Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

How CPAs Manage Computer Technology

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

How CPAs Manage Computer Technology

Article excerpt

CPA firms spend an average of $2.67 per chargeable hour on computer technology, which includes hardware, software and training. That amounts to about 3.5% of gross revenues and $2,053 per employee.

This information comes from a survey of CPAs, many from an industry group, the Accountants' Computer Users Technical Exchange (ACUTE).

Yet despite the fact that so much money is being invested in technology, few CPA firms really manage it. For example, only 22% of the firms surveyed took the time to develop a long-range plan for how they will computerize their offices--what hardware and software they will buy--which indicates that, instead of planning where they want their level of computerization to be some years ahead, they probably make purchases on an as-needed basis.

Clearly, that's a mistake. Such lack of planning indicates money is being wasted and computer technology is not being put to its best use.

The survey also discloses that while most CPA firms prepare income tax returns for individuals and businesses using batch or interactive processing, some CPAs still do the job the old-fashioned way-on paper: about 6% do individual income tax returns, 14% do business tax returns and 35% prepare financial statements manually. …

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