As a CPA, what is your top technology priority? The 25th Anniversary North American Top Technologies Initiatives survey found that among more than 3,000 respondents, the top priority for professionals is “Securing the IT environment,” which changed places with “managing and retaining data,” in the 2013 poll. The survey shows more and more CPAs are concerned with security and its impact on the professional as a whole. Fortunately, the industry is loaded with options for maximum security, effective data managing systems, and compliance. Currently, three IT services are making accounting practices more efficient and more secure.
Top 3 IT Services for CPAs:
1. Mobile devices
CPAs are using mobile devices to access cloud services, meet with clients remotely, and to forge better relationships. Right now, cloud computing leads the technology discussion, and it will continue to do so as CPAs take the office out of the brick-and-mortar and into the field. Mobile devices permit more integrated systems to improve efficiency and access. Currently, many accounting firms are embracing BYOD, or bring your own device, policies to save money on systems, expands their reach, and to improve compatibility across various operating system. Any firm that embraces a BYOD policy must implement appropriate security systems, use policies, remote access prohibitions, and backup solutions.
2. Automated data entry
CPAs collect a wealth of vital information to provide thorough services for their clients. As a result, everything collected is an attractive target for thieves, and the loss of such information can cripple a firm’s reputation. CPAs are embracing more effective methods for both managing and security the data. Automated data entry, as well as content management tools, will streamline the accounting process, improve audit activities, gather any and all important data, and provide clients and the CPA with reassurance or services. Automated data entry permits CPAs to make use of the internet beyond its traditional use. Automated data collection and management ensures safekeeping and improved services for each client.
As far as data is concerned, CPAs are embracing more analysis tools and applications to evaluate risk, areas of concern, future activities, necessary improvements, and future opportunities for CPAs and clients.
3. Integrated software
Many experts want to see more virtual desktops, seamless system integration, and cross-compatibility among operating systems. Integrated software combines the most used tools and functions and productivity programs, and puts it all into one, easy-to-access area for the CPA. Integrated software also allows for effective communication among vendors, systems, clients, and professionals. What one creates in one system should be easily accessible and used in another system. Again, this is where virtual desktop solutions and mobile device use comes in handy. While accounting “software” may not disappear completely, what we understand as “accounting software” will change dramatically. The industry is moving away from manual reporting and ineffective software solutions to specialized services, automation, and mobility.