Baker Tilly Assessment Centre - Audit 2011

Baker Tilly
#1

Hey guys,

I have an assessment centre coming up for Baker Tilly in Manchester for audit. If anyone could post their recent experiences of the assessment centre at Baker Tilly that would be great!

Thanks in advance!

#2

Is it for the 27th? I have an assessment day for audit too in Manchester although the role is for a position in Birmingham office

#3

I have an assessment day in Manchester on the 27th also. Does anyone have details on the group exercise/ case study?

#4

Yeah mine’s on the 27th as well.

#5

Hi guys,

I had an assessment centre in London for Audit on Friday so I will briefly tell you about my experiences:

We received an email detailing how the day would be broken down a few days before and it pretty much followed that process. There were initially 12 of us there.

9:30-10:00 Presentation by a partner. In ours, the partner spoke about the recent growth of BT, why we should join, etc, about audit and some of their clients. There is the chance to ask questions at the end, but it my group it seemed most people wanted to hold them back for the interview.

10:30 - 11:30ish Numerical and Verbal Reasoning Tests: The 12 of us were split into two groups of 6 and given a 6 page information booklet with graphs, tables, and articles as if it were a magazine for a charity. The tests then asked us to draw from information from this. Very similar to the online tests, but you had to find the information first. It is worth mentioning the verbal and numerical tests were separate.

11:45 - 13:00 Group exercise. In this exercise you act as if you are management consultants. The 6 of us were given half an hour to read over a choice of budget allocation proposals for a retail company in UK (no background reading is required). You then have half an hour to come to a decision. You have to choose just one, even though the budget will stretch to cover more… This choice has to get written on a flip chart before the time is up.

13:00-13:45 Lunch. Associates and partners will have lunch with you. Good chance to ask questions and find out more information. But again, perhaps save something back for the interview

13:45 Individual feedback on the morning session. In my assessment centre they sent 4 of the 12 individuals home at this stage.

14:00 - 14:45 First Interview: This was with a director of audit and was very laid back. She asked about my school experiences and uni life. I got asked to give examples of times I’ve delivered excellent customer service/dealt with a complaint, and a time when I had to give training and what I learnt from these. Other than that it’s just about you.

14:45-15:30 Preparation for Partner Interview: This follows on from the group exercise scenario. The business expanded internationally and now is not performing well. You must once again act as a management consultant and offer help with these problems by producing a brief presentation on a flip chart. These problems are NOT multiple choice and so you have to think of them yourself…

15:30 Again they had the opportunity to send people home at this stage. I’m not sure if anyone was in my assessment centre though

15:45 - 17:00 Partner Interview. This begins with the case study scenario and presentation that has been prepared. In my one, I spoke for 10 minutes, and she asked me 2 follow up questions, but I know others spoke for less time and therefore got asked more probing questions. The partner then told me about the work she does and another little “Baker Tilly is brilliant” speech. Then asked me “why accountancy?” “why audit?” but other than that it was again very friendly. My interview finished at about half 4, but I asked questions for another 15 minutes. I do think I got lucky with my interviewer as she did say “to get this far you are all very skilled, and I am not here to trip you up, more to find out more about you as a person and how you would fit in. However, my colleague next door does not take the same approach…” So I guess my experience in this interview will not cover everyone’s!!

I found out the next working day - so the process is very quick!!

Hope this is helpful.

Good luck!!

#6

First all I’m assuming you got the job so I want to congratulate you!

Thanks for taking your time writting such a useful post :slight_smile:

I am stuck for ideas on what questions to ask the partner? any help would be useful

#7

A lot of the questions I asked I feel I already knew the answer to but it’s worth asking just to show them you express an interest.

I asked the partner - who had trained in a different firm (and did for another interview where I was successful) what originally attracted them to Baker Tilly over their previous company, and why I should therefore chose Baker Tilly. From this you can talk about other companies you have applied for/have an interest in and ask why you should chose BT over them.

What the toughest challenges are to overcome.

What the resulting rewards are.

Which qualification I should study towards (BT offers ACA/CA) based on their experiences.

I ended up talking about football and cricket in my 1st interview as they mentioned a county cricket club is a client of theirs.

Baker Tilly advertise themselves as a “fun” place to work so I think a few questions on the lighter side of things are acceptable. The laid back attitude of the interview also meant that these questions lead to a further discussion and follow up questions etc

#8

@graduate 87. Re. Baker Tilly Job Offer. I attended the same assessment day as you, I think, and received a job offer over the phone. However it has not been followed up by an email or a letter. Assuming that you got a job offer from them too, have you received a written job offer from them yet? I’m getting quite worried not hearing anything further from them!

#9

Hey,

congratulations! Yeah I received a job offer, and have had all the paperwork through to sign since then. I was the only one on the day applying to the office that I did so maybe it takes a while for them to pass on the information to the relevant HR manager? I don’t know. It could be worth ringing them… I haven’t received my travel expenses back yet though, so I too am missing something!!

#10

Hi, sorry to open this old post but there isn’t many thread about Bakere Tilly assessment centre. I have one coming up in one monthtime. Has anyone had recent AC experience with them?
I have read some old post here saying BT has a relaxed approach. Someone was turned down because ‘everyone was so excellent so we just picked those scored top 5 out of 10 peoplein the aptitude tests’. It worries me a bit as I was never so excellent at verbal test :frowning: I can pass their online test but have no idea what the paper tests would be like. Some was saying you are given a brochure and have to find the right paragraphs, or diagrams for numerical test. What would people suggest to practise with?

#11

I had an AC recently at Baker Tilly. For the tests you get given a booklet with about 11 pages in it. Some of them are newspaper clippings, internal memos etc for the verbal reasoning and tables, graphs etc for the numerical. You get 10 minutes to read through the information, I would suggest making some rough notes but read it quite carefully, you have plenty of time for the articles and don’t need to read the graphs etc in too much detail. Also make sure u familiarise yourself with which graphs and tables refer to which company, they purposefully make them all look similar to try and catch you out with your attention to detail.

After your 10 minutes is up they will tell you to put down the reference material and give you a verbal reasoning multi choice sheet and question sheet. You keep the reference booklet. You do a few practice questions first. Take your time on them there isn’t a limit, make sure you try and find the material in the booklet. Then they will give you the answers for the practice questions. Then make sure you again look back through the reference material and see if you can see why those are the answers. After the practice questions are up then you get about 20 minutes for 25 questions or something like that. Go through each question and if you are 100% sure it is correct then mark it on the answer sheet. If you are unsure make a note of the question and your answer on rough paper then move onto the next question. I found that some answers I believed to be false were actually true after I had re-read the reference booklet for the future questions. After doing all the questions then go back through and re check the ones you were unsure of. Make sure you leave about 30 seconds at the end of the test to mark all your answers on the answer sheet, even the ones you are unsure of, I was told it wasn’t negatively marked, but you can always ask this before the test.

After this you will be given the numerical test answer sheet and question sheet. Same format with practice questions first. Try and answer these properly and take your time, and then re check your answers. I think you get 30 minutes for 26 questions in this section. Try and work quickly because some calculations take quite a while. Same as for the verbal test, mark any possible answers on your rough paper and move on. MAKE SURE YOU READ THE CORRECT TABLE BECAUSE SOME LOOK VERY SIMILAR. Questions are similar to any other numerical reasoning tests. Type numerical reasoning tests practice into google and you get loads of results. Again make sure you leave about 30 seconds at the end to mark all your answers on the answer sheet if you had some you were unsure of.

Hope this helps

#12

Hi Graduate1911,
Thanks for the posting! The information on numerical and verbal tests at AC are definitely very helpful. That’s where I’m really worried about. I heard someone said you had to find the table/relevant information first, which is a bit unusual. Is there anywhere online you can find practice tests of this sort? All the tests I can find, SHL, Assessment Day etc…they are in conventional style, giving you the paragraph first then answering a few questions from it.

In relation to the rest of AC, how did you find the group discussion and first interview?
Where did you have this AC and how many people were there? I heard some would be sent home after tests, group and first interview.

#13

Hi Graduate1911,
Thanks for the posting! The information on numerical and verbal tests at AC are definitely very helpful. That’s where I’m really worried about. I heard someone said you had to find the table/relevant information first, which is a bit unusual. Is there anywhere online you can find practice tests of this sort? All the tests I can find, SHL, Assessment Day etc…they are in conventional style, giving you the paragraph first then answering a few questions from it.

In relation to the rest of AC, how did you find the group discussion and first interview?
Where did you have this AC and how many people were there? I heard some would be sent home after tests, group and first interview.

#14

Not a problem. I don’t think there is anywhere online that you can practice the tests like that, like you say they normally give you the information you need. That’s why it’s really important to read the information for the verbal part in detail so you know exactly what it refers to. Don’t worry about studying the graphs too much because as long as you know what it’s telling you then you can easily find the information when you have the question paper. But you need to study the pages of written reference material quite thoroughly. And like I say don’t put down your final answers for the verbal part unless you are 100% it says it in the reference material. I found that on a few occasions my answers were different when I had read the pages for later questions.

The group presentation was done as one big group, I think there were 8 of us. There is a hypothetical company and you are a team of consultants and have to choose from 5 options of what to do. You get 20 minutes to read and then half an hour to discuss. Usual stuff. Just work through all the ideas and vote on which ones you like and don’t like. We ended up with 1 we all liked from the start but obviously had to be seen to giving the other ones a thorough look so we spent most of the time trying to find reasons to do the other ideas when we all pretty much knew which one we wanted. Just make sure you’re quite vocal at this stage but also let others speak. I think it’s good if you try and take the lead but make sure you don’t dominate everyone else. With about 5 minutes to go we put our decision on a flip chart and then presented it to the observers. As long as you can justify your decision then there won’t be a problem, I don’t think there are any wrong answers.

For the assessment centre you will either have your tests or your interview first. Then you will do the group project and then will either have your interview or test depending on what you have done first. The interview was really nice and relaxed, I got on really well with my interviewer from the start so that made it really easy. It felt like a bit of a chat in all honesty. I think a lot of people get this vibe from Baker Tilly. He asked me the usual questions like why audit, why Baker Tilly? I made a point about differentiating them from BIG 4 but also from Grant Thornton, BDO and PKF (their main competitors). I said how the feedback I received from this forum from people who work there is always positive, no one ever seems to regret taking a job there. I found this interview really good but some people said they spent a while talking about their GCSEs and A Levels, I didn’t get asked any of this.

Then you get lunch with some of the current trainees. Don’t think this is judged but I guess make sure you’re seen to be participating in any discussion. Whilst you’re having lunch they will make their decision about whether to keep you on for the afternoon. After lunch there is a presentation about Baker Tilly and why you should work there.

They do send some people home after lunch. I think the ones that went home at my AC were the quietest ones in the group presentation so make sure you take an active role in it. After lunch you have a final interview with a partner if you’re doing AAT or a case study with a partner if you do ACA. I did AAT so was just an interview. Again this was very relaxed. They asked me about my hobbies outside of work (make it look like you have a very active life so because they like people who are good people persons).

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have anymore questions.

#15

Hi Graduate1911,
Thanks for such quick reponse! Hope you have received the goods news soon. When do you start?
I have a AC coming up in about two weeks time. Baker Tilly is a firm I really want to work for so you can imagine I’m very nervous now.
I do still have a few questions though:)

The booklet you were handed out to read through before tests - did you find 20min was enough for you? I don’t expect we have plenty time but at least don’t have to rush. The booklet I suppose contains information for both verbal and numerial. Did you find you have sufficient time to answer all questions?

Which office did you have the AC? I think Baker Tilly normally holds AC at Manchester for North&Midlands vacancies and London for southern vacancies.
Some said they were split into smaller groups to do the discussion. It might be better as you can get overwhelmed in large group.

I found BT interviews can differ depending on which manager you have your interview with. I’m conformatble talking the differences between mid-tier companies and big 4 but not sure what can we say in relation to differentiating BT from Grant Thornton, BDO, PFK etc…? Any advice?

#16

Hi There.

You get 10 minutes to read through at the start. It’s just about enough to get the general idea of what each document is saying, so that when you get the question paper you know where to look. You do have to read quite quick but you have just about enough time. The booklet has verbal and numerical material yes. I found I had enough time to answer the questions, but work quick. If the answer is not immediately obvious in the verbal part then make a note of what you think it is and move on. You will find that some questions answer themselves as you find more relevant information for subsequent questions.

Don’t really want to say where my AC was, not sure what the rules are about posting on here and obviously don’t want to jeopardise my offer. But London would be for London I think and other Regional locations for the South. Same for North and Midlands, don’t think they would group such a large area like that and would probably be more regional. There were only 8 for the AC so we all did it together. I think it is good in a large group because you don’t have to do loads of talking and you won’t find yourself dominating the discussion.

I spoke how BDO and GT are trying to be the Big 4 but not really being successful, BT like to focus on owner managed firms and work with them personally. They aren’t really trying to be the next Big Fifth. You don’t have to go into loads of detail just show you know that there is a difference there. PKF are a bit smaller than BT but are one of the big 8 auditors but I didn’t cover them that much. I focussed on BT vs GT and BDO mainly. Probably say that PKF are just a bit too small. I summed it up that you don’t really want to work for anyone outside the top 10 size wise for future career opportunities. And then show that you don’t want Big 4, GT and BDO are trying to be Big 4 and that leaves BT as the best placed firm to work for.

I was lucky in that I know the area of the office that I applied for so I was able to speak to my interviewer about the location and I knew where the office was. Some people coming from afar not living where they are applying won’t be able to. I just found that was a nice opener straight away. Good luck for your AC.

#17

Hey guys, i have an assessment centre coming up for one of the regional offices and this forum has been a godsend. I just wanted to ask how you guys did your research on baker tilly’s clients and general commercial awareness. I’ve done alot of research on the proposed changes to the dominance of the big 4 and general financial crisis news but i’m not sure what else to do that’s specific to baker tilly.

#18

Hey guys! Sorry for stirring this up again but I have an assessment day coming up in 2 weeks and this is literally the only thread I could find! If anyone can somehow provide me with the following information, I would be very grateful!
A) Would you say the structure of the assessment day has changed from what was described above?
B) What would you say is the best method to prepare for these assessment days?

As long as I stay calm, I’m a confident lad but It goes wrong when I panic or when I drink too much coffee. Though I’ve got a lot of assessment days lined up, this is one which I care most about!

Thankyou SO much to anyone who even reads this! Xx

#19

Hi there,

I know no one has posted on here in a while, but wondered if anyone had a BT AC this Friday for audit.

If anyone could let me know what the day involved and whether it carries a similar format to what other people have said.

Any advice would be great, either pm or comment back.

thanks,

Alex