November 21, 2018

Technology

DePaul University - Artificial Intelligence article

Should Accountants Be Worried About Artificial Intelligence?

Financial disciplines have long been the first thought-of areas where technology like artificial intelligence will cause dramatic disruption and upend entire ways of thinking. Accountancy is certainly no different from others in the finance umbrella, and we continue to see headlines explaining Why Artificial Intelligence is the Future of Accounting.  In many ways, the AI […]

accounting work while traveling

3 Tips for Crushing Your Accounting Work While Traveling

Whether traveling for business or pleasure, working on the road is a necessary evil for most accountants. No matter how much you promise yourself you’ll unplug, work still manages to creep its way into any trip or vacation, in spite of promises of flexible hours and work/life balance from your firm. So if you’re going […]

Exposure Drafts: Artificial Intelligence Will Take Your Job and Ruin Your Firm’s Halloween Party

Guest artist this week: Nicholas Don Smith Exposure Drafts appears every other Wednesday. Send your accounting cartoon ideas and what you are dressing up as for Halloween to [email protected] You can follow Greg Kyte on Twitter.

accounting job blockchain consulting

Blockchain Consulting: A Unique New Career Path for Accountants

The hype over blockchain is reaching a fever pitch. According to Juniper Research, two-thirds of the world’s large corporations expect blockchain technology to be integrated into their systems by the end of 2018. Blockchain certainly introduces new financial opportunities. But opinions about the size and scope of those opportunities vary. Software development firm Ignite wrote […]

legal liability freelance remote accountant

3 Legal and Liability Tips Freelance Remote Accountants Must Consider

If you’re considering a career as a freelance remote accountant, or if you’ve already started one, there are certain legal and liability issues you need to deal with. As you’ll no longer have the protection of an employer to bail you out of any lawsuits or legal troubles you might encounter in your work life, […]

avoid conflicts of interest accountant

How to Avoid Conflicts of Interest as a Freelance Remote Accountant

If you’ve been a freelance remote accountant for long, it’s probably already happened. You’ve got two clients, Client A and Client B, that are both in the same industry. Client A finds out you’re working for Client B and unleashes the fury on you: “How dare you help our competitors?” And the response you want […]

workplace by facebook accounting

Does Workplace by Facebook Live Up to the Hype for Accountants?

Over the last few months, Facebook has been relentlessly pushing its Workplace by Facebook platform, expanding the app’s feature list while ramping up its marketing. Its most recent PR blitz occurred this past June, as Facebook unveiled the company’s new Workplace for Good program, touting free access to Workplace Premium for nonprofits and educational institutions among […]

Top 5 Virtual Communication Apps for Remote Accountants

If you like to work remotely, you’ll need to use virtual communication apps to stay in touch with workers and clients, keep everyone on the same page, and ensure key benchmarks are being met on time. But with the wealth of virtual communication app options available, how do you know which ones to choose? We […]

aprio hpc acquisition

Why a Top 50 CPA Firm Just Acquired a Cloud Accounting Firm

The march toward proliferation of cloud accounting across the industry has taken another step. To meet the growing demand by global clients for anytime, anywhere access to financial information, Aprio, LLP, a full-service, CPA-led business advisory firm, has entered into an agreement to acquire HPC, a technology-driven, cloud-based accounting firm with a global footprint. We […]

Deloitte’s New Greenhouse Experience Unfortunately Has Nothing to Do With Plants

As a former writer and editor for a national horticulture trade magazine, my interest was piqued when I came across the June 19 press release, “Deloitte Digital Launches New Deloitte Greenhouse Experience for Enterprise Clients.” I thought maybe Deloitte was cultivating a new variety of, say, Chlorophytum comosum (spider plant) with the cultivar name ‘Punit […]

Avalara IPO Has Big First Day of Trading, But Some Analysts Are Skeptical

Avalara’s initial public offering set the New York Stock Exchange ablaze in a sea of orange on June 15, as the Seattle-based sales tax automation company’s shares nearly doubled in their opening day of trading, according to CNBC. But while Avalara’s IPO looks hot, it’s overpriced, some analysts say. Shares of Avalara closed up 87 […]

remote work myths

Busting 4 Myths About Remote Accounting Work

You already know by now the remote revolution is upon us. Workers are embracing work from home options and flooding to the gig economy in droves. According to a 2017 report, 3.9 million employees currently work from home at least half the time. That’s a 115% increase in remote workers since 2005. But misconceptions about […]

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Flash Drives Are Contraband at IBM Now

In a seemingly unenforceable move, IBM has banned its employees “from using removable memory devices such as USB sticks, SD cards and flash drives.” The company’s global chief information security officer Shamla Naidoo said that “the possible financial and reputational damage from misplaced, lost or misused removable portable storage devices must be minimised.” And sure, okay. […]

Which Data Breach Will Finally Wake Us Up?

The world has finally decided data privacy and security is worth talking about. Congress enjoyed pelting Mark Zuckerberg with questions that made the digital natives point and laugh. We also enjoyed getting this cautionary note from Twitter this week: Hi @MeganLewczyk, When you set a password for your Twitter account, we use technology that masks […]

We’re One Meltdown Away From a Bunch of Crusty Old CPAs Saying ‘I Told Ya So’ About the Cloud

If you don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what a severe outage of Internet-based services might be like, this CFO article cites a report that tried to ballpark it: A cyber incident that takes a top-three cloud-services vendor offline for three to six days would spawn customer financial losses of about $7 billion […]

stay productive remotely

How to Stay Productive When Working Remotely

I can tell you what’s going to happen on Shameless, Dan: They screw up their lives. Again. We live in an age of constant distraction–especially for those who work at home. TV, videogames, Netflix, and more are all within an arm’s reach. And that’s not to mention the ultimate time stealer: the smartphone. How many […]

levi's cfo robots

Levi’s Finds Artificial Accountants, Ripped Denim More Fashionable Than the Real Thing

Levi’s CFO Harmit Singh told The Wall Street Journal that “We are introducing bots where it makes sense,” and “The idea is not to eliminate jobs. We are going to upskill employees and have them spend more time on analysis.” Yes, yes, the humans will do the really valuable stuff which, by the way, does […]

Accounting Excel 2019

Excel Is Finally Keeping Up With the Joneses

Two years have passed since I wrote a controversial post about ditching Excel. And as fate would have it, no one listened. We are as attached to Excel as ever. Maybe we like dealing with unruly and unresponsive files? But, those rumors about the AICPA integrating Excel into the CPA Exam have finally become a […]

statoil robots finance

Statoil CFO Happy With His Robots; Later, Humans

Last fall, we mentioned Roberta, the newest and most efficient member of Statoil’s treasury department. Today, The Wall Street Journal reports that she’s been joined recently by several new co-workers, including one named Rob, and the Norwegian company’s CFO, Hans Jakob Hegge, seems to be enjoying them on a personal level: “I am not sure […]

Most U.S. Internal Audit Teams Still Crunching Numbers on Cave Walls Compared to Their European, Asian Counterparts

Even this guy is like, “What are you guys doing?” Read anything online and you’re likely to be told some variation of “The rapid pace of technology is disrupting X.” And since those words appear on the internet, adjacent to stock images of word clouds, or an illuminated light bulb, or a smug nerd with […]

cloud accounting

While Some Companies Move Away From Remote Work, Others Double Down

Last year, IBM decided to “co-locate” its 2,600 member US marketing department. Translation? IBM is eliminating remote work. The news is especially shocking as IBM is one of the pioneers of remote work, installing work-from-home terminals for some employees as far back as the 1980s. As more businesses move toward embracing remote work, others are […]

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Consumer Tech Accountants Need in 2018 and Beyond

Remember The Jetsons maid Rosie? I recall thinking, “Wow, wouldn’t it be awesome to have a robotic personal assistant to keep me from looking as disheveled as I feel!” never imagining a day when that might exist. I mean, many of us were mesmerized by something as simple as a Giga pet. This is all […]

cybersecurity controllers accounting

How Controllers Can Step Up Their Cybersecurity Game

There’s a good reason why cybersecurity is ranked extremely high on the priority list of Trey White, CPA, and other controllers and chief accounting officers in the healthcare sector. According to a report from the Identity Theft Resource Center and CyberScout, 376 (34.4%) of the 1,093 data breach incidents reported in 2016 occurred in the […]

accounting-firms-reviews-yelp-facebook-clients

Hysterical Client Comments on Yelp, Facebook, Et al. Should Not Go Unanswered

Yelp, like most social platforms, has its pros and cons. It’s great for all kinds of businesses to get their name out there, and not just restaurants. I found my co-working space on Yelp. I found a garage door service company on Yelp. I found a gas fireplace technician on Yelp. Do you need a […]

accountants auditors data analytics resize

Watering Down Data Analytics for Dumb Accountants

Most accountants, especially CPAs, seem smart on paper. Some even live up to it in person. Others are less, um, fortunate… So, it doesn’t come as a big surprise that even our profession’s own publication called us out for being dumb, or at least naïve when it comes to data analytics: Accountants need to increase […]

coso erm

COSO’s ERM Framework Has Fresh Paint, New Open Concept

I remember in college, I’d turn in a paper and feel a sense of relief knowing that I never had to look at it again. Feedback from the instructor was informative but required no further action. Man, do I miss that. Don’t you? I’m sure PwC, who authored the COSO Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Framework, […]

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Data Breach at Deloitte Hitting Too Close to Home for Accountants

My, my. So many data breaches to talk about, it’s hard to know where to start. Caleb has already been keeping you up to date with the latest on some of the recent hacks but let’s dig in a little more about one breach in particular. Uh oh, Deloitte We learn time, and time again, […]

accounting news chatbot intuit

Accounting News Roundup: Accountants Worry About Technology, Change, Et al. | 09.26.17

Accountants are worried about technology, change, et al. If you haven’t immersed yourself in the collective anxiety of the accounting profession lately, I highly recommend this Accounting Today column. There are a plethora of quotes to choose from, but Grant Thornton CEO Mike McGuire has a good one: “Our industry is being disrupted by accelerating […]

deloitte cyberattack

Deloitte Tries To Play It Cool After Cyberattack

Deloitte, the biggiest of the Big 4, has joined the ranks of the hacked. This morning, The Guardian reported that the firm was the latest massive organization to have suffered a cyberattack, and that confidential client information was the target. To make matters worse, Deloitte failed to notice the breach for months. And to add […]

auditor artificial intelligence cropped

Auditors May Have to Keep Artificial Intelligence From Cooking the Books

Some smart people are starting to contemplate how to keep artificial intelligence safe and in-check. It’s a fascinating topic, especially after Facebook had to shut down their AI chatbot after it started to develop its own language in August. Plus, I have a feeling it’s going to trickle into the scope of work for an […]

accounting firm offices snobs

Modern Accounting Firm Offices Sport Fancy Coffee, Nap Rooms, But Cling to Hoteling

Big accounting firms are becoming known for their swanky offices. How else will they woo the best and brightest campus hires unless run-of-the-mill abstract art is hanging on the wall?  If you’re on the tax team (something I didn’t have the pleasure of experiencing), enjoy the lap of luxury every day since you’re tethered to […]

accountants internet of things

Accountants Must Wrangle Disjointed IoT

Technology has infiltrated our lives under the guise that it will make life easier. No one really wants to write journal entries or do math by hand, so, it seems like an excellent idea to ditch our old processes and find an app for whatever it is we need to do. The problem? We made […]

excel championship

FYI, Aspiring Accountants: There’s a World Excel Championship

Finally, someone who will give you a trophy (and a sizable cash prize) for your unhealthy obsession with Excel. Certiport hosts an annual international Microsoft Excel championship. Accountants, everywhere, rejoice! Since, while generally, we are not the most athletically inclined (after all, we do spend a lot of time behind a desk), many of us […]

bitcoin-cash-cryptocurrency-accountant

Break Out the Popcorn for Bitcoin Infighting and Legitimizing Cryptocurrencies

There are certain words that cause me to zone out. Bitcoin. Cryptocurrency. Ethereum. Still, I’m starting to become intrigued as an accountant. Especially after a big shake up in the Financial Technology (fintech) industry this week. In case you missed it, Bitcoin has a rocky road ahead. On Tuesday, the legacy Bitcoin cryptocurrency begrudgingly welcomed […]

securities and exchange commission

SEC Division of Economic and Risk Analysis Also Offers Respectable Twitter Chops

A few weeks back, we shared some of the witty banter from the SEC Fort Worth Twitter account. But then, late last week, we were referred to the SEC Division of Economic and Risk Analysis’s account, and it turns out, they’re holding their own. The account was created back in March but they seem to […]

phone addiction

Is Endless Work Contributing to Your Smartphone Addiction?

Picture anxiously sitting by the phone (a rotary one for artistic effect) waiting for it to ring. Since the invention of the phone, waiting for an important call is agonizing; but, I’ll argue it used to be simpler. You could walk away. Leave the phone behind and rely on your answering machine to inform you […]

The New Era of Net Neutrality May Suck for Accountants, Pretty Much Everyone

It’s clear that we, humanity, can’t have nice things. We most certainly will make a mess of them. Exhibit A: The Internet We start out with a boundless information superhighway, and then we run amok. While I can think of lots of ways we have spoiled the Internet, the spotlight is on net neutrality this […]

securities and exchange commission

As I Live and Breathe, the SEC’s Fort Worth Office Has a Great Twitter Account

Okay, if you hate puns, or word play in general, mixed in with your securities enforcement and oversight info then you won’t think it’s great, but then that would make you a hater of great things. Here’s today. We asked our accountants to move a heavy box out of the way, but they couldn’t budget. […]

statoil robots finance

The AICPA Is Trying to Innovate You Right Out of a Job

As we are all painfully aware, the accounting industry isn’t exactly known for its groundbreaking commitment to early adoption and innovation. Despite its over 150-year history of being reactive and clinging desperately to the way things have always been, the AICPA announced this week a new initiative that hopes to fund important accounting startups. The […]

Eager Beaver Learns the Hard Way That LinkedIn Is Not an Appropriate Avenue for Dick Pics

Over the years, we have shared dozens upon dozens of tips for making the most of LinkedIn or, as I like to think of it, Facebook for spammers and soulless corporate drones. Most of us are on it but still don’t quite understand why or what we’re supposed to do with it, aside from its […]

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Can 5G Get Here Already?

Who doesn’t dread seeing the “Poor connection. This video will resume automatically when the connection improves” error message when chatting on FaceTime. Is my iPhone out to get me? It has an uncanny sense of knowing when to interrupt my conversation. We are dependent on the speed of our internet connection. It sets the pace […]

ED - Paperless Office w Pupils

Exposure Drafts: Your Paperless Office Is Slacking

Exposure Drafts appears every other Wednesday-ish. Send suggestions to [email protected]

cpas-technology-disorder

Your Technology Disorder Has a Name

I must know where my phone is at all times. If I misplace it, panic sets in and, luckily, Find my iPhone has come to my rescue in most instances. I do wonder where my beloved Blackberry Tour went in college, though. I never did find it. Go figure that “67% of us worry more […]

commuting-auditors

Commuting Doesn’t Have to Be Terrible: 5 Alternatives to Sitting in Traffic

The daily commute can be miserable. No wonder people prefer to work from home. I know I do. Too bad auditing requires you to show your face at a client’s office. And don’t tell me it’s for rapport building. It’s to keep the client honest. Otherwise, I’m sure the whole audit would get sent overseas. […]

cyber espionage

Cyber Espionage Is a Thing You Should Start Worrying About

I’ve waited with bated breath for the 2017 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report and it’s finally out. It’s full of juicy, nightmare-inducing cybercrime data again this year. The most recent report analyzes 1,935 breaches and 42,068 incidents across 84 countries, and, according to the experts, the data set confirmed that this was the “year of […]

smart-people-accountant-shortage

Is There a Smart Person Shortage?

A thought to ponder: Is our technology getting too smart? Are we going to run out of enough smart people to wrangle it? After writing about quantum computing last week, I started imagining the number of physicists that would need to be on-call at Geek Squad. We’d have to dig up Albert Einstein’s body and […]

dna data storage accountants IT

DNA Data Storage Could Complicate Data Center Walkthroughs

Forget underwater data centers and outrageous cloud CapEx spending. All of it is utterly passé compared to DNA data storage. Wait, DNA data storage? You mean — storing digital binary data as DNA? Yes. And, it blows my mind too. DNA’s not just the smoking gun in a crime drama In 2012, Harvard scientists figured […]

Neuralink-accounting-med

Would Neuralink Solve All of Accounting’s Problems?

Elon Musk, the man of moonshots, is at it again. After all, he is a glutton for pushing the envelope of possibility. He just launched a new startup called Neuralink to explore “neural lace” technology — electronic brain implants or neuroprosthetics that would be able to interact with human thought. Oh, and nevermind that he’s […]

Mirai-Botnet-auditing-IoT

Danger Lurking: Mirai and Botnet Are Terms Auditors Should Know

Uh, oh. Forget the Secret Life of Pets. What about the secret life of your video recorder or router? Am I the only one that is reminded of this scene from Brave Little Toaster? Just me. Ok. Internet of Things goes rogue Sure, it is no secret that lots of devices now have a Wi-Fi […]

audit-robot-management-bias

Robot Auditors Won’t Have a Problem Giving Clients Bad News

Here’s something that won’t surprise anyone: A study from the University of Missouri found that auditors defer to information provided by management. In the study, nearly 50 senior auditors from major accounting firms were asked to assess the cost of an explosion at a client’s facility based on memos provided by the company’s finance chief. […]

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How Should You Handle a Partner’s Facebook Friend Request?

Ding. It’s a friend request. You’re so popular. One problem. It’s from one of your engagement partners. Awkward. Now you have a dilemma. Are you obligated to say yes? Or, maybe, you let it sit in the unanswered request pile for eternity and pretend you never saw it. Weigh the options careful and may the […]

Australian Tax Lawyer Built an AI Tax Research Assistant That Will Never Get Sick of Your Questions

Say hi to Ailira, everyone, aka “Artificially Intelligent Legal Information Resource Assistant.” She’s here to help with all your tax research needs. Well, in Australia, anyway: Ailira, or “Artificially Intelligent Legal Information Resource Assistant” is so clever at tax that her creator believes she could help prompt the end of human tax agents. And within […]

Drones Set to Disrupt the “Ideas Accounting Firms Won’t Pursue” Niche

In a recent Journal of Accountancy piece, a bunch of people with way too much time on their hands to consider things that will never happen seem to think that drones are the next wave of innovation for accounting firms. Mind you, it was only a few years ago that one Big 4 firm made […]

Goodbye Legacy USB Ports, Hello Dongles

Have you noticed the global shift to USB Type-C yet? Well, the ball is rolling. And, if the product launches at the end of 2016 were any indication, the shift is picking up speed. Now that manufacturers have successfully phased out optical drives, all of your most familiar (legacy) ports are on the chopping block […]

Amazon’s Giant Data Transfer Trucks Are an IT Auditor’s Worst Nightmare

Drowning in more stuff than you know what to do with? Simple fix. Pack up the crap you can’t bear to part with, rent a truck, and tuck it into a storage unit. Holiday decorations and dusty workout equipment, welcome to your new home. What about when you run out of digital storage space? Or, […]

Anyone Not Adding Disclaimers to the Their Text Messages With Clients Is Probably Asking for It

Text messaging is right up there in the realm of great communication inventions. It's so engrained in our lives that we barely even think about it, but if it went away, we'd all be FURIOUS. Sure, it's butchering language and yes, people who text and drive should suffer a public shaming, but until we starting […]

Tesco Bank Deals with Digital Heist

Cybersecurity experts and IT auditors better saddle up — the world just experienced its first successful digital bank robbery. The Tesco heist Last weekend cyber criminals executed a sophisticated attack on Tesco Bank (subsidiary of the British grocery chain) and successfully stole £2.5 million (~$3.1 million) from customer accounts. While the money was refunded quickly […]

Is it Bye-Bye-Bye to SOC 2?

I wish…. While the SOC 2 isn’t exactly going away, the AICPA is in the process of giving it a major revamp. Maybe we can call it SOC Version 2.1? And, it’s about time! Back in June, I grappled with the flaws of the current Service Organization Control (SOC) reporting system: Don’t get me wrong. […]

Accounting Firms Should Embrace the Digital Fountain of Youth

When did the AICPA decide that “young” professionals are 22 to 40 (yes, 40) years old? Am I the only one to thinks 40 may be too old for that designation? Imagine if society considered professional athletes “young” if they met the under 40 threshold…   Don’t get me wrong — accounting is one industry […]

Exposure Drafts: Can’t Tell If Accountant…

Exposure Drafts is a satirical look at the eccentricities of the accounting profession brought to you by veteran Going Concern contributor Greg Kyte. Send comments and suggestions to [email protected]

Where Should Accountants Stand on Net Neutrality?

Who doesn’t love getting preferential treatment — even if you have to pay for it? Priority boarding on an airplane? TSA pre-check? Yes, sign me up! Really, any type of express lane is downright delicious.

“Rise of the Robots” – Cognitive Technology Threatens Us All

A reader’s skeptical comment on the second of this series — Part I and Part II — on the ominous messages for the accounting profession in Martin Ford’s prize-winning book of last year, Rise of the Robots was that, "The elephant in the room (is) that automation is nowhere close to being able to make […]

“Rise of the Robots” – And They’ll Audit Better, Smarter, Cheaper

“The ‘smarter’ machines get, the more and more jobs they’ll replace. Including mine. And yours.”    — Reader CommentMartin Ford’s prize-winning Rise of the Robots (2015) underlies this three-part look at the prospects that drones, robots and cognitive technology will rapidly displace jobs and careers at all levels of the Big Audit model, and that the […]

Accounting Firms and Bring Your Own Team to Work

I have worked with a few dysfunctional teams over the years. It’s the worst. But, it does make you appreciate the occasional dream team that jives together like magic. Tasks get done easier because the group functions like a well-oiled machine. Unfortunately, groups that work together seamlessly are rare and take awhile to develop. You […]

An Invasive Remedy for the Big 4 Accounting Blues

Overworked and underappreciated? Running on empty, day in and day out? We have all felt it. If you have worked in Big 4 accounting and didn’t experience Sunday night anxiety, you're not human. Prolonged spells of feeling overwhelmed can lead to burnout and start to impact your mental health. (Big surprise. #AuditorProud) As cited by […]

Accountants Are Becoming Hoarders

Does your external hard drive or cloud storage easily transform into the digital equivalent to a garage full of junk? Don’t be ashamed, I’m guilty of it too. And companies know it’s an issue, tempting you with more space for less than a cup of coffee every month. It’s hard to refuse. Remember those disposable […]

A Big Part of the Cloud Business Model Is on the Verge of Breaking

The sky is falling. Or, should I say, the cloud? No, I’m not Chicken Little. You might want to pay attention to this one… The no frill infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) business model is in trouble. Maybe you will agree with me…maybe not… but everyone seems to be looking at infrastructure providers with rose colored glasses. It […]

Augmented Intelligence in Accounting

As a follow up from my Augmented Reality post I wanted to take a moment to talk about augmented intelligence also known as intelligence amplification. Put simply, this is enhancing the human brain with technology. Believe it or not the term "intelligence amplification" was popularized by W. Ross Ashby in his 1956 book, An Introduction […]

3 Epic Fails of Backup and Recovery

Auditors — especially seasoned IT auditors — are familiar with the scene of sitting with a nervous backup and recovery analyst once a year for a walkthrough. If you haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing it, here’s the drill: It begins with rapport-building (read: uncomfortable) small talk mixed with a few questions about the overview […]

Multi-factor Authentication: Mo’ Factors, Mo’ Problems

The dreaded “access denied” error message. It makes you want to cry, doesn’t it? Not only do you have to change your password every 90 days, but throw in other options for dual factor authentication such as getting a text to your phone or some type of biometric scan… it’s headache central. As I said […]

From Wearable to Implantable Electronic Devices: Are You Ready?

I’ll admit it… when I first started wearing contact lenses, the idea of touching my eye was unnerving. Luckily, I got over it. (Especially since I am not quite ready to embrace the idea of laser eye surgery.) Plus, I am pretty happy with my contacts and am able to read spreadsheets with ease. That’s […]

How Small Accounting Firms Can Stay Relevant

As a firm owner my biggest fear is getting left behind. Well, that and running into the three worst days a business owner will face.

Underwater Datacenters Might Make for Some Tricky Auditor Walkthroughs

Who says we can’t mix electricity and water? Dangerous… sure. But, hey, why not? Microsoft is currently testing an underwater data center and it’s kind of genius. It’s in the “why didn’t I think of that” category. Dubbed Project Natick, this cutting-edge innovation is vying to create an out-of-the-box subsea datacenter that can get dropped […]

Tighten Up Privileged Access Now, or Hate Yourself Later

The 2016 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (aka: “DBIR”) is out and it isn’t pretty. Where to start…? Maybe by saying that 2015 heralded over 100,000 information security incidents — including 3,141 data breaches. If those numbers are not staggering enough, it’s more unnerving to realize this is the first time I have heard about […]

Augmented Reality for Accounting

A couple weeks ago, Megan said, “It's Time for Accountants to Ditch Dual Monitors” which I read on one of my three screens. While I appreciated the GC wrath being directed at someone else for a change, the conversation missed the bigger picture.

#WhatsNext: Return-Free Filing

It's time once again for our monthly yakfest, #WhatsNext, a co-production of Going Concern and Thriveal. Today we're talking about return-free filing, something that's been in the news lately, but an issue we've covered on here for quite some time and has been a topic of debate for a decade or more. As always, I'll […]

Here’s Why There Won’t Be an Uber for Accounting

You’re probably familiar with Uber by now, unless you live under a rock, or live in the 25% of the country not yet covered by it.

Automation to Artificial Intelligence: New Frontiers for Auditors

News flash: Artificial intelligence (AI) and other cognitive technologies are eliminating jobs left and right. Bloomberg reports as many as 5 million jobs by 2020. Oh, calamity. Should auditors be worried? The short answer is no…don’t lose sleep over it. Why? First off, cognitive technologies (even super cool advanced ones) are best with structured tasks […]

It’s Time for Accountants to Ditch Dual Monitors

Here’s what my first day at a client would typically look like (circa 2012): 1. Carefully navigate through a new parking structure to avoid bumping expensive cars.2. Park.3. Obtain a security badge with an unflattering photo from the front desk.4. Return to car to collect my obnoxiously large (not technically portable) external monitor.5. Saunter into […]

Wait, Are Paper Tax Organizers Still a Thing?

Look, I admit that I’ve been out of the game for awhile, so forgive me if I sound, um, supercilious, but are paper tax organizers still a thing?

Accountants Should Dump Microsoft Excel for Database Software

Rumor has it that the AICPA is finally integrating Microsoft Excel into the CPA exam starting in 2018. I’ll admit my initial reaction is “it’s about time” since the generic spreadsheet I used was archaic. Apparently, almost 70% of the CPAs surveyed by the AICPA agreed. Go figure — we are all Excel-aholics who can’t get through the day without busting out a spreadsheet.

Now That The Cloud Is Mainstream, Where Do Hipster Accountants Go From Here?

Five years ago, hipster accountants were all over the cloud. We were working on clients’ books from coffee shops and Xero was this sketchy startup from New Zealand that no one had heard of. There were meetups and secret forums filled with the cloud elitists and, almost everyone in the scene had beards (except me, […]

Let’s All Enjoy This ‘Reply All’ Misadventure From the Virginia Society of CPAs Open Forum

How can you best annoy dozens of accountants in the midst of tax season? Well, in the age of the internet, a reply all mishap will do just fine. A tipster sent us a link to Virginia Society of CPAs' Open Forum thread that started innocently enough. An anonymous user posted a question about an […]

Do You Make These User Control Consideration Mistakes?

Discussing cyber extortion got the wheels turning about trust and reliance on our increasingly distributed IT ecosystems. Outsourcing IT functionality causes certain IT controls to be a fleeting afterthought for the user entity — the service provider will handle it, right? Well, maybe not. That’s where a Service Organization Controls (SOC) report comes in handy. […]

Cyber Extortion: Leprechauns vs. Accountants

To capture the spirit of St. Patty’s day, let’s discuss a cunning technique that nefarious leprechauns use to steal your pot of gold: cyber extortion. Boiled down, cyber extortion is an age-old blackmail scheme with a digital twist. It starts with an unlucky target, such as a database housing sensitive information. A leprechaun (read: hacker) […]

Is Our Productivity Obsession Counterproductive?

Don’t let the #productivityhack hype lure you in! It’s busy season and bloggers and app developers are just waiting to entice tired accountants with their claims to speed up your efficiency and change your life. I am convinced our obsession with productivity is simply a ruse for procrastination. Every time I add a “game-changing” new […]

Password Inundation: Password Policies We Love to Hate

As a technology obsessed society we're drowning in a sea of passwords. Remember when your locker combo was all you had to memorize? Now I have over 100 different passwords. It’s ridiculous. The problem is no one can possibly remember that many passwords. So what do we do as lazy tech connoisseurs? We simply use […]

Next-Gen Cloud Accounting: Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) Ecosystems

Let’s face it. Cloud computing is so 6 years ago. We agree it’s a technology trope that has to go. And yet, accounting software executives are still enamored with everything cloud. Enough already, right!? Unfortunately, the accounting profession’s captivation with cloud is not merely lip service. In 2014, QuickBooks Online generated more than $800 in […]

#TBT: Auditors Cringe While Watching Office Space

In honor of throwback Thursday let me take you on a journey down memory lane to reminisce about Office Space, a light hearted and irreverent comedy starring Ron Livingston and Jennifer Aniston. Spoiler alert! (Actually, if you haven’t seen the movie during the last 17 years I don’t feel bad.) Peter, played by Ron Livingston, […]

Beware of Bring Your Own Device

I woke up in shock on my first day of freedom after leaving my Big 4 job. I leaned toward my nightstand to check the time on my iPhone. Wait, what?! My phone had been wiped. Panic set in first. When did I last back it up?

Auditors Sing The Legacy System Blues

Ed. note: Today we debut a new contributor to Going Concern. Megan Lewczyk, CPA (pronounced left without the “t” and "chick" like a baby bird) is a Big 4 alumna who decided to venture off the beaten path early in her career. She owns a consulting firm, is an adjunct accounting instructor for a couple […]

Sure, Accounting Students Should Learn How to Code (And a Lot of Other Things, Too)

Over at the AICPA's website, there's a post that makes the case for accounting students to learn how to code. It's hard to disagree with the premise — coding is a valuable skill — but there are several aspects to this topic that go unmentioned, that I'll try to cover here. First and foremost, anyone […]

Tell a Fellow Accountant About Alt+Tab, for Crying Out Loud

You people make me sad. Seriously, anyone who isn't using Alt+Tab constantly needs to examine their lives. Shocking stat from a Windows 10 briefing at Microsoft today: Only 6% of Windows users know about Alt+Tab to switch apps. — David Pogue (@Pogue) July 16, 2015 If I hear of any one of you using the […]

Deloitte Survey: Auditors’ Use of Technology Does Not Impress

A Deloitte survey of financial executives, financial statement users and audit committee members found that an overwhelming majority — 84%, 70% and 76% respectively — of these people, "believe auditors should use advanced technologies more extensively in performing an audit." Apparently, 21st century auditing is still a few years off. [WSJ] Image: Gnangarra/WIkimedia Commons

The End Is Nigh: Prepare Yourselves for the Accountapocalypse

Last week I read Caleb's post about the murky future of the accounting profession, and I reached out to him immediately. You see, I am in the business of predicting the future of the accounting profession. Or at least that’s what my LinkedIn says, it makes it easier to explain what an accounting futurist actually does.

Getting Cirrus: A Conversation with Blake Oliver of Cloudsourced Accounting

Today, Harshman Phillips & Company announced that it is acquiring Cloudsourced Accounting, a firm that provides "cloud integration and online bookkeeping services" to small businesses. Blake Oliver, one of the co-founders of Cloudsourced, is unique in the respect that he is not a CPA. You may remember a post from back in January where this […]

Belated #TBT: VisiCalc, the First Spreadsheet Program

I wrote this yesterday and didn't publish it. Go figure. Anyway, VisiCalc was the first spreadsheet program, hitting the market in 1979. It was developed by Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston, originally running on the Apple II and was consider its "killer app."   In a 1980 review, BYTE stated: "The most exciting and influential piece […]

Actually, Everyone Knows That Having Two Monitors Is Super Boss

Today in this isn't news news. You may not know it but having two screens is super boss — Life at Deloitte AU (@AuDeloittian) February 26, 2015 This is Life at Deloitte Down Under, which may explain why he's under the assumption that we haven't already beaten this topic to death.

Use Excel to Keep an Eye on Your BMI This Busy Season

Let’s assume that you’ve bought into the quantified-self craze. Your wearable technology measures every breath you take and every move you make, so now it's time for new frontiers, as in something other than the fast food drive-thru lane. It’s always easiest to start with low-hanging fruit, such as your co-workers. Body Mass Index is […]

How to Add a Nice Steaming Pile of Poo to Any Excel Spreadsheet

As the old saying goes, a picture is worth 1,000 words. There may just be instances where nothing else will do in a set of audit work papers than a steaming brown pile of excrement. This is easy to add in the mobile versions of Excel, but you can also add emoji in the desktop […]