Advice for Technophobes

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

I confess—computer technology makes me nervous. How can I overcome this silly fear? It’s a real drag.

First of all, it’s not silly. It’s serious and fairly common. In this age of advanced technology, it’s a major handicap. I know accountants with this problem, and many have told me they’ve learned to perform their necessary computer tasks by memorizing a series of fixed procedures. And while this rote method is effective in getting the job at hand done, it has a downside: If something goes wrong or if a wrong button is accidentally pressed, the user is at a loss about what to do next.

I encourage these users, in addition to learning by rote, to invest time playing on the computer. All computers have built-in games: They’re fun, easy to use and they give users a technology experience without feeling the threat of failure. I emphasize the words invest time, because it is a real investment with a real payback: computer self-sufficiency.

I also encourage experimenting. Try new functions on each application and remember this wonderful keystroke combo: Ctrl+Z, which usually takes you back one step and erases the mistake. In a short time, the threat of failure will ease and you will begin to experience the power of the computer.

SPONSORED REPORT

2019 State of Financial Reporting Survey

We surveyed nearly 600 finance and accounting professionals on their month-end close and reporting processes. See the results.

VIDEO

What RPA is and how it works

Robotic process automation is like an Excel macro that can work on multiple applications, says Danielle Supkis Cheek, CPA. RPA can complete routine, repetitive tasks such as data entry, freeing up employee time from lower-level chores.