How technology is impacting the accounting discipline (part 2)

LightCastle Analytics Wing
April 18, 2014
How technology is impacting the accounting discipline (part 2)

Almost every article or report we read today talks about the advantages of technology on accounting profession. Sometimes they contain the necessity of business owners to incorporate technology into every aspect of their scope of work. We already know how the influence of technology have enriched the ability of an accountant to analyze statistical data and the capacity to deal with complex accounting procedures, right? But sadly, nothing in this world can be called perfect. There are adverse repercussions to everything along with their good sides, even in case of advancement of technology.

A very recent cyber threat has left everyone shaken with fear. An encryption flaw called the ‘Heartbleed bug’ is already being called one of the biggest security threats the Internet has ever seen. The bug has affected many popular websites and services — ones you might use every day, like Gmail and Facebook — and could have quietly exposed your sensitive account information (such as passwords and credit card numbers) over the past two years. Warnings came from companies including Cisco, Juniper, Fortinet, Red Hat, and Watchguard Technologies are saying that some of their internet products may have been compromised and now place the spotlight on the corporate sector.
In September 2013, Lloyds Banking Group websites, including the new standalone TSB site, have been hit by problems on TSB launch day. The banking group experienced intermittent website problems across almost all of its brands. The problems coincide with the transfer of five million customer accounts from Lloyds to TSB, despite promises by Lloyds chief executive of a “seamless” transition. They could not recover it instantaneously leading to a great loss! This is what happens when you blindly rely on something.
As we deal with the growing cloud and web technologies, network security becomes an issue too. An obvious question is how do we trust our public cloud service providers? A great example is the investment banking industry, where the giants such as Goldman Sachs and J.P Morgan Chase are trying to build their own private cloud platforms to deal with their own trade data. We heard great stories where even the Harvard University website got hacked by the “Serian Electronic Army”. Surely, as more we deal with data, data security need to be addressed, and as such, accounting firms should make sure their client data is secured even when using public cloud services.
With the growing technological advancement in the world, Bangladesh is not lagging behind. Even a small trader now has a computer in his office to maintain his records. We are witnessing more and more companies in Bangladesh trying to make the most use of data. Even though we do not see a private cloud in an enterprise in Bangladesh, but small and big enterprises are increasingly becoming dependent on public cloud service providers. With applications of software on the cloud, this also means that accountants can have a real time overview of the current financial position of the company.
The most used accounting software in Bangladesh is Tally. There are other accounting software such as eKam, SCM etc. While auditing Concern Worldwide Bangladesh, I came across Microsoft dynamics GP (Great Plains) software, and it was amazing how accounting and finance, project accounting and budgeting- all these complex mechanisms were so easily managed and performed systematically.
Not only can embracing technology have positive results for the accounting profession, it can positively impact existing clients and simplify the process of attracting new customers. Whether it’s developing networks with supplemental providers and understanding technology to assist clients, harnessing the power of mobile technology, or using a company intranet to deliver solutions, technology is the future of accounting. These tools will only grow over time, and it’s in an accountant’s best interest to adapt to the changing business world. The companies in Bangladesh should adapt to the concept of cloud computing and big data and should make the most out of any kind of data available to make predictions that would help make accurate financial decisions. Algorithmic or electronic trading will very soon arrive in Bangladesh enabling us to make the most use out of trade data. Today, organizations are becoming more aware of their database security issues in combating cyber threats. Now they need to wrap the robust database security strategies into their overall security and compliance strategies. This will help organizations protect their critical data and meet regulatory requirements better too. There is still a lot to discover in the huge pool of advancement, it’s just the beginning of a new era. Like the poet E E Cummings once put it, “there’s a hell of a good universe next door; let’s go and find out…!”

WRITTEN BY: LightCastle Analytics Wing

At LightCastle, we take a data-driven approach to create opportunities for growth and impact. We consult and collaborate with development partners, the public sector, and private organizations to promote inclusive economic growth that positively changes the lives of people at scale. Being a data-driven and transparent organization, we believe in democratizing knowledge and information among the stakeholders of the economy to drive inclusive growth.

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