Cancelled Accountex doesn’t mean cancelled training…
It is sad news that the organisers of Accountex have had to cancel the show for 2020.
But totally understandable; (it was due to be rescheduled for the 18-19 November this year – Accountex have not shown the latest update on their website yet, but you can register your interest for 2021).
The Accountex event was initially due to run from 13-14 May and we would have been exhibiting there for the first time. We were planning to showcase two of our accounting related courses, ‘The Balancing Act’ and our new ‘Bookkeeping Aptitude Test’.
However, whilst Accountex has now been cancelled, the same should not apply to your accounting student recruitment and training. Spring and early summer are the key times for firms to be recruiting their next cohort of students. Whilst the world has recently been thrown into chaos with the COVID-19 lockdown, we are already seeing positive signs that firms are starting to look to the future and kick-start their recruitment programmes.
Step forward the Bookkeeping Aptitude Test!
We have been working with accountancy firms for over 35 years helping them to train and develop their accounting students. However, despite the firms’ best efforts to recruit the future accountancy stars of the future, it can often take months to identify that some students are just never going to make the grade.
To reduce the risk of appointing the wrong candidates we have developed the Bookkeeping Aptitude Test. This is a short online test which we recommend getting candidates to complete and submit a day or so before their interview (whether that be an online or socially distanced interview!).
What does the aptitude test cover?
The Bookkeeping Aptitude Test asks candidates to answer questions covering a variety of bookkeeping principles, including:
- Preparing journals for posting to the General Ledger.
- Completing the postings to the General Ledger T-Accounts.
- Balancing off the General Ledger Accounts and transferring the balances to the Trial Balance, and (hopefully!!) balancing the Trial Balance.
- Answering questions on debits and credits.
- Posting amounts to the bank account in the General Ledger and balancing it off.
- Answering questions on categorisation of certain account items.
Marking and assessment
The candidate’s answers are then viewed online by your partners or HR managers. Not only do you see the candidate’s answers, but an online activity log lets you see how much time the candidate has spent on the different areas. The answers and a marking scheme are also issued, which allows you to mark the test.
The candidates test results and the approach they took can then be discussed during the interview.
As the product name suggests, the test aims to check the bookkeeping aptitude of the candidates and whether they have what it takes to become a qualified accountant.
Why use the Bookkeeping Aptitude Test?
This simple but effective online recruitment tool helps you:
- Weed out the candidates who may look great on their CV and can talk the talk during an interview but are lacking the skills and abilities to fully understand the principles of bookkeeping.
- Reduce the time spent by partner and senior managers who are involved with training accounting students. From now on they will only spend time with candidates who are more than likely going to pass their exams.
- Save money (and additional time) on having to re-advertise and re-recruit replacement trainees if your first choice doesn’t make the grade. At that stage of the annual recruitment cycle it could mean that the best candidates have already being employed.
- Have peace of mind that your future accounting recruits will hit the ground running, as soon as they start working for you.
We’ve saved the best till last!
And the main reason you should use the Bookkeeping Aptitude Test as part of your accounting recruitment resources? The price! This great online bookkeeping test costs just £15 + VAT per enrolled candidate.
And there’s more!
The Bookkeeping Aptitude Test is ultimately free if you subsequently enrol the same candidate/employee onto an Apprenticeship with Accountancy Learning or you purchase The Balancing Act course (see below).
Further details about the Bookkeeping Aptitude Test, along with feedback from firms who have used it, can be found here.
If you’ve selected the right candidate? Now get them chargeable ASAP!
The Balancing Act – self-study bookkeeping course
The second product we were to showcase at Accountex was our innovative self-study bookkeeping course, The Balancing Act. The course is aimed at accounting juniors and students, or those returning to work who would benefit from a refresher on bookkeeping.
It is a mix of online self-study resources and a case study which is sent to the students in a hard copy format. There is also a hard copy end of course test and marking scheme which you can use to assess the trainee’s abilities and discuss this with them. The aim of the course is to get students up to speed with all the bookkeeping principles and to be able to prepare a full set of accounts in as little as 5 days!
So, if your student(s) are set aside a full week of training, preferably as part of their induction or very early on in their employment, they could be a productive part of your team within a week.
Why use The Balancing Act?
In addition to the speed in which your trainees could become chargeable, there are many other benefits to using this great bookkeeping course, including:
- Your partners and senior staff will spend less of their time explaining the principles of bookkeeping, thereby not having a detrimental effect on their own productivity.
- The firm will improve its recovery rate earlier in the trainee’s employment.
- Your trainees will feel more empowered and part of the team if they know they are contributing towards client service and fee income deliverables.
- The course will give trainees a head start on their professional qualifications.
- The firm (and the trainee) will get an early indication if there is likely to be a problem with the trainee’s abilities to grasp the subject. This could reduce salary costs if it is agreed to terminate the employment.
At Accountex we were going to offer a 20% discount to anyone who purchased The Balancing Act. This would allow firms to buy the product for a discounted price of £180 + VAT per trainee (the course is normally £225 + VAT). However, in these challenging times we are delighted to extend this offer until 31 July 2020.