Today, it’s more important than ever that accounting students learn to use accounting software proficiently. Technology such as accounting software isn’t putting accountants and auditors out of jobs, but it is changing the way students need to prepare for these roles.
Technology Courses for Accounting Students
One way for accounting students to learn to use accounting software is to take courses in computer science and technology as part of their college education. The recommendation isn’t as farfetched as it might sound. In fact, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) now suggests that aspiring accountants should learn to write computer code in languages such as SQL, Python and Java. At the very least, according to AICPA’s ThisWayToCPA informational website, students should know how to create and use spreadsheets in Microsoft Excel, use computer software to analyze database information and employ software that expresses data in visual formats.
There are a couple of reasons the AICPA urges accounting students to enroll in computer programming classes. For one thing, both accounting and writing computer code strengthen a student’s abilities to think logically and systematically about data, organize data and solve problems. Learning to code can help accounting students develop these skills in ways that basic courses in accounting principles and financial reporting might not. Additionally, having at least a fundamental understanding of computer coding and technology is important when accountants need to work with data security specialists, information technology (IT) auditors and other computer and IT professionals, the AICPA reported. For accounting students who know how to write code themselves, it’s no longer a struggle to learn basic office, spreadsheet or financial reporting software.
The Changing Role of Accountants
As technology advances and more and more of the traditional number-crunching work of an accountant becomes computerized, accounting students must learn to use accounting software – and so much more. Today’s accountants are increasingly filling roles as business advisors, according to U.S. News & World Report.
To succeed in these roles, accounting students need a thorough background in general business principles, practices and strategies. Accounting courses alone – and even computer and accounting courses – just aren’t enough to prepare students for the evolving role of an accountant. In addition to accounting students learning to use accounting software, they also take courses in business law and ethics, business communication, marketing, economics, operations management, organizational leadership, business analytics and business strategy. It’s essential for accounting students to
For aspiring accountants, today’s curriculum includes a wide range of coursework. They must master accounting basics in their introductory and fundamental courses and move on to more challenging coursework in auditing, financial accounting, cost accounting and managerial accounting. Becoming familiar with computer technology is important, but so is developing a well-rounded background in business. Accounting students must learn to use accounting software, but becoming tech-savvy is just one of several skills these students must attain to find success in the field of accounting.