What are the expectations for an entry level accountant these days? Get your pencil ready, because there’s a list.

The San Antonio Business Journal interviewed Suzanne N. Cory Ph.D, and a professor of accounting at the Bill Greehey School of Business at St. Mary’s University. Her answers? Proficiency in written communication, oral presentation, interpersonal skills, professional demeanor, leadership skills and teamwork are all crucial requirements for the accountant just starting out.

Cory, conducted a survey called “Educating Tomorrow’s Accountants” with two other authors, Thomas Madison and Mark Persellin.

Cory said skills today are different from say five to 10 years ago because “employers now have greater expectations about the level of spreadsheet software skills accounting graduates should possess. The Excel spreadsheet program has become more sophisticated and is far more powerful. Students are expected to be able to effectively utilize spreadsheet software from their very first day on the job.”

Cory said she was surprised by the low ranking given to audit courses and that financial accounting courses were ranked at a much higher level of importance.

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