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Surging Business Use of Mobile Devices is Top Business IT Challenge; AICPA Survey

CPAs Advise Companies to Manage Risk while Boosting Productivity

NEW YORK Feb. 15, 2011 2011 Top Technology Initiatives Survey American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Jan. 13 to Jan. 26

Ron Box

Joel Lanz

Lanz and Box are co-chairmen of the AICPA’s Top Technology Initiatives task force which produces the annual survey to help CPAs who are trusted advisors to corporate executives and board audit committees. The survey captures and ranks the business-related technology challenges that CPAs across the country are helping clients and executives address as they assess the role of technology in their organizations. The survey data is intended to be a guide on technology issues as clients and executives turn for answers to CPAs, both in public practice and industry.

"This year’s results revealed a sharp focus on IT value – return on investment – coupled with unceasing attention to data security," Box said.

Mobile devices are receiving more attention as technological advancement shifts productivity tools from desktops to pockets amid increasing reliance on mobile applications. According to researcher Gartner Inc., some 117 billion applications will be downloaded to mobile devises worldwide by the end of this year.

Top Technology Initiatives 2011 ranking:

  • Control and Use of Mobile Devices
  • Information Security
  • Data Retention Policies and Structure
  • Remote Access
  • Staff and Management Training
  • Process Documentation and improvements
  • Saving and Making Money with Technology
  • Technology Cost Controls
  • Budget Processes
  • Project Management & Deployment of New Technology

The survey asked CPAs to identify the top technology questions asked by audit committees, chief financial officers and chief information officers. The top five mostly likely are: 

  • Is our information security policy adequate?
  • Are we ensuring that our data and technology resources are protected against hacking, viruses or other compromises?
  • Are our current internal controls and IT governance policies and procedures effective?
  • How can we best implement document retention and e-discovery policies?
  • Can our data remain safe if we utilize cloud computing/software as a service (SaaS) services?

Looking over the horizon more than a year from now, CPAs were asked for the first time in this survey to predict the technologies they foresee rising in importance. The top future technologies are:

  • Touch-screen technology
  • Implementation of voice recognition
  • Deployment of faster 100GB LAN networks
  • High-performance supercomputing
  • Digital signage and displays
  • Introduction of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6)

March 15 2:00 -3:00 PM EST

James Schiavone [email protected] Jonathan Cox [email protected]

Methodology and links

Jan. 13 survey results


New York Washington, DC Durham, N.C. Ewing, N.J. Lewisville, Texas

SOURCE American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

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