Xcentric is on Inc. 5000 for the 9th Time in a Row!

Xcentric is happy to announce that we made it on the Inc. 5000 list again…for the 9th time in a row!

This is an exclusive ranking of America’s fastest-growing private companies. To qualify for this list, companies must be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent. The top 5000 qualified candidates are ranked according to their percentage revenue growth over the past four years.

We are proud to have accomplished new goals since last year and are continuing to grow our team and client base. We couldn’t be where we are today without the support and encouragement from our amazing clients!

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Digital Tools Are Part Of Onboarding

Guest Author: Rita Keller

“The future depends on what you do today.” – Gandhi

It’s a new world and if you are not keeping pace, your new hires will notice immediately.

It is also a digital world and online activities and resources are such an important part of your firm. Keep this in mind as you overhaul your orientation process. Orientation has evolved into onboarding and onboarding is a process that can last up to a year or more.

I believe that first impressions STILL make a difference in how you are perceived. I always stress this with students aiming to make accounting their career.

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Citrix Blog Post: Anywhere Access to Business-critical Apps

With today’s mobile workforce, employees in businesses of all sizes and in all industries want – or actually demand – remote access to business-critical apps and data to help them achieve work-life balance. They’re working from home offices, collaborating with customers and colleagues, working with stakeholders in different time zones, and using a variety of networks.

Forward-thinking businesses like yours are stepping up to deliver mobility because they are seeing the value of moving beyond just providing basic network access to providing secure, portable, always-on, always-connected working environments that follow and empower employees with access to business-critical apps regardless of their location, choice of device or connectivity.

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Beware Technology “Gotchas” in M&A

Merger discussions kick into high gear each summer as partners look to expand their practice reach, combine well-suited practices, discuss new service opportunities, and address succession and retirement issues. Often, these discussions focus on tax and assurance practice compatibility from a financial and cultural perspective, and while Information Technology is touched upon, the lack of IT knowledge often has the negotiators defaulting IT issues to a later time. Unfortunately, many firms have found out that there are a variety of IT “gotchas” that can result it major headaches with hidden financial consequences after the deal is closed. Below are a number of technology surprises that firms should look out for before the M&A celebrations start.

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Five Auditor Security Tips

Verizon’s 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report was recently released and the findings point to security risks and data breaches once again increasing in the year ahead.  While this is bad news for those firms choosing to ignore or trivialize security, the report identified the key threats that account for the majority of breaches.  Accountants can drastically reduce the risk of their firm becoming a breach statistic by following five guidelines:

Data Awareness

Knowing specifically where client data resides allows firms to put data protection in place.  When data is on local C:Drives, USB flash, and data backup drives, security is dependent on the auditor complying with the guidelines, including using data encryption which is notoriously painful for the accountants to adhere to IT department requirements.  In addition, most accountants are not good about physically locking up their computer screens or securing them when they need to leave the working area to ask the client a question. So what is the solution? While automatic screensavers will block out peering eyes and cable locks will physically secure the laptop,

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Last Chance to Register for the 2016 Cloud Conference

Registration to attend Xcentric’s 2016 Cloud Conference closes tomorrow, Wednesday, August 3rd at 8PM EST. You don’t want to miss out on this event full of eye-opening, interactive sessions (for both our clients and employees). Some agenda items include: peer discussion groups, tour of the Xcentric headquarters, and Recruit Like the Big 4 (guest speaker). Get a chance to talk to our staff face-to-face and discuss challenges and experiences with other Xcentric Cloud users.

The deadline to book a room in our discounted hotel block ended yesterday, but there’s still room at the hotel to book at their regular rate.

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Xcentric Partners with Netwrix to Pass SOC 2 Audit

In preparation for our SOC 2 audit, we decided to partner with Netwrix (the first to introduce a visibility and governance platform that supports both on-premises and hybrid cloud IT environments) not only to pass the audit but also to better secure our clients’ data.

Netwrix Auditor is a visibility and governance platform that enables control over changes, configurations and access in hybrid cloud IT environments to protect data at rest regardless of its location.

Take a look at this short article and this case study by Netwrix on our recent collaboration. Here’s an excerpt form the article:

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Software Tool Spotlight: Make Audits Smoother with Suralink

Suralink is a cloud-based platform that combines the multiple tools that CPA firms traditionally use on audits and other complex engagements for document exchange and communicating with clients. Central to Suralink is a dynamic PBC needs list that is integrated into a secure file hosting platform. Layered on top of the needs list is audit and tax specific workflow plus the ability to communicate back and forth with clients regarding the status of individual requests and the overall engagement. A dashboard, timeline, and key data analytics provide partners and managers with a high-level view of each engagement for better decision making. Finally, firms can request, receive, track and manage all of their needs from a single platform while providing a better client experience.

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Phishing and Hacked Passwords: Top Causes for Last Year’s Security Breaches

Verizon released their ninth annual Data Breach Investigations Report (2016DBIR) last month, which reports on the major security breaches and methods used by hackers to compromise businesses and governmental organizations.  When it comes to hacking, organized crime syndicates lead the way with phishing email schemes that are culpable in 89% of security breaches, followed by “state-affiliated actors” which accounted for another 9% of attacks.

Phishing has transitioned from the “good ole” days when clicking on the link would take you to an obviously fake bank site to capture your login credentials.  The 2016DBIR study found that 70% to 90% of malware hitting an organization is “unique” to that organization, meaning that the hackers slightly modified the malware signature hashtags so it would look like a NEW virus, even though the malware impact was the same (loading ransomware, capturing login credentials, etc.).  This means that today’s stealthier version is usually customized to each company and tricks more victims into downloading a viable looking invoice or RFP request.

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