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MAH Consultants, a top regional auditing firm, conducts technology audit and IT security assessments for a variety of industries
The most obvious impact of technology in accounting is the presence of computers, printers, scanners and faxes. Information technology (IT) transformed the accounting world–no more green paper sheets and pencils. The good news is that prices are affordable on most of the equipment. It is not just for large corporations; small business can get IT equipment easily and at a reasonable cost. The machines are sophisticated, fast and easy to use.
Besides the equipment, accountants appreciate the software. For example, spreadsheet programs are highly efficient at helping accountants with calculations and reporting. There are accounting programs in the market that are easy to use and affordable, making them very popular with small businesses. Software can help accountants in their daily tasks, such as paying bills, recording transactions and reporting. The program keeps all data organized and in a centralized location.
Because of the close synergy between accounting and information systems, many universities have started offering four-year degrees in “accounting and information systems” or “accounting information systems.” The accountant of the present and future must be technologically savvy to be relevant, and the universities are preparing new graduates for this challenge.
The Internet opened many doors and made life easier in many ways, especially in the accounting area, where documents can be shared, research can be conducted and taxes can be filed-all online. Connection to the Internet can be wireless and simple. Businesses don’t have to buy software to run some programs. Instead, some sites host the programs online, where files also can be saved.
Information technology is used widely in accounting security. Identifications and passwords limit access to confidential information. Instead of binders and papers lying around, security can be greatly enhanced with the proper computer programs. Using a program, accounting information can be encrypted in a way to prevent unauthorized use, making it quite safe. A lost, stolen or misplaced laptop or desktop computer can be tracked using security software that can be activated remotely.