May 09, 2016

Technology – Do You Know What You Don’t Know?

Maureen RenziBy Maureen Renzi, Vice President – Communications

When people say “governance” it usually generates a big yawn. Well, I’m here to tell you that great things can arise from these meetings. In fact, while working on PICPA Council’s Emerging/Evolving Issues Task Force as a staff liaison with Allison Henry, our experience was anything but boring. Especially if you have an interest in technology (and you should). Technology bubbled up to the top of most discussions, and it is driving much of the change in the CPA profession. As a result it is also driving the need for new kinds of CPA education. The task force made it clear that many CPAs are so busy today dealing with everyday challenges that they don’t know what they don’t know.

Many Technology UnknownsSixty-five percent of CPAs think they need to be either early adopters or innovators of new technology by 2020. In case you haven’t looked at a calendar lately, that’s really soon.

The PICPA is leveraging our own technology to help. We will be providing our first live broadcast from our office. On May 18, we have scheduled Navigating the Cybersecurity Storm: Leveraging Technology at PICPA headquarters in Philadelphia. Here, or via webcast, you will get to know some of what you do not know.

Big-name security breaches may capture the headlines, but did you know that it’s the smaller businesses that may be easier, and more likely, targets?
Lee Zeichner, will be giving an update on the security and privacy threats facing accounting firms and their clients, what kind of insurance coverage is needed, and which strategies can reduce harm when a breach occurs.

Are you and your clients PCI compliant? Do you know what PCI compliance entails?
Robert Listerman, CPA, CRTRMS, is going to explain the levels of Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance and what the real price of noncompliance is. He will share some of the common misconceptions about PCI, which seems to indicate that there’s a lot of questions about this important issue.

Do you know what to do if you experience a data breach?
John Jablonski, JD, will make you think about the unthinkable – what to do when there is a breach. Jablonski has a reputation as the guy with a comprehensive understanding of technology and how businesses can use technology to help drive innovative solution for data security. He’ll be delving into preparedness checklists and executing an incident response plan. Who should think about this? One of my favorite blogs, Cybersecurity Down on the Farm says it all – this is an issue all businesses, in all shapes and sizes, need to address.

Do you know the risks that are specific to CPAs?
Paul Borchardt knows, and he plans to talk about specific risks to the profession and to provide some insight into hackers and their motives. It’s not all doom and gloom though; he also has some strategies to mitigate the risk.

Do you know how to harness the knowledge and expectations of the next generation of CPAs in a digital world?
Robert Risk, MSCIS, will explore the digital impact of the cloud on the accounting profession, and will give some thought-provoking analysis of Office 365 as well as outsourcing.

Do you know how to manage the risk of all the third-party vendors your company has a relationship with? Do you even know all the third-party vendors used?
John D. McLaughlin, CPA, CRMA will catalog specific customer risks to which third parties can expose the firm and discuss rules-based due diligence testing.

We’re excited to offer this program on Navigating the Cybersecurity Storm: Leveraging Technology to members. Stay tuned for more programs in this developing area, and search our course listings for more programs so that you will have the right questions to be a technology innovator by 2020.

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Statements of fact and opinion are the authors’ responsibility alone and do not imply an opinion on the part of PICPA officers or members. The information contained in herein does not constitute accounting, legal, or professional advice. For professional advice, please engage or consult a qualified professional.