IRIS Survey Reveals Efficiency and Cybersecurity Concerns Among UK Accountants

A recent survey by IRIS Software Group reveals that UK-based accountants are struggling with efficiency, anti-money laundering compliance, and cybersecurity preparedness, with many still relying on outdated paper-based processes and lacking robust cybersecurity measures, putting sensitive client information and financial data at risk. The survey highlights the urgent need for digital transformation and strengthened cybersecurity in the accountancy industry to remain competitive and safeguard client data." This description focuses on the primary topic of the survey's findings, the main entity of IRIS Software Group, and the context of the UK accountancy industry. It also highlights the significant actions and consequences related to the subject matter, including the risks to client data and the need for digital transformation. The description provides objective and relevant details that will guide the AI in creating an accurate visual representation of the article's content.

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IRIS Survey Reveals Efficiency and Cybersecurity Concerns Among UK Accountants

IRIS Survey Reveals Efficiency and Cybersecurity Concerns Among UK Accountants

A recent survey conducted by IRIS Software Group, a leading global software provider, has highlighted significant concerns among UK-based accountants regarding efficiency, anti-money laundering (AML) compliance, and cybersecurity preparedness. The survey, which polled 139 accountants, reveals that many practices are still relying on outdated, paper-based processes and have not documented their procedures in over 18 months.

Why this matters: The lack of digitization and cybersecurity measures in the accountancy industry can have far-reaching consequences, including compromised sensitive client information and financial data. Moreover, the industry's failure to adopt modern practices can lead to a loss of trust and confidence among clients, ultimately affecting the entire economy.

According to the survey, 63% of accountants indicated a need to improve their efficiency, while 56% still use paper-based processes to handle AML compliance. Furthermore, 72% have not documented their processes in over 18 months, raising concerns about their cybersecurity readiness. The survey also found that 53% of accountants continue to monitor and manage workflow tasks using spreadsheets.

Mark Chambers, Managing Director for Accountancy at IRIS, emphasized the importance of digitization and automation in improving efficiency and reducing cybersecurity threats. He recommended that accountancy practices adopt multi-factor authentication and conduct rigorous evaluations of technology suppliers. Chambers cited the Government's Cyber Essentials self-assessment and certification as a strong benchmark for ensuring robust cybersecurity measures.

IRIS Software Group is a global provider of mission-critical software and one of the UK's largest privately held software companies. The company offers software solutions and services for finance, HR, and payroll teams, educational organizations, and accountancy firms. IRIS is the largest third-party online filer with the UK Government, and 93 of the top 100 UK accountancy firms use IRIS software. Additionally, one in six of the UK's workforce is paid by IRIS payroll offerings, and globally, six million employees receive their payslip via IRIS software every month.

The IRIS survey underscores the urgent need for UK accountancy practices to embrace digital transformation and strengthen their cybersecurity measures. As the industry continues to evolve and face new challenges, adopting advanced technology solutions and adhering to best practices in data protection will be crucial for accountants to remain competitive and safeguard their clients' sensitive information.

Key Takeaways

  • 63% of UK accountants need to improve efficiency, citing outdated processes.
  • 56% of accountants still use paper-based processes for AML compliance.
  • 72% haven't documented processes in 18+ months, raising cybersecurity concerns.
  • 53% of accountants use spreadsheets to monitor workflow tasks.
  • Digitization and automation are key to improving efficiency and cybersecurity.