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Mobile Accounting

Published on May 03, 2016

Best Practices: Mobile Accounting

Eight issues that companies looking to implement mobile accounting should consider.

1. Define Mobile Accounting

Mobile accounting could mean different things to different people and businesses, so the first step in a successful rollout is defining what it means to you and your company. 

2. Security

CPAs and finance professionals must tackle increasingly sophisticated threats, ranging from cyber attacks to the loss of mobile devices, by developing and implementing security policies and plans that cover all the potential risks. It is critical to implement security measures such as two-factor authentication to ensure that only those you authorize have access to your mobile platform. 

3. The Universe of Devices

You also have to think about the types of devices that your team will use. Are they more likely to use smart phones or tablets? If you want to use mobile to approve payments on the go, then smart phones would likely be the device of choice. If you need mobility, but still require a high degree of functionality that could be useful for things like client meetings on the go, tablets could be more useful. 

4. BYOD or Company Issued

Companies have to decide if they’ll embrace a “bring your own device” (BYOD) environment, or insist upon company-issued devices. While there are benefits to BYOD, including cost savings and employee satisfaction, companies have to be aware of the compliance, security and compatibility issues. 

5. Apps vs. Mobile Web

Businesses need to figure out what type of accounting and financial tools their team will be using on mobile devices. Are those tools available only as a downloaded app, or can they be accessed through mobile websites? Weigh the pros and cons against your goals for mobile accounting and the devices your team will be using to choose what’s right for your business. 

6. Regular Updates

Technology advancements are being introduced at an increasingly faster pace and older, outdated technology can affect employee productivity and enterprise security. It’s important to keep your accounting technology up-to-date by regularly updating apps and devices. Doing this will help maximize security and improve productivity – the whole reason for implementing mobile accounting in the first place. 

7. Mobile Privileges

Not everyone on your team will need access to your mobile accounting tools. There are plenty of reasons to set limitations on who has access, but the most important is security, especially since security experts will tell you that information security is mostly a people problem. Just as you should control which devices are allowed for mobile accounting, choosing which employees to grant mobile permissions is equally important.

8. Compliance

Even though mobile accounting is a young but emerging trend, there are surely compliance issues in the highly regulated financial services industry to which companies must adhere. There will be different regulations depending on the business functions and the type of organization that is “going mobile.”

(Source: AccountingToday - Daily Edition - June 5, 2015)