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New FREE Policies

We’ve also been busy during this past month adding new resources to our website.  There are several new policies for anyone to utilize for free, including a policy on E-mail Acceptable Use, Mobile Device Acceptable Use, and more.

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Xcentric Leaders on 40 Under 40 List Again

Two of our leaders made it again on CPA Practice Advisor’s 40 Under 40 list.  This award recognizes young professionals who have a great impact on the broader accounting and tax profession.  These may be individuals currently practicing in the tax and accounting space, or those who work with professionals and firms to help them achieve greater productivity and growth in their firms.

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IT-Gov-Series

Policy Examples & Resources Download

Part IV (the last section) of the IT Governance series gives readers specific examples of documents which should be considered for managing a CPA firm’s overall IT Governance strategy.  This is not a complete list but covers areas such as infrastructure, applications, asset management and more and is a good place to start.

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Roman-Kepczyk-Named-All-Three-Consulting-Awards-for-2014

Roman Kepczyk Named All Three Consulting Awards for 2014

Xcentric is honored to have Roman Kepczyk, CPA consultant who offers over 25 years of CPA firm experience, as our Director of Consulting.  Roman travels during the majority of the year meeting with CPA firms and speaking at conferences and association meetings, teaching people in the industry how to utilize technology by implementing today’s digital best practices.

This year, Roman has been honored with all three of the main consulting awards in the accounting industry.  This is not Roman’s first time receiving these honors either.

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Why-Your-Firm-Needs-Info-Security

Why Your Accounting Firm Needs Information Security Liability Insurance

By Stephen Vono, Principal, NAPLIA

Currently, 46 states have information security laws concerning personally identifiable information (PII). The laws define what information is considered PII and it defines what you must do in the event of a breach or loss of information. Laws are not prescriptive, meaning they don’t tell you specifically how to lock down client information. They will say that reasonable precautions need to take place. If you have a breach or loss of PII, the laws usually inform you who you need to inform of the breach and how to proceed. Many times the directive on what to do next comes from the local law authorities or the Attorney General’s Office, and these directives can be costly leaving your accounting firm exposed to financial damage. According to the Ponemon Institute, the cost in responding to notification laws can cost around $150.00 per notification.

Your firm is ultimately responsible for your notifying your clients of any loss of PII. If there is a breach in your cloud provider’s network and your clients PII is now compromised, your firm

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IT-Gov-Series

Operational Issues Related to IT Governance Download

Part III of the IT Governance series gives readers direction in how to smoothly operate a CPA firm.  This whitepaper brings up several issues that occur related to IT and walks through how to apply IT Governance methods to resolves these unpleasant scenarios.

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How smoothly IT Governance operates can be directly controlled by the IT department itself.  Oftentimes, the IT department has handled items “on the fly” in the past, however, IT Governance is going to now require documentation.  Establishing a standard can make this not only easier for the Committee, but will increase efficiencies for the department.

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The-Innovators-Changing-the-Accounting-Business-Model

The Innovators…Changing the Accounting Business Model

The words “innovation” and “accounting” are rarely uttered in the same breath. Our profession is by nature conservative and slow to change. But over the past several years, a movement of CPAs who see and do things differently has slowly been gaining steam.

After getting to know some of its pioneers I’ve concluded that we just may be on the cusp of a significant shift in our traditional accounting business model – the way we create, deliver and capture value.

I will explore this shift through profiles of three practitioners of what I’m calling “the new accounting.” This piece addresses the nature and characteristics of the movement and what it could mean for our firms and our clients.

The times, they are a changin’

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IT-Gov-Series

Practical IT Governance Whitepaper Download

Part II of the IT Governance series gives readers practical and real ways to leverage IT Governance within a CPA firm. As discussed in Part I of this series, IT has become a very vital part of every firm, and people need to not only understand what IT Governance is, they also need to implement it into their firms to stay ahead in the accounting industry.

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The first step in practical IT Governance is establishing executive responsibility. Typically, this is someone who oversees IT Governance for the firm based on a framework of responsibility given to this person by the Executive Committee or owners of the firm, which is often the CEO or managing partner. This person should be a member of the Executive Committee if your firm is structured in this manner.

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2014-SaaS-Survey-Bolsters-Cloud-Adoption

2014 SaaS Survey Bolsters Cloud Adoption

Software as a Service (SaaS) and the more generic term “Cloud” have been a big topic of discussion within CPA firms over the past decade, beginning with the early ASPs (Application Service Providers) that hosted one application such as tax research or accounting, and then evolving towards today’s environment where every application in the entire firm can be hosted by a combination of providers.  Many firms today are building a hybrid environment where those applications that are more cost effective and secure in the cloud are going there (portal, email, research) and those that are not are being managed internally.  To determine the status of cloud adoption within firms, the Association for Accounting Administration released a ground breaking SaaS survey in 2012, which was followed up in May of this year with over 100 firms participating.

The number of firms that maintained a traditional network infrastructure in-house declined in the past two years from 78% to 71%, while the number of firms that maintained their own network in a collocation facility increased slightly from 4% to

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