Many audit and law firms subject internal candidates to psychological tests, for instance as a precondition for appointment as senior manager, director of partner to the firm. Such tests, however, do not address the tax technical capabilities of the candidate.
At the same time, these are absolutely essential for future success and risk management purposes. For this reason, some firms have introduced an additional tax technical conversation with the candidate prior to the promotion. This conversation, however, is not fit for purpose for at least three reasons:
- The time alotted to the conversation is insufficient, the talking points are often arbitrary and the conversation can in no way lead to a proper assessment of the quality of written, analytical work of the candidate.
- Candidates who have strong skills in expressing themselves verbally in a conversation have a significant advantage over candidates who are a bit more reluctant to ‘bluf’ themselves through a difficult conversation. It should be avoided that a strong verbal presentation prevents an assessment of the real analytical competencies of the candidate.
- The objectivity of an internal assessment in a conversation with current partners of the firm cannot be guaranteed. An objective and equal assessment of all candidates is essential to internal and external acceptance of the results of any assessment of a candidate.
Tax technical assessment
Lubbers, Boer & Douma has developed a tax technical assessment methodology which rates the candidate on aspects like technical knowledge, competencies and essential characteristics. This assessment is external, systematic and objective. It helps people in your organization to make informed decisions about promotions. In addition, the candidate is offered a fair chance to show what his or her capabilities are.
We have carefully examined which competencies a tax professional should normally possess. The test developed by us takes account of the following.
Tax technical knowledge
- Knowledge of substantive and procedural tax law
- General knowledge of the code of conduct of the Dutch Association of Tax Advisors (Nederlandse Orde van Belastingadviseurs)
- Language skills
- The analysis of Supreme Court judgments
- Identification and weighing of relevant facts and circumstances
- Writing and reviewing professional tax advice
- Giving open and honest feedback to others
- Being able to review critically
You will receive an assessment report which gives full insight into the candidate’s capabilities. These are rated on a 5 points scale with great detail. The report is concluded by advice with respect to the candidate's future development.
Many organizations have used our tax technical ‘kowledge tests’, including reputable tax advisory firms. We have been able to achieve a high rate of satisfaction among our clients.