technology

  •  Accountants embracing the trend & moving to the cloud

     The introduction of new technologies over the past decade has seen massive growth and change within the workplace, particularly with the finance industry.

    Day-by-day, week-by-week, year-by-year, new advancements and discoveries are made within the digital technology area; drastically changing the way businesses operate and interact with their customers.

    Now more than ever before small businesses must ensure their technology is constantly evolving to remain competitive and keep up with demand.

    With the average Australian Internet user spending a staggering 17.6 hours per week online, now more than ever before customers have information at their fingertips and are better equipped to make informed buying decisions.

    A recent study conducted by CapioIT, commissioned by Wolters Kluwer, showed that on average accountants use two cloud based accounting applications. Furthermore the average age of accountants using cloud technologies was 36 years of age while the study found that regional accounting firms were picking up the technology at a increased pace.

    It is no surprise that approximately 70% of accounting firms in Australia have embraced cloud computing in particular with the steady increase of the use of Xero and MYOB.

  • Automated data feeds a 'double-edged sword' for auditors

    A recent article in SMSF Adviser suggests automated data feeds have both a positive and negative effect on the accuracy of client data.

    Automated data feeds have led to efficiency improvements for auditors processing SMSFs however at the same time they are causing some significant headaches for auditors and are compromising the accuracy of data, making data feeds a ‘double-edged sword’ for auditors.

    Auditors should be careful to not take data feeds at face value and ensure that when tracked information is provided by feeds, the information is manually checked and verified to ensure it is correct.

    SMSF auditors should be checking data feeds to ensure there are no gaps where data feeds may have dropped out and should also ensure time frames and bank statements cover the correct periods.

    As well as this, SMSF auditors should be checking that assets and bank accounts for the funds are correctly recorded and that the balances on bank statements all match.

    While automated data feeds are saving a great deal of time for SMSF auditors it’s important to be aware that processes & audit steps should still be followed and the verification of information is critical to ensure all the funds that have passed through the SMSF are genuine and correct.

    See original article here

  • Does the accounting industry have a fear of digital technology? 

    When it comes to business, technology is by far one of the biggest changes over the past few decades and with many businesses moving to the cloud, there appears to be a reluctance for the accounting industry to follow their advice to clients and do the same.

    With over 9,500 accounting firms in Australia, only a small percentage have migrated their systems to the cloud and their reluctance to move could be a threat to their capabilities in the long term.

    A government report titled 'Technology and Australia’s Future' published in September 2015 has found there is trepidation of digital technology in the accounting industry.

    Accounting firms quite commonly need to store thousands of emails on servers, and the reluctance to move to the cloud can mean that safe storage equates to a relatively high expense for traditional server space.

    On top of this, the accounting industry’s reluctance to embrace the powers of Google’s G Suite and Microsoft 365 is proving to create some serious issues regarding inefficiencies.

    The major concern is security and protecting data, yet with Google’s G Suite and Microsoft’s Office 365 capabilities businesses need not have any concern with some of the world’s latest and sophisticated technology being used to power the platforms.

     A key reason that has been found for the slow take-up of digital technology is the delay or reluctance for technology adoption in accounting firms. This could be either the firm simply doesn’t know about digital technology, or there is an ignorance to take up technology within the firm due to the fact they aren’t fostering close relationships with IT experts.

    Added to the fact that management is largely dominated by baby boomers and practitioners over the age of 50, the threat of late adoption of digital technology is a serious issue within the industry as a whole.

    With unprecedented growth in digital technology, the accounting industry should be looking to embrace the following:

    -    Update exchange servers to cloud-based technology
    -    Embrace applications
    -    Explore ancillary products
    -    Explore practice management software
    -    Set up automation 

    For more information on the report visit here
    To read original article click here 

  •  Online Risk Management

    We all know having an online presence enables small businesses to expand the reach of our products and services to a wider range of customers however we must be cautious in managing the risks our reliance attracts.
    Late one Friday afternoon in 2011 an unemployed truck driver chose a small online business to hack – Distribute.IT. This attack eventually destroyed Distribute.IT’s production data, backups, snapshots and any information the highly competent IT savvy owners attempted to salvage. 30,000 of their clients’ websites were taken offline with some ultimately unrecoverable. Distribute.IT’s owners were eventually forced to sell the remainder of their business, their homes and put ten years of their, once profitable, business behind them because of this apparent random malicious hack.

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    Planning for the future - embracing new technology 

    The introduction of new technologies has seen massive growth and change within the workplace. Day-by-day, week-by-week, year-by-year, new advancements and discoveries are made; drastically changing the way businesses operate and interact with their customers.

    One of the main changes with the introduction of these new technologies is the way we communicate with our customers. The average Australian Internet user spends 17.6 hours per week online (Neilsen’s 2010 Internet and Technology Report). Customers now have an excess of information at their fingertips and consumers are better equipped to make informed buying decisions.

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