excel and spreadsheet skills with the ability to critically analyze reports and provide sound financial guidance.
The Excel Knowledge test measures a candidate’s knowledge in working with Microsoft Excel and the speed at which they can complete tasks in Excel. Candidates will be asked a series of simple to complex timed questions and will be asked to complete certain formulas. The test is typically completed in 8 minutes and the average score is 26 out of 40. The top 10% of candidates score 33 out of 40 and generally complete the test in under 6 minutes.
The Quickbooks Knowledge Test is similar to the Excel Test in that it will measure a candidate’s understanding of Quickbooks. Candidates will be asked a series of questions that will test their ability to navigate the program, identify different sections of Quickbooks, and will be asked how they’d perform certain functions in Quickbooks. The assessment typically takes 9 minutes to complete and has an average score of 3 out of 8. The top 10% of candidates score 6 out of 8 and complete the test in around 5 minutes.
The Spreadsheet Simulation tests a candidate’s ability to navigate through a live spreadsheet and complete certain tasks in that spreadsheet in a timed environment. Candidates will be taken to an external spreadsheet which they will complete and submit at the end of the assessment. The Spreadsheet Simulation typically takes 16 minutes to complete and has an average score of 9 out of 15. The Top 10% of candidates score 11 out of 15 and typically complete the assessment in around 12 minutes.
The Math Proficiency Exam is used to measure a candidate’s basic and complex math skills that they would utilize in an Accounting role. The test also measures a candidate’s ability to spot common mistakes and the level of their attention to detail. The Math Proficiency Exam is typically completed in 10 minutes with an average score of 6 out of 11. The top 10% of candidates score 9.5 out of 11 and typically complete the test in under 7 minutes.
Successful candidates bring adaptability, a strong sense of teamwork, and a dedicated eye for detail. Ideal candidates also demonstrate a strong sense of integrity in their work and a desire to continually improve on their skills in the field. Employers use the following metrics when considering potential candidates:
Accountants will spend a great deal of time sifting through large amounts of data and will be required to have a critical eye when dealing with that data. Often times Accountants will be asked to spot different ways that a company is unnecessarily spending money or ways that they can save money in the future. They should be able to generate reports based on their findings that provide value both to the company and to their teammates.
Due to the large amount of numbers that Accountants deal with, a superior attention to detail is crucial. A single misplaced decimal point can ruin an entire report if it isn’t spotted. Successful Accounts are able to quickly spot errors and mistakes in their own work as well as the work of others.
Handling the finances of a company is a huge responsibility which necessitates accountability. Forgetting to check a report that ended in completely skewed numbers is a possibility in the role and Accountants need to ensure that they remain accountable at all times. Those who succeed in the role will be able to consistently excellent work, but will also have the integrity to take responsibility for their mistakes.
Companies will always welcome new and inventive ways to save money. Accountants that are able to combine their mastery of numbers with knowledge of new practices and theories will excel in their roles. This might require interested candidates to research outside of their field of expertise or follow related blogs, podcasts, and online communities.
Many times a customer will call in and expect a Customer Service Representative to have the answer to each question they might have about a situation or product. A CSR should be able to quickly research and resolve an issue without providing inaccurate or rushed information. When issues become more complex, Agents are often tasked with trying multiple solutions (some tried and true, some experimental) to resolve a customer’s issue.
Accountants are often asked to present their findings and recommend a course of action based on those findings. Giving presentations that are easy to understand will help companies make educated financial decisions. Successful Accountants are able to take complex data and deliver it in an engaging and educational way.
New software, rules, and theories are constantly being discovered and a successful Accountant is able to keep up to date with new content. Especially now that many companies are moving away from paper and towards electronic filing systems, keeping up to date on new technology will keep a successful Accountant ahead of the game.
Accountants are generally responsible for managing financial statements, reconciling company accounts, advising the company on financial matters, and analyzing generated financial reports. Successful accountants can save companies large amounts of money by knowing what to look for and exercising superior attention to detail.
Accountants will often specialize in specific areas of expertise such as Tax or Internal Auditing, but should be able to keep up to date on trends that are relevant to their field (even if not relevant to their specialty). The ability to work on a team is highly desirable as many Accountants will be required not only to work with Financial Analysts, but will often be asked to work with internal and external auditors in preparing reports. Keeping an eye out for mistakes that others might have missed will improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the Accounting team.
Ensuring that companies are on schedule for filing important documents is also within the realm of an Accountant’s responsibilities. Many tax forms have specific deadlines that have dire consequences if they aren’t properly met and a seasoned professional should have a calendar to keep track of these important deadlines. They should also be able to communicate deadlines and keep others on their team on track to complete work within allotted time.