Top technology initiatives for Canadian accountants
April 21, 2015

Accountants are no longer hunched over a desk by candlelight to figure out the correct sums for the figures in front of them. Instead, they've upgraded to tablets and computers, which are much easier and much faster, but this approach does open up a world of risk to which the world is barely accustomed. Cyberthreats are a constant source of anxiety for people these days, especially in the world of accounting where troves of personal information are available for those wily enough to hack their way in.

In light of the incredible technological developments in recent years, there are still many issues surrounding technology and safety in the world of accounting professionals.

By the numbers
According to a recent survey of accounting professionals in North America conducted by Chartered Professional Accountants Canada and the American Institute of CPAs, keeping private data secure on the business network is the highest priority for both Canadians and Americans. The survey found that 74 percent of respondents are sure their networks are properly protected, both internally and externally. While these numbers are certainly promising, that leaves over a quarter of networks vulnerable to outside attacks.

It is important to note that 82 percent also responded that they back-up their data and could easily access it in the event of an operational loss. This keeps business running smoothly even in the face of adversity due to human error or an act of nature. Ensuring customer privacy ranks fourth on the list of Canadian priorities, but 49 percent of respondents claim they have appropriate controls in place to mitigate potential IT-related fraud. Is just under half enough to adhere to our accounting standards?

What to do
Since security is at the top of the list, there should be solutions in place that can help protect the information amassed and stored by an accounting firm. First of all, your company should utilize accounting software and ensure login credentials are twofold and as secure as possible. Advise employees to exercise caution while entering passwords or leaving programs open on a screen. asserted that businesses should also be smart when it comes to monitoring traffic on the network. If someone notices that there is a high volume of traffic during slow times, that could mean that your network has been compromised. Making everyone accountable for the safety of the firm is not only smart, but it's good business.

Nexus: G-WEBCD5