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Tech Skills for the New Hire

What you need to know before your first job in the accounting world.

By Felicia Granberg

Although there are differences in each accounting job, there are some fundamental technology requirements that employers expect from entry-level accountants.

First and foremost, all accountants should be familiar with the basic functions of a spreadsheet application. Microsoft Excel is probably the most popular; however, it is similar to Lotus 123 and Q.

Second, all accountants should know where to find the latest accounting and finance information. Textbooks, industry journals and your own personal network are valuable resources. The Internet, however, also is quickly becoming the fastest way to find information. Learn how to effectively search the Internet and keep lists of useful websites handy (i.e. www.aicpa.org, www.njscpa.org, www.imanet.org).

Third, learn how to type quickly and accurately. Chances are you will be drafting your own letters, and those who cannot maneuver around a keyboard will be challenged. The ability to type quickly will allow more time for content, style and grammar. Good technology skills are essential to working quickly and efficiently. With these proficiencies in your pocket, you will be better able to focus on interpersonal and communication skills and the specific responsibilities of the job. You'll also stand out from the crowd. For more information on careers, licensing requirements and the benefits of New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants Student Membership, visit www.njscpa.org/students.

Felicia Granberg, CPA, is the Supervisor of General Accounting at Ingersoll-Rand Company in Annandale, NJ. She is a member of the NJSCPA Young CPAs Committee.

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