An independent survey of over 250 accounting and advisory professionals in the USA has explored the connection between the client experience and data security. At the heart of this is the methods firms are using to collaborate with their clients, including the sharing of sensitive documents.
The results show that the need to work both transparently and at pace on client projects means that the most convenient ways of communicating often out-win the most secure. At the same time, there are clear signs that the more channels there are for sharing data, the more fragmented the collaboration process becomes.
The report highlights the risks that these things present, along with the commercial impact on client relationships.
The context behind the survey is an increased focus on cybersecurity in the industry, an upsurge in remote working, and a growing desire to embrace new technologies, from both clients and industry professionals. Always constant is the need to retain clients by keeping projects on time and on budget.
The survey was conducted in October 2021 by Censuswide, a global insight-driven research firm, and comprised interviews with 267 professionals in the US, currently employed in accountancy firms or professional services firms of more than 50 employees.