How to Hire the Modern Accountant, Part 2

Following on from our last post where we identified the seven ‘Professional Quotients’ (a mix of technical knowledge, skills and abilities formed with interpersonal behaviours and qualities) the ACCA deem essential to any modern Accounting professional, we are now going to equip you with the all-important ‘how’.

How can an employer of accountants assess whether a candidate has these vital ingredients of success to become valued professionals if appointed?

Here's our view on how you could assess each attribute:

  • Technical and ethical competencies (TEQ): Too often based on possession of a professional qualification when everyone knows that being qualified doesn’t equate to being competent. This is where we blow our own trumpet and recommend assessing technical accounting skills and knowledge with the only current, valid & country-specific accounting tests in the world - Accountests.com for an online accounting skills assessment for candidates within an hour
  • Intelligence (IQ): There are a host of valid, reliable psychometric ability tests out there which measure this attribute. Better still, they come in suits of three that cover abilities to acquire new knowledge and work with systems and processes outside of previous experience, as well as ability tests of numerical and verbal critical reasoning.
  • Creativity (CQ): Abstract reasoning psychometric ability tests cover this attribute well, but could be blended with assessment centre exercises requiring analysis of complex information to make recommendations, Situational Judgement tests as well as personality profile traits of creativity, change and strategic focus.
  • Digital (DQ): Sound interview questions and reference checking by an interviewer who is technologically savvy ought to uncover where a candidate sits in terms of their use of current technologies at home and work as well as where they see technologies shaping the accounting and finance function in the future. Well-crafted and delivered questions should weed out those who see technologies as threats rather than opportunities
  • Emotional intelligence (EQ): Back to the better personality questionnaires that include traits associated with Emotional Intelligence, including warmth towards others, team focus, being trusting/supportive, focusing on subtle people-implications in problem solving and decision making. There are also questionnaires based entirely on EQ, but as a personal preference, we'd recommend broader 'whole of personality' assessments such as 16PF/15FQ+ & OPQ32
  • Vision (VQ): In the absence of a crystal ball, high level verbal critical reasoning tests such as Watson Glaser & Psytech's CRTB1 assess abilities to make logical assumptions based on current information. The better personality questionnaires listed above also assess softer visionary traits, including thinking strategically without being held back by traditional conventions, policies or mind-sets.
  • Experience (XQ): Last but not least, assessing experience is the easy bit, with relevant information gathered from CV's, application forms, then validated by good interviewers interviewing both candidates and referees.


So, now you have both the framework of attributes for success and the tools to measure them.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can future-proof your recruitment strategy to set yourself up for long term success, do give us a call & we'll let you experience our country-specific skills & knowledge tests.