KeyboardQuestion of the day: Given the prominent role technology plays in the CPA profession, are today’s accounting students getting the tech education they need to cut it in the real world?

Our friends at the Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs set out recently to find the answer.

The authors of a recent article in the Pennsylvania CPA Journal wanted to know if accounting educators and the people who employ CPAs are on the same page when it comes to technology.

“Partners and managers at each of the Big 4 accounting firms and at some mid-sized firms were interviewed to determine what technology skills entry-level staff are expected to have and what IT skills they would like to see taught in business schools,” the article states. “Those responses were then compared with the accounting information systems (AIS) courses at 11 Pennsylvania universities.”

The conclusions: Many entry-level accountants lack sufficient exposure to general IT controls and could have used more schooling in computer crime and ethical issues. Students might also benefit from more Excel-based training in school, according to the article.

“We all recognize that IT continues to grow in its use and applications, and is constantly changing,” the article reads. “This presents a continual challenge for educators to deliver the very best students, with the very best skill sets, to the marketplace. To solve this conundrum, accounting firms and educators need to maintain close and frequent consultation to make sure everyone is on the same page with respect to providing the right exposure to the right technology.”

What do you think? Are today’s new CPAs ready to meet the technology challenges that await them?

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