Online tool takes guess work out of hiring accountants

Published on the 11/09/2014 | Written by Newsdesk


An online tool that tests accountancy technical competency was launched last week at the HR Game Changer Conference, giving those hiring accountants a reliable way to measure technical ability for the first time…

With over 1000 accountancy positions being recruited for at any given time in New Zealand, selecting the wrong candidate can be costly. In fact, as you would expect the people who hire accountants have done the numbers and say it can cost up to $199,000 or 143 percent of an average chartered accountant’s annual salary. That’s a big gamble.

As chartered accountant Giles Pearson put it: “for many of our clients, as employers of Chartered Accountants and unqualified accountants it is a bit of a hit and miss when it comes to assessing their technical expertise.

“In many instances the candidate will have a good CV, will interview well and the referees are glowing, but when it came down to technical proficiency, our clients didn’t really have a tool to test them on.

“You can ask candidates about their experience, and although many are qualified, some can’t apply their skills practically to the benefit of their client or employer,” Pearson said.

After many discussions with disillusioned accountants such as Pearson, human resources specialist Steve Evans, set about creating Accountests – a cloud-based testing tool that will take the guess work out of measuring technical proficiency. The test suite includes Chartered Accountant, graduate accountant and bookkeeping tests.

Evans said he drew on his expertise in psychometric testing and HR tactics to develop the questionnaires, which were validated by partner and manager level accountants at PwC, Staples Rodway and BDO, chief financial officers and financial controllers within businesses along with HR candidate selection specialists. Academic support was provided by Waikato University.

“It was important that we developed a tool that had been thoroughly tested – both in outcomes and functionality. It had to be easy to use and the test takes just 30 minutes.

“When combined with structured interviews and assessments of ability and personality, it will strengthen the decisions for appointing the most suitable candidate.

“We have spent a lot of time getting it right and we’re now ready to offer it to accountancy firms, businesses and recruitment companies in New Zealand and then throughout the world,” Evans said.

Post a comment or question...

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.
Follow iStart to keep up to date with the latest news and views...