Nonprofit Accounting Blog

The Biggest Threat to Your Company’s Security

You and your employees could be the biggest security threat to your organization’s data. Confirming earlier research, a recent study by Ponemon Institute, sponsored by IronKey, has identified that the main threat to your company’s security isn’t viruses or attacks against your server, storage and network but is instead, your own employees.
While not malicious in their intent, many employees are opting to do their jobs the easiest and fastest way possible, even when that means cutting corners and disregarding policy. From downloading data onto unsecured mobile devices, sharing passwords, to using web-based personal email and social networking sites in the office – employees are putting companies at risk.

Specific percentages of the ways data integrity is being compromised are as follows:

• 61% download data onto unsecured mobile devices
• 47% share passwords
• 43% loose data-bearing devices
• 21% turn off their mobile devices and/or security tools
• 52% use Web-based personal email in the office
• 53% download Internet software onto the organizations devices
• 31% engage in online social networking while in the workplace

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Accounting Positions on the Rise

For the second consecutive quarter, the percentage of CFO’s who anticipate hiring more Accounting and Finance workers has gone up. While those who plan to hire more employees in the 2nd quarter of 2010 stands at just 7%, it is still a sign of good news because it is the highest forecast since the 1st quarter of 2009. In addition, the number of those expected to decrease staff has gone down the past two quarters.

A survey of 1400 CFO’s in the United States found that 84% are ‘somewhat confident’, and 34% are ‘very confident’ of the near future. The survey, conducted by Robert Half International also noted that the Mountain states are expected to hire the most new workers, many of which are in the education and health services sectors. Robert Half International chairman and CEO, Max Messmer said, “While most businesses remain cautious, some companies are beginning to hire selectively to ensure they have the employees in place to capitalize on opportunities that may arise as a result of an improving economy. In some cases, firms are using temporary professionals to help meet workload demands and as a way to evaluate individuals for potential full-time positions.”

Ultimately, this may be a good sign of things to come in our economy. To read more about this, click here.

Increased Accountant Stress Levels and Corporate Inefficiency

According to a recent survey performed by Unit4 Coda, Accountants are under added unnecessary stress. The survey found that accountants feel they are being held to unrealistic deadlines and have an over-reliance on spreadsheets due to inefficient accounting systems. Further, among the top contributors to unnecessary stress is an apparent disconnect between executive management teams and accountants.

A report of the survey’s findings on states, “Over 66 percent of the survey’s respondents(1) said an average close period takes over five days to complete, but the survey also revealed that more than 55 percent of accountants are expected to complete a close in a maximum of five days.”

Other items noted were:

  • 70 percent of respondents reported that inadequate reporting from their financial systems was a source of stress.
  • 58 percent spent more than four hours reconciling subsystems to the GL with 25 percent taking two days or more.
  • 53 percent of accountants reported clocking overtime hours during a period close.

It appears as though many companies are still struggling with antiquated processes and software which is adding unnecessary pressure on accountants and employees as well as increasing the likelihood for error. If this situation sounds familiar, it is definitely time to take a look at how a better system and automation process can improve the overall operations of your organization.