Recruiting? We’re getting close to the key recruitment period within the accountancy profession and we all know how important it is to get the right candidates in place…!!

A number of our clients use our bookkeeping induction self-study course, The Balancing Act, as an integral part of their induction training.

If you are currently recruiting, this can be a really effective way of getting new staff up to speed and chargeable really quickly and without needing to tie up loads of expensive senior time providing the training.

There is a comprehensive test at the end of The Balancing Act, for which we provide the employer the answers and marking scheme, so they can assess competence against their own minimum benchmark.

They can then make a decision as to whether they think their new recruit will “cut the mustard” and be successful in their appointed role.

Some firms require their recruits to complete the programme, full time, over their first 5 to 7 days in the office; some in their own time over a 3 month probationary period. In terms of being an effective “induction” and “getting new staff up to speed” tool we feel that the shorter programme is more effective.

Extract from our online learning platform Moodle showing one of the learning sessions.

Introducing a Pre-recruitment Bookkeeping Test

However……this still takes time and can mean that you might have to find a replacement candidate if the one you recruited didn’t perform well. And by the time you do this, you have probably already turned down your 2nd choice candidate and it might be difficult to find another as it is too late in the year.

Hence, one of our clients recently asked us if we could provide a pre-recruitment bookkeeping aptitude test for a candidate that they were interviewing the following week.

What a good idea.

The answer was therefore a resounding “Yes”!!

We’re now delighted to launch our new online ‘Bookkeeping Aptitude Test’ (BAT).

The BAT aims to take the sting out of accountancy recruitment, enabling you to screen out those candidates who, with the best will in the world, are never going to make it as an accountant.

For some time we have provided pre-recruitment DISC profiling support and the BAT is a natural progression from this.

How the Bookkeeping Aptitude test works:

1. We have created a separate mini course and a pre-recruitment aptitude test, using our online Learning Management System (LMS), Moodle. It is the same system we use for our Balancing Act course. Your recruiting partner(s) is given ‘admin access’ to the LMS for your firm.

2. You enrol your candidate onto BAT, send them a link and ask them to complete the training and submit the end of course test at least a day before the interview.

3. Candidates have to answer a series of questions covering the following bookkeeping areas:Preparing journals for posting to the General Ledge

  • Completing the postings to the General Ledger T-Accounts
  • Balancing off the General Ledger Accounts and transferring the balances to the Trial Balance, balancing the Trial Balance (hopefully!!)
  • Answering some questions on debits and credits
  • Posting amounts to the Bank a/c in the General Ledger and balancing it off
  • Answering some questions on categorisation of certain account items

4. The recruiting partners can view the course online and in particular the candidate’s activity log, so they can see the level of activity on each part of the course the candidate has worked on. After the candidate has submitted their answers, they also have access to the answers and marking scheme to allow them to mark it.

5. The BAT results can then be discussed with the candidate during the interview, before deciding whether to offer them a place or not.

BAT in Action

In a recent live trial of this new online course, the candidate submitted their Test to the accountancy firm in plenty of time for the recruiting partner to mark it prior to interview. The activity logs showed that she had worked through the course a couple of times and had been really active on it.

She was enrolled onto the BAT course on the Monday and she submitted the Test on Wednesday. She achieved over 90% and interviewed really well. She has been offered the job and will be starting work at the beginning of April. The BAT provided lots of confidence that the candidate didn’t just “interview well”, but had the aptitude for the accounting role being offered. Their first week will be spent completing The Balancing Act course, with the aim that she can become fully chargeable on completion of this course.

When speaking to other clients, this BAT course could be used either before the 1st interview or in between the 1st and 2nd interviews.

We have also set up separate admin access for the firm’s students on The Balancing Act course so they can also monitor their progress and activity on this also.


Our new online Bookkeeping Aptitude Test costs just £15 + VAT per enrolled candidate in order to cover the administration involved.

However, we will refund/waive this for those who subsequently purchase The Balancing Act for the candidate or who enrol them on an Apprenticeship with us. For those Apprentices enrolling immediately after recruitment, we can incorporate The Balancing Act course as part of their Apprenticeship.

Next Steps

If you are recruiting and interested in discussing how this can be best used for your own needs, please contact:

Simon Deane at [email protected] or on 01392 435349