Employers and staffing agencies, such as Accountemps, use pre-employment accounting tests to assess the skills of potential employees. Potential job candidates are tested in accounting disciplines such as financial and managerial accounting. In addition, you may be tested on your knowledge of the general journal or how well you understand accounts payable and receivable. The pre-employment accounting tests you take usually correspond with the position you're seeking. For example, if you're seeking a position as an auditor, you'll be subject to exams that test your attention to detail, and measure your ability to prepare and analyse financial data.
Study old notes and textbooks if you have previous coursework in accounting background. Practice sample problems and exercises. You may find applicable testing materials on websites, such as drtaccounting.com, where you'll see sample accounting problems and their solutions. (See Resources 2)
Visit websites such as accountingcoach.com for short lessons on accounting basics such as the income and balance sheet. (See References 2) In addition, you'll be provided with solutions to sample problems. You'll be able to post questions on the forum and view job postings. For an additional fee, you can purchase an accounting test that will allow you to prepare for your pre-employment test.
Register with temporary accounting agencies that place accountants in short term and permanent positions. When you register with temporary agencies such as Accountemps, you'll be required to take a pre-employment accounting test. In addition to testing your level of accounting knowledge, your proficiency in Access and Excel will be tested as well as standard office software such as Microsoft Outlook. After your scores have been tallied, speaking with a recruiter will help identify an accounting position that matches your skill level. In addition, you may be provided with links to online resources such as Excel and Access tutorials.
Take online accounting courses, such as those offered by Penn Foster Career School, to brush up on your accounting skills. (See Resources 3) Check out community colleges in your area for classes. Many junior colleges partner with local businesses and may even offer internships.
Be prepared for a background and drug screening. Anticipate interview questions regarding your prior work experience. Prepare to answer questions about your educational background. This will also be an opportunity to show off your interpersonal skills which will be constantly in use to communicate financial information to internal and external staff.