9 key bookkeeping skills (and how you can test them)

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9 key bookkeeping skills (and how you can test them)

featured image of 9 key bookkeping skills

If your business is growing and you’re searching for a new bookkeeper, it’s time to accelerate and streamline your hiring process by assessing applicants’ bookkeeping skills before putting them through to the interview stage. 

Here, we take you through the nine key bookkeeping skills and how to test applicants for each. 

Table of contents

image showing five bookkeeping skills



1. Attention to detail

Bookkeepers handle large amounts of financial and company data on a day-to-day basis, meaning they should be able to: 

  • Reconcile accounts
  • Ensure they don’t miss or miscalculate even the smallest financial details
  • Keep highly accurate details of all financial transactions
  • Stay on top of company information

How to test bookkeepers’ attention to detail skills

Bookkeepers need excellent attention to detail to process not only financial data but all types of information.

TestGorilla’s Attention to Detail test enables you to assess a candidate’s ability to: 

  • Compare statements for differences
  • Match and filter information
  • Check the consistency of information

preview of attention to detail question in TestGorilla
preview of attention to detail question in TestGorilla



2. Communication skills

Bookkeepers must be able to communicate well with a wide range of colleagues and clients to communicate workflows, clear roadblocks, and manage expectations. Bookkeeping communication skills include the ability to: 

  • Explain technical/financial matters clearly and simply
  • Understand the different stakeholders and audiences they communicate with
  • Provide clear reports on financial performance and any issues that arise 

How to test bookkeepers’ communication skills

As a soft skill, communication ability can be tricky to test.

Luckily, TestGorilla’s Communication test helps you assess how well a candidate:

  • Comprehends and interprets written communications
  • Interprets non-verbal cues
  • Understands a task and derives related tasks
  • Can maintain professionalism throughout all communications

preview of communication test question in TestGorilla
preview of communication test question in TestGorilla



3. Critical-thinking skills 

Bookkeepers often need critical-thinking skills to help interpret the story behind the numbers.

Simply put, when anomalies or issues occur, bookkeepers can not only identify them but also determine the reasons behind them. 

How to test bookkeepers’ critical-thinking skills

The ability to logically analyze and evaluate information is a key bookkeeping skill. TestGorilla’s Critical Thinking test measures candidates’ critical-thinking skills by presenting them with numerical and written data and asking them to: 

  • Solve syllogisms using deductive reasoning
  • Evaluate cause-and-effect relationships
  • Interpret sequences and arrangements 
  • Recognize assumptions

preview of critical thinking skills test in TestGorilla
preview of critical thinking skills test in TestGorilla



4. Problem-solving skills

Bookkeepers are often problem-solvers by default. Candidates with great bookkeeping skills should be able to: 

  • Identify potential financial inconsistencies
  • Determine the cause of financial anomalies
  • Solve financial anomalies and irregularities

How to test bookkeepers’ problem-solving skills

TestGorilla’s Problem Solving test presents candidates with different scenarios and asks them to analyze data and textual information and produce the most appropriate and effective solution. The test covers a candidate’s ability to: 

  • Create and adjust schedules
  • Interpret data and apply logic to make decisions
  • Prioritize and apply order based on a given set of rules
  • Analyze textual and numerical information to draw conclusions

preview of problem solving skills test in TestGorilla
preview of problem solving skills test in TestGorilla



5. Basic bookkeeping skills: Accounts payable and accounts receivable

The candidate you finally hire must have the most basic bookkeeping skills: accounts payable and accounts receivable.

This includes candidates’ ability to: 

  • Understand accounting concepts and terms
  • Calculate accounting figures
  • Competently manage accounting figures

How to test bookkeepers’ accounts payable and accounts receivable skills

The Accounts Payable test and Accounts Receivable test can help you assess candidates’ skills in identifying, recording, and managing accounts receivable and payable by asking them to solve specific calculations. If your company uses Quickbooks for bookkeeping, give your candidates a Quickbooks Online test.

preview of accounts payable skills test in TestGorilla
preview of accounts payable skills test in TestGorilla

preview of accounts receivable skills test in TestGorilla
preview of accounts receivable skills test in TestGorilla

image showing five more bookkeeping skills



6. Time-management skills

Bookkeepers often have to deal with many different tasks with competing deadlines, so it’s critical for them to have time-management abilities. Your new bookkeeper should be able to:  

  • Meet deadlines
  • Prioritize tasks and handle multiple projects
  • Maximize productivity by managing their time effectively

How to test bookkeepers’ time-management skills

TestGorilla’s Time Management test presents bookkeeping candidates with typical workplace scenarios and assesses their ability to manage their time and prioritize, plan, and execute their tasks. 

preview of time management skills test in TestGorilla
preview of time management skills test in TestGorilla



7. Math skills

Mathematical skills arguably form the cornerstone of any bookkeeper’s entire skill set. Math skills enable bookkeepers to: 

  • Perform financial calculations
  • Easily balance a company’s financial books
  • Use numerical skills to calculate the sum of various business transactions

How to test bookkeepers’ math skills 

TestGorilla’s Numerical Reasoning test is designed to measure a candidate’s ability to interpret and work with numbers. 

The test presents candidates with a range of questions involving sequences, fractions, ratios, and percentages. It assesses their ability to:

  • Interpret numbers, fractions, and percentages
  • Identify number patterns
  • Understand text and tables
  • Comprehend charts, graphs, and diagrams

preview of math skills test in TestGorilla
preview of math skills test in TestGorilla



8. Data-entry skills

Data entry is a crucial skill for bookkeeping tasks, from calculating accounting figures to recording financial data in general ledgers. 

How to test bookkeepers’ data-entry skills

TestGorilla’s Advanced Accounting test helps you identify candidates with great data-entry skills by measuring their knowledge of accounting concepts and ability to calculate accounting figures and manage financial records.

preview of data entry skills test in TestGorilla
preview of data entry skills test in TestGorilla



9. Integrity and transparency

In addition to a mixture of hard and soft skills, your bookkeeper also needs to be honest, open, and trustworthy and to fit in with your overall organizational culture

How to test bookkeepers’ integrity and transparency 

It can be difficult to assess how well a candidate’s values align with your company’s.

TestGorilla’s Culture Add test enables you to customize your own assessments to determine whether your candidates align well with the rest of your company.

preview of culture add test in TestGorilla

Wrapping up: Top candidates will have a mix of hard bookkeeping skills and soft skills 

Bookkeeping is an extremely detail-oriented and mathematical profession that also requires exceptional communication, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills. 

Assessing this mixture of hard and soft skills is essential for enhancing the efficiency of your hiring process and selecting the best bookkeeping candidate for your organization. 

TestGorilla helps you choose the best candidates by evaluating the skills needed for bookkeeping

Now that you know which bookkeeping skills your desired candidates need and how to test them, it’s time to implement skills testing into your hiring process to help you hire only the most qualified candidates. 

With TestGorilla, you can create assessments made up of different skills tests to easily compare candidates’ bookkeeping abilities.

Join TestGorilla today and start assessing your bookkeeping candidates for the essential skills.

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