Welcome to the ApprovalMax roundup, covering all the news from May 2018. In this collection of insights, we look at how accountants can protect client data, what you need to know about the new ethics code, GDPR, minority representation at accounting firms, and much more.
A caveat: These are the opinions of the writers themselves. We don’t always agree with every argument presented in these articles, but we do think you’ll find the stories interesting!
Top 3 Ways Accounting Firms Can Protect Client Data
By Jon Baron for Accounting Today
Jon Baron discusses one of the most pressing issues in today’s accounting industry – the cybersecurity threat – in this article for Accounting Today. It is part of any accounting firm’s responsibility to legally and ethically observe privacy when handling the private financial information of their clients. There are many professional and regulatory standards imposed on this. But as the cybersecurity threats become more sophisticated, it raises concerns about the potential consequences that could arise if appropriate protections are not executed.
Hence, Baron has outlined a 3-step action plan that must be executed by any firm. He classifies these as high-priority actions to enable a broader cybersecurity plan. In the process, you can protect your client’s data and establish your firm as an authority.
5 Things You Need to Know About the New International Ethics Code
By Ken Tysiac for Journal of Accountancy
The new International Code of Ethics was recently unveiled to provide new guidelines for professional accountants to adhere to in their practice. Ken Tysiac details five key points from this new code in an article for the Journal of Accountancy. According to the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA), this new code is a long time coming. The new standards are designed to enhance how accountancy firms and professionals do their business, especially when it comes to preparing and presenting client information.
With the code taking effect in June 2019, it is important for accountants to get acquainted with the new policies cited in the international ethics code.
GDPR: Don’t Forget the Human Touch
By Neil Patrick for Accountancy Age
In this Accountancy Age article, Neil Patrick discusses an important aspect that accounting firms and professionals should never overlook when dealing with the new GDPR regulations. According to Patrick, the human touch is one thing should not be compromised. In fact, he goes on to claim that the human touch is crucial in every aspect of the new GDPR implementation.
With a lot of talk about the complexity of the new regulation, it can be easy to lose sight of the human element. From planning how to integrate it into your organisation, to execution, and the implementation, the human touch should be present.
Without Minority Representation In Accounting Firms, Minority-Owned Small Businesses Are At Risk
Keri Gohman provides an insight into the representation of minorities in the accounting industry in the US through this Forbes article. In particular, she notes how there is a rapid growth in the number of minority-owned businesses, with a growth rate of 12% from 2007 to 2012. However, she cites that there is a disparity in terms of the access to minority-owned accounting firms. This lack of racial diversity in the accounting profession can have a direct impact on minority-owned businesses; they might feel like they are not getting advice from the professionals that can understand their unique challenges.
Keri Gohman goes on to conclude that this could potentially impact the minority-owned businesses’ chances for success. Without the support and help from a qualified accounting, these businesses could be at risk to fail.
The Generational Transition Affects Clients, Too
Carrie Steffen pens this opinion piece for Accounting Today, wherein she highlights the issues faced by accounting firms during transition of firm leadership. As the Baby Boomers enter retirement, the new breed of accountants are expected to take on the leadership role. While the firm might face certain issues during this transitional period, the impact towards the client should also be taken into account.
Steffen discusses in more detail about how this transitional period affects clients. Furthermore, she goes on to provide tips on how to handle this phase to ensure that you can keep your clients happy and maintain that good relationship.
5 Trends Driving Disruption in the Accounting Industry
Samuel Edwards provide a deep insight into the disruptions that are hitting the accounting industry. In this article that Edwards wrote for Entrepreneur, he tackles the 5 trends that are causing disruption for accounting firms. He also goes on to provide details on how these issues can be addressed. Among the things that were highlighted in the article is the need for automation and the use of artificial intelligence.
The article also highlights the need for specialised accounting services in today’s market. These are opportunities that firms must take advantage of, if they wish to stay ahead of the curve.
5 Blockchain Tips for Accounting Firms
This article published on CPA Practice Advisor discusses how blockchain technology plays into the accounting industry. The advent of blockchain technology is not the first time that the accounting industry will experience such disruption. Hence, the article points out the important factors raised at the BKR International Americas Region Meeting held this month. The participants of this meeting have devised strategies on how to exploit technology to drive change and innovation instead of running from it. These 5 pointers are discussed in more detail in this article.
Have we missed any great articles? Please do let us know, and if you’d like to submit your article for consideration, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.