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What Are the Different Types of Financial Accounting Tests?

By Osmand Vitez
Updated Jan 28, 2024
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To learn about different aspects of bookkeeping and accounting, an individual uses financial accounting tests. These tests are either educational, job training, or professional certification in nature. Financial accounting tests often focus on single or closely related areas in financial accounting. For example, educational and job training tests focus on accounts payable, accounts receivable, fixed and general accounting, or a variety of other areas. Professional certification exams also focus on specific areas, although they are much more intense in nature.

Educational financial accounting tests typically focus on the course in which they are given. For example, primary accounting courses include principles of accounting, intermediate accounting, and advanced accounting. Primary principles of accounting include tests on double-entry accounting, financial statements, accounts receivable, and financial ratios. Intermediate accounting introduces information on asset acquisition, depreciation and amortization, combinations and mergers, and other topics. Advanced accounting includes tests on government accounting, nonprofit accounting, taxation, and other significant accounting policies.

The purpose of financial accounting tests is to prove an individual's ability to move forward. The course set by educational institutions test an individual’s ability to read a problem, gather necessary pieces of information, and avoid red herrings. The tests include mostly computational problems with a small mix of word problems. In some cases, the problems are adapted from professional certification exams. This helps prepare individuals for taking the much more intense certification exams upon completing an accounting degree.

Job training financial accounting tests help companies determine how well an individual knows accounting topics. These tests are either given by an employment agency or a company looking to hire individuals directly. These tests focus on basic concepts — such as accounts payable or receivable — or company-specific topics. The tests are generally short and have basic computational questions. Word problems may also be present that ask individuals to define or explain accounting concepts that pertain to the company.

Professional certification exams are among the most intense and detailed exams taken by accountants. These financial accounting tests include several parts, including auditing and attestation, business regulation, financial accounting, and taxation. The tests focus on computations, word problems, and multiple choice questions. These tests often require copious amounts of time to study and learn the information on the exam as well as the standard testing format. Individuals must have a mix of education and experience prior to taking these exams; this ensures that candidates have the basic skills to understand and pass the exam.

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