Introduce yourself in a few words. What is your background?
After graduating from high school, I quickly started working in order to finance my studies. I then juggled for 7 years, between studies and work. After obtaining two bachelor's degrees and a diploma as an accountant specializing in payroll management, I started working in an accounting firm. Sometime later, a change of perspective in my private life made me leave the Paris area and start my micro-enterprise.
My former boss (chartered accountant), is the one who allowed me to start in this way by being my very first client. My first missions were to carry out the invoicing for his firm and I took a liking to it. In wanting to diversify my service offer, I simply wanted to offer to companies what I particularly liked during my training: payroll management. It is a rich field, in constant evolution, and which requires a regular watch. I like to learn constantly and to develop my knowledge, it is thus quite natural that I proposed to my customers, a service in this field.
What expertise do you offer to companies today?
Today, I am an accounting assistant, an administrative assistant, and an office manager for start-ups, very small companies, and SMEs. A bit of a jack-of-all-trades, I support company managers daily to allow them to focus on their core business and their main missions.
My clients are mainly service providers: website publishing, corporate concierge, press relations, or creators of digital solutions.
The follow-up of the accounting as a whole is essential for the good health of a company. The support and the follow-up of the HR questions for the employees allow the employees to be reassured and the company manager to be more serene.
More recently, with a customer (a little shy on everything related to administration/accounting/HR), we undertook to take over the basics of the management of tasks related to its main activity: accounting and payroll management in particular.
- We, therefore, took over the accounting over a rather extensive history to be able to take stock of the income/expenses, collect all the supporting documents and justify all the accounting operations and thus have a clearer vision of the financial health of the company.
- We have set up regular client billing so that the company has a steady stream of money coming in (every month) and clients don't have to pay for several months of services at once.
- We have set up a follow-up and reminders to recover the sums due and not paid by certain customers (for various reasons).
- We have set up a follow-up of payroll instructions and HR data by centralizing all payroll-related requests with a single contact person.
- We have also set up dashboards, allowing us to monitor, almost directly, the company's income/expenses and thus be able to give employees bonuses on objectives reliably and regularly.
Can you tell us more about your "Billing" and "Payroll" tests created with Maki People: what can a candidate expect? What types of questions can a recruiter rely on?
Through these tests, candidates will be able to compare their theoretical and practical knowledge of two important subjects in the support functions of companies.
Invoicing is a fundamental pillar for the company, correct, up-to-date, and regular invoicing allows one to foresee, anticipate and develop a company. Having a solid foundation and knowing the legal provisions allows everyone to move forward serenely.
The "Billing" test questions both substantive and formal issues.
Some examples of topics you will find in the test:
- How should an estimate be presented?
- How can you organize your internal billing numbering?
- What are the options to consider if a customer has not paid an invoice on time?
Payroll management is another fundamental pillar of the company. Employees who do not need to scrutinize their pay slips every month or to ask for information and/or confirmations regularly are more serene employees at their workstations and therefore more efficient. A meticulous follow-up of the various social declarations, allows the company to protect itself from possible problems with the administration.
Some examples of topics you will find in the test:
- When do you have to send the Nominative Social Declaration each month?
- How are paid vacations calculated for full-time and part-time employees?
- What documents should be provided to an employee on his last day with the company?
How to read the results of a billing and payroll skills test?
The skills test reflects the candidate's knowledge and/or skills at a given moment. Like all tests, the conditions under which it was taken can influence the test result.
This is why I think it is important to go further and analyze the candidate's possible mistakes: inattention error, approximation in the answer, and partially correct answer,... Then why not, if the profile is interesting, go and question the candidate on his choice of answer. Maybe since the test, the candidate will have done some research, will have looked for the answer, and will have developed his field of competence (being proactive is an undeniable quality in this field).
What questions might be interesting to ask a candidate during an interview in addition to a test of billing and payroll skills?
The knowledge and skills of the candidates are important, it is true, but that is not all. Soft skills are just as important. The candidate must correspond to the values of the company, have a profile adapted to the position you are looking for and be able to integrate easily into his new environment.
The questions you ask should all have a defined professional purpose. Depending on what you are looking for in the candidate and/or the company culture, you can stick to classic questions or go for unusual questions to make the interview a little less formal and a little more relaxed (although it is not impossible to do this with standard questions).
Some examples of questions I like:
- Why did you choose to apply to this company?
- If I asked your former colleagues questions, what would they say about you?
- Which real or fictional character do you identify with? Why this choice?
- If you had to organize a team building, which activity would you choose? Why would you choose this activity?
What other methods can be used to test these skills for a candidate?
Several options are available to you.
For remote interviews, open-ended questions or questions requiring a structured reflection (why not questions communicated in advance) are more relevant in my opinion. This will allow you to discuss with the candidate their method of thinking, their approach, and their overall reasoning.
If you meet the candidate for a face-to-face interview, in addition to the questions that can be asked during the remote interview, you can subject him or her to a (short) test or a few questions. These questions can be written or not and with concrete situations according to the needs of your company. The face-to-face interview allows you to observe everything that is happening around the candidate at the time of this "test", ability to concentrate, speed of execution, etc. Always keep in mind that some people are sensitive to stress and will not perform well at the moment: this in no way means that this candidate is not made for this position, but simply that this recruitment method does not correspond to him/her.
Clarisse Béchet is an expert in payroll management and billing. She assists business owners in their administrative and accounting management. After 10 years of experience in various customer services, with a diploma in accounting and payroll management, Clarisse works as a freelancer to serve small and medium-sized companies. Maker at Maki People, we asked her a few questions about her invoicing and payroll management skills in recruitment.