Understanding Pre-Employment Accounting Tests
By Jennifer Feldman

With an increasingly competitive job market, employers have begun to seek out new ways to screen applicants. Many employers have learned that conducting a more intensive hiring process, i.e. one that involves a pre-employment assessment, saves them both time and money in the long term. Candidates for many accounting and bookkeeping positions should expect to face a pre-employment accounting test. This test ensures you possess the required math, reading comprehension, writing, computer, and analysis skills needed to perform the job. Accountants are responsible for making sure a company’s finances are completely transparent. One little mistake can lead to large fines. Therefore, employers are looking for candidates who are detail-oriented and that they can trust to oversee their finances.


What Information Is Covered on the Test?

Depending on the position you are applying for, you may receive a combination of questions related to cash flow, dividends, inventory, provisions, credit terms, ratios, journal entries, account types, account balancing, and documentation. If you are applying for a general accounting position, you won’t know which types of questions will appear on the test. Therefore, make sure to brush up on all these topics. Focus more on information you feel you will encounter on the job.

What Is the Format of the Test?

Accounting tests are usually made up of around 40 multiple-choice questions. The difficulty level of the exam depends on the specific accounting role you are applying for.

For Which Positions Will I Face Specific Tests?

 If you are applying for a position as an accounts payable clerk, or if your position involves processing account payables, you should be prepared to face an Accounts Payable Test. This test covers basic accounting principles needed in processing accounts payable. The exam covers three primary topics: processing invoices, purchase orders, and processing checks.

 If you are applying for a position as an accounts receivable clerk, or if part of your responsibilities include completing accounts receivables, you should be prepared to take an Accounts Receivable Test. It covers seven primary topics: cash flow, accounts receivable concepts, collections, invoices/billing, credits, journal entries, and payments.

 Lastly, if you are applying for a bookkeeping position, you should expect to take a Bookkeeping Test. This exam assesses a candidate's understanding of recording transactions, basic bookkeeping functions, completing entries, and accounting concepts.

 How Can I Prepare?

 Knowing what to expect during the interview is the best way to prepare. When you go in for an interview, you should be prepared to answer questions like the following: How do you avoid errors and review your work? How have you ever helped reduce your company’s costs? How do you evaluate risks? Which accounting programs are you familiar with? You should also practice for the accounting test in advance. Take a look at JobTestPrep’s accounting test practice pack. It includes instant online access to 160 sample questions with explanations. As a reliable and well-paid profession, accounting is one of the most competitive job markets out there. It is important you do everything in your power to ensure you beat out the competition and land the job. For many candidates, walking in to an interview and being surprised by a test can be the difference between getting the job and being passed over. Make sure you are on the right end of the hiring curve.




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