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AICPA Unveils 2005 Top Techs List

AICPA Unveils 2005 Top Techs List

CPA technologists remain convinced that
Information Security is the country’s
number one technology concern, according
to the 2005 Top Technologies survey
of the American Institute of Certified
Public Accountants. The new list marks
the third consecutive year that Information
Security captured the top spot.

Interestingly, Spam Technology ‘
an issue associated with Information
Security ‘ dropped in importance.
It made its debut on the 2004 list at
number two. On the current list, it
falls to number four.

‘Because our work and personal
lives are now inextricably linked to
information systems, security will always
be top of mind,’ said Roman Kepczyk,
CPA.CITP, Chair of the AICPA’s
Information Technology Executive Committee.
Commenting on Spam Technology’s
lower placement on the list, he said,
‘We’ve seen major improvements
to filtering systems, which have allowed
us to bring spam under greater control.
This most likely is the reason that
Spam Technology doesn’t command
the importance it did in the previous

A different issue closely allied with
Information Security ‘ Electronic
Data Management, or the Paperless Office
‘ moved up to second place. It
was number three last year.

There are two debuts on the 2005 Top
Technologies list: Authentication Technologies
and Storage Technologies. Another issue,
Learning and Training Competency, reappears
at number 10 after an absence of three

While Disaster Recovery (number five)
and Wireless Technologies (number seven)
continue to make respectable showings,
three issues from 2004 did not make
the 2005 list: Data Mining, Virtual
Office and Business Exchange Technology.

The following are the 2005 Top 10 Technologies
(new issues are indicated):

1. Information Security: The hardware, software, processes and
procedures in place to protect an organization’s
information systems from internal and
external threats. This includes firewalls,
anti-virus, password management, patches,
locked facilities, IP strategy and perimeter
control, as well as privacy issues and
technologies, intrusion detection systems,
security standard setting, IT auditing,
social engineering and much more.

2. Electronic Document Management (paperless or less-paper office): The process of capturing, indexing, storing, retrieving, searching and managing documents electronically. Formats include *.PDF, digital and image store database technologies.

3. Data Integration: Formerly called ‘Database and Application Integration’ on the
2004 list, this is the ability to update
one field and have it automatically
synchronize between multiple databases,
such as the automatic/seamless transfer
of client information between all systems.
In this instance, only the data flows
across systems from platform to platform
or application to application. Data
integration also involves the application
neutral exchange of information. For
example, the increased use of XBRL (eXtensible
Business Reporting Language) by companies
worldwide pro-vides for the seamless
exchange and aggregation of financial
data to meet the needs of different
user groups using different applications
to read, present and analyze data.

Spam Technology: The use of technology to reduce or eliminate unwanted e-mail commonly known as spam. Technologies include perimeter control and confirmation of the sender via ISP lookup, to methods where the recipient of the e-mail only accepts mail from those senders from whom they wish to receive e-mail.

5. Disaster Recovery: The development, monitoring and updating of the process by which organizations
plan for continuity of their business
in the event of a loss of business information
resources. This is due to impairments,
including theft, virus/malware infestation,
weather damage, accidents or other malicious
destruction. Disaster recovery includes
business continuation, contin-gency
planning and disk recovery technologies
and processes ‘ those for disk
imaging, cloning, shadow copy-ing and
other ways to easily and quickly maintain
duplications of data to ensure fast
and easy recovery.

6. Collaboration and Messaging Applications: Applications that allow users to communicate electronically, including e-mail, voicemail, universal messaging, instant messaging, e-mailed voice messages and digital faxing. Examples include a computer conference using the keyboard (a keyboard chat) over the Internet between two or more people. Instant messaging (IM) is not a dial-up system like the telephone; it requires that both parties be online at the same time, unlike voice mail and voice messaging. IM communication can be encrypted and logged to ensure that the communication is private and secure.

7. Wireless Technologies: The transfer of voice or data from one machine to another via the airwaves and without physical connectivity. Examples
include cellular, satellite, infrared,
Bluetooth, WiFi, 3G, 2-way paging, CDMA,
Wireless/WiMax and others.

8. Authentication Technologies (new): The hardware, software, processes and procedures to protect a person’s privacy and identity from internal and external threats, including digital identity, privacy and biometric authentication.

9. Storage Technologies (new): Storage area networks (SAN) include mass storage, CD-recordable, DVD, data compression, near field recording, electronic
document storage and network attached
storage (NAS), as well as small personal
storage devices like USB drives.

10. Learning and Training Competency (End Users): The methodology and curriculum by which personnel learn to understand and use technology. This includes measuring competency, learning
plans to increase the knowledge of individuals,
and hiring and retaining qualified personnel
with career opportunities that retain
the stars.

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