Concerns about data security are surging as the percentage of CPA firms tapping cloud computing continues to increase, according to a survey from CPA2Biz, the AICPA’s for-profit technology subsidiary.

CPA2Biz’s second annual cloud survey found that 49% of the CPA firms polled said that they are using business-grade cloud technology to some degree, up from 44% in the previous year.

The biggest change in the survey results came in the firms’ focus on data security. Almost 43% of the firms polled said that they are “somewhat confident” or “not confident at all”—the two lowest categories—in cloud vendors’ ability to manage data breaches and maintain effective internal controls. That’s up from 15% in the previous year.

“These results underscore what we’ve preached for some time,” Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA2Biz, said in a news release. “Web-based services are here to stay. But firms need to do their homework, put in place well-defined service agreements, and choose vendors who have a demonstrated commitment to ongoing technology assurance services.”

Information security continues to be the main barrier to entry for firms and clients considering whether to try cloud-based business services, the survey found. Client acceptance is the No. 2 barrier.

The CPA2Biz survey, conducted online from Sept. 30 to Nov. 5, polled 312 CPAs from a mix of small to large public accounting firms.



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