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Growth activities that can be life (and tax) changing

By Kerry Alexander

Growth isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. In fact, companies expend a great deal of energy and resources deciding which pursuits will move the needle the furthest toward achieving specific goals, and where to prioritize their time and investment.

Oftentimes sales and use tax gets left out of this equation, especially when it doesn’t appear to directly correlate to the task at hand. Certain growth activities, like adding new locations, products, or sales channels, instinctively signal a need to alter sales and use tax compliance practices. With others like financing rounds, acquisitions, or technology platform changes, tax implications aren’t as obvious and therefore are more likely to be overlooked. Yet these are often the situations where compliance strategies can have the greatest and most lasting impact.   

Below is a brief glimpse of how sales and use tax compliance can come into play for 3 business growth activities that can be life (and tax) changing: financing events, M&A, and technology platform integration projects.  Here’s what you should be aware of when going through these processes. 

Financing events

For any financing event, public or private, investors look closely not only at how you plan to grow the business, but also how you are managing it now. Poor sales tax management practices or unfavorable audit outcomes can impact valuation, jeopardize funding, or even nullify deals. High visibility events like funding rounds and IPOs can also bring your business to the attention of state auditors looking to draw in more tax dollars.

Mergers and acquisitions

The meshing together of people, assets, systems, and processes is no simple feat. So, it’s not surprising that business integration issues following M&A transactions are one of the biggest things keeping company execs up at night.  Between due diligence, integration, accounting/financial reporting, and post-acquisition compliance, who has time for the minutia of sales tax? It can be easy to overlook tax obligations or liabilities, which can raise red flags with investors early in the process, or with auditors later.

Technology platform changes, consolidations or upgrades

During change events, it’s good practice to evaluate your financial systems and fill any gaps with new solutions or functionality that can advance your growth objectives. For example, tax automation software that unites critical transaction data from disparate systems and processes can alleviate compliance issues during post-merger integrations, reducing audit risk and avoiding delays in closing the books.

Download the complete whitepaper for further insights from leading industry leaders.

Permission to reprint or repost given by Avalara. Content previously published at www.avalara.com/blog.

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Old is Gold, or is it?

Old is Gold, or is it?

by Tasneem Esmael

Brainstorm-Cover

Not in the world of technology. If we were to live by our ancestral standards, technology would not see the light of day. That does not mean that everything old is not gold; it just means that the definition changes across the spectrum of how it is used and delivered by various authorities.

With the introduction of Enterprise Resource Planning software solutions in the market, many companies have been revamping and rethinking their business processes with a fresh new outlook.

There are a few things to consider when business strategy is restructured.

Legacy Systems and the cost of their upkeep

Management should ask themselves the importance of what is important- Core Systems or Key Processes. The sooner a resolution is reached the better. After all, long term financial planning helps companies bring together ideas that are knowledgeable and thought-provoking, which can lead to better results.

Involvement of Business from the onset of the Implementation Planning

Implementation of new technology on a company-wide scale involves many departments: IT, Marketing, Finance, HR, Legal, Sales, Purchasing and so on. Most of the decisions sit with the IT department as they are the ones who are responsible for executing the change of a new product or an enterprise solution. While more often than not the final decision takes place within the IT department, cross-functional representation of all the key stakeholders is essential for a seamless and successful implementation.

Tax is crucial and should not be an oversight

There have been many times during the initial phase of implementation planning where the tax department is not involved. With tax being one of the last functions in the downstream systems, its relevance is not considered vital. It is a good practice to have a dialogue with the tax manager of how the department will be affected by the new change and get an insight on how tax functions would need to be incorporated in the bigger picture of an ERP implementation.

The buy-in of all the stakeholders in the project

Checking in with the stakeholders of the company is vital. Resistance to change is not an option when it comes to the idea of change for the better, and having everyone on board helps ensure a smoother transition. A communication grid that is broadcasted well across the management of all departments and employees should also be created.

It is an old saying, “Too many cooks spoil the broth.”

Representation of all the cross-functional departments is important, but at the same time a leader should be chosen amongst each cross-track unit. Finance, Accounting, Tax and Revenue could be one unit, who can speak on their behalf and minimize the involvement to a degree where decisions do not become a juggling ball but a repository of conclusive responses to be refined.

Moreover, the initial design should not be battled over too much, but rather fine-tuned to a standard platform design. Later on, any scenarios where custom requirements need to be met should be handled on a case by case basis. This will help to reduce untimely overhead and an enormous list of requirements that needs to be designed into the new system before the implementation is finalized.

Prioritizing what is more important is the key to making a better judgement, so that the new technology can be implemented without a big dent in the budget and the custom designs can follow the course in due time.

Uprooting an old infrastructure and installing a new system in place is not a child’s play, but as technology becomes pervasive more and more companies are taking the high road to change. It is important to exercise best practices. If these have not been developed they should be laid out before any initial planning is undertaken. Outsourcing help from an implementation partner is essential but even after years of experience building ERP empires in different industries, sometimes an outsider might not bring in the magic wand to fix a company’s pervasive culture. An insider look into a company’s practices can reveal much needed answers that should not be overlooked nor demonetized!

 

Tasneem Esmael is the Principal Consultant at Taxnologi Solutions, LLC (“Taxnologi”). She has over 12 years of Financial Business, IT and Consulting experience helping clients with ERP implementations, re-engineering projects, sales and use tax and VAT automation.You can learn more about Tasneem on Taxnologi’s Featured Tax Consultants page. Questions and comments can be submitted by using the REQUEST link on the company’s Firm Profile, or by directly e-mailing her at tesmael@taxnologi.com.

Five Qualities of a Successful Manager

Five Qualities of a Successful Manager

By Tasneem Esmael

The “Divide and Conquer” strategy works well against your enemy on a battle field…but please leave it there. Your company/workplace is not your battle ground, it is a place where livelihood is earned.

  • It is more productive to work together as a team than working individually. Make sure each team member realizes the importance of their role, even if they are working on a section of a project alone.
  • Give each member the space, opportunity and time to excel in their respective role!
  • Each team member is a unique individual with their own style of being, learning and working: acknowledge that, and culture mutual respect between yourself and your team members.

 

Speak up for your team! They work for it and they have earned it.

  • If your team has worked on a project that fails the management review, make sure to defend the good aspects of it and then bring back constructive feedback.
  • Peer review is a good thing, but should not always be mandatory. Be sure to promote healthy, safe reviews that provide constructive criticism.
  • Judge each of your team members on the final product of their work, but also on the process. Even if the end product is not perfect, give your team praise on the aspects they did well on.

 

Knowledge is an asset in the minds of those who hold it, acquiring that knowledge is a privilege.

  • Training those with less experience is essential. It helps the learner and the trainer alike. Encourage your experienced employees to voluntarily train and help others.
  • Volunteer yourself to train people on your team! A task delegated to your team members for the same should not be viewed as volunteering but should be rewarded if volunteered.

 

To Err is to be human. We all make mistakes and can make amends to them.

  • Create an environment where mistakes are viewed as a learning experience, and a springboard for improvement.
  • Anyone from the lowest ranked worker to the top management can make a mistake. If you make one, be sure to take responsibility for it and let your team know. Not only will it help strengthen your team bond, it will help set a good example.

 

Our job applications say, “EOE – Equal Opportunity Employer.” What about EOM – Equal Opportunity Manager?

  • Favoritism brings down morale, and should be avoided at all cost.
  • Whether someone is full-time, part-time, anytime, employee, contractor or independent…everyone needs an EOM. Don’t focus all of your energy on the people you work with on a daily basis.

Tasneem Esmael is the Principal Consultant at Taxnologi Solutions, LLC (“Taxnologi”). She has over 12 years of Financial Business, IT and Consulting experience helping clients with ERP implementations, re-engineering projects, sales and use tax and VAT automation.You can learn more about Tasneem on Taxnologi’s Featured Tax Consultants page. Questions and comments can be submitted by using the REQUEST link on the company’s Firm Profile, or by directly e-mailing her at tesmael@taxnologi.com.

Uncle Sam and You!

Uncle Sam and You!

By Tasneem Esmael

american-flag-images-12

To some degree we can save ourselves with the virtue of Tax. Tax is a great way to sustain our society and help rebuild our nations. It helps to align our resources and direct them into proper channels. If tax were to be used as a vehicle of redemption, there is no better way to re-lift a struggling society from its abyss. I know you must be saying, “Really…which world are you coming from, I struggle to pay my taxes!” Did I just hear a grumble, a snarl! I hear you, but let’s analyze what tax does for us.

How do you make tax work for you?

A few good things about tax to remind us during the tax season:

Your roads are built, maintained and paid for by state and local road funds replenished by your tax dollars.

– Tax has a long history of building roads. With the Industrial Revolution came railways, and over time the reach of man quadrupled. Men started building cars, steel bridges, underpasses, underground bullet trains, steamboats and then finally airplanes and rockets.

Your public schools benefit from your tax dollars which in turn helps building our future and sustain employment.

– Let’s consider an income of a median family with two or more kids. Our tax dollars help such families give their kids a better education and better lives so that they can grow up to become responsible adults, who would be capable of earning a livelihood and don’t end up on streets.

Your tax dollars also go to fund law-enforcement and Department of Health and Human Services.

– Back in the 1800s the first Income Tax was levied to help pay for the Union War effort by Congress. If we travel a bit further down in history, we will find that from Chinese to Greeks to Egyptians to Romans they all levied some form of tax to mostly pay for military, law enforcement and to help built their Empires.

Your county or local municipality gets a percentage of share from taxes collected

– Counties provide from libraries to healthcare services. They also help state governments to keep law and order and collect taxes. They provide for our basic needs like water supply, wastewater treatment, police and fire protection, garbage collection, planning and zoning and building inspections. Some municipalities offer additional services like airports, auditoriums, bus systems, cemeteries, electric or gas systems, parks and recreation programs, public housing, and traffic control.

I hope my small effort to shed light on what taxes do for you will help you “bite the bullet” easier this tax season and in the years to come!

Tasneem Esmael is the Principal Consultant at Taxnologi Solutions, LLC (“Taxnologi”). She has over 12 years of Financial Business, IT and Consulting experience helping clients with ERP implementations, re-engineering projects, sales and use tax and VAT automation.You can learn more about Tasneem on Taxnologi’s Featured Tax Consultants page. Questions and comments can be submitted by using the REQUEST link on the company’s Firm Profile, or by directly e-mailing her at tesmael@taxnologi.com.

Reaching The Safe Harbor with Technology

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Reaching the Safe Harbor with Technology

By Tasneem Esmael

Your future is a mirage but if there is one thing that is certain, it is called ‘Technology’. Technology is synonymous to money in a way. I am sure we all have heard the phrase, “Money is the root of all evils.” Technology can be used with the same reference by the orthodox, religious zealots. There is an Arabic verse, translation of which, says it for me, “Your deed is defined by your motive.”

So, what is your motive to invest in technology? Less carbon emission in the air will make our air cleaner. Therefore, investing in renewable energy is a good thing. Technology is bringing the world together, closer, more intimately intertwined. A friend in Pakistan recently remarked, “The world is a global village.” The days of segregated systems, departmental chaos, and information silos is over. Most of us in the industry are familiar with this phenomenon called ‘ERP.’ Enterprise Resource Planning. It is a system that helps small, medium and enterprise size businesses become leaner, smarter and agile by better managing company’s resources. ERP helps to achieve knowledge management in an organization. With ERP we integrate tax automation systems that help to simplify the world of taxation. Before we analyze how technology helps with KM, let’s first analyze what is knowledge management:

1) Data

An organization gathers data. Data can be static, factual, discrete, unprocessed and unorganized

2) Information

Refined form of data is information which is more meaningful

3) Knowledge

Knowledge is the acquired form of human learning and experience. It is not information and information is not data. But knowledge is acquired from information and information is acquired from data.

How ERPs and Tax Automation softwares help with Knowledge Management is by bringing people together from different departments on one platform, recognizes their intellectual capacities and leverages their wisdom in a company-wide system.

It is important to note that an ideal organization is one where a conducive and unpolitical environment is provided for a smoother exchange of knowledge across functional areas by using technology and established processes. A successful leadership knows how to manage the overlapping factors that is people, organizational processes and technology. None of the three areas can function independently of one another.

So, your motive to invest in technology was to manage your company’s knowledge by the use of ERP and/or a Tax Automation software. There are a few things to keep in mind that I encountered on my various ERP and Tax software implementations to be essential tools of investments for managing knowledge:

1) Change Management

Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it. It sure is not. It involves letting everyone know who is going to be effected by the change; that you are going to make a change before you make it. No, you don’t pick up the mic and announce it. It is quite an involved system. It is a process. 1. First you propose in writing what the change is about. 2. You identify the right candidates of the change who will be affected by it. 3. Then you notify them about the change. 4. Explain them how they should effectively respond to accomplish this change 5. Keep them informed while you proceed to accomplish this change.

Two things are accomplished with utilizing this process:

a) Historical data of changing system processes is preserved

b) Leaves a trail of information for the new team or associates to act upon, saving time and company’s resources

2) Data Cleansing

It is one of the most relentless task at hand. Cleansing data is quintessential to a successful implementation, daily operation and error-free functioning of a system. A clean master data is important on the 1st day of go-live and few years down the road. Companies usually tend to forget with more important tasks at hand, they overlook the enormous data sitting in company’s systems taking space and creating clutter. It might be worthwhile to bring a fresh team on board just to clean and create a clutter-free environment if the task seems out of control for those who already have enough on their hand and there are only so many hours for the job. A re-engineering project team or consultants would make for a good investment.

3) Business Processes

Business Processes can become obsolete. A company needs to know when they should adapt to a newer version or newer and better technology. Some companies tend to keep legacy systems as it is for their strategic advantage or conform to the newer trends. Multinational and mid-sized companies tend to be more flexible with conforming to the newer trends to keep up with the industry’s ever-changing technology. It is the small to mid-size firms that tend to lag behind and overlook the necessity for change. If it makes for a good investment, it will be worthwhile to adapt to the changing world and become more techno prowess.

Investing in your future, may it be an individual, a group, a company or a nation is a worthy cause and a cause for much mind probing and thought provoking effort, an effort that should not be taken lightly but intelligently and with the right frame of mind will be a job well-done in the end.

Tasneem Esmael is the Principal Consultant at Taxnologi Solutions, LLC (“Taxnologi”). She has over 12 years of Financial Business, IT and Consulting experience helping clients with ERP implementations, re-engineering projects, sales and use tax and VAT automation.You can learn more about Tasneem on Firm’s Featured Tax Consultants page. Questions and comments can be submitted through the COMMENT feature following her posts – or by using the REQUEST link on the company’s Firm Profile.

Is your Microsoft AX System Optimized For Success?

thomsonreutersIs your Microsoft AX System Optimized For Success?

Story by David W. Emmons, CPA, CMI, Thomson Reuters

 Whether your company has either just selected Microsoft Dynamics AX as their core ERP solution or is in the decision making process, there are many things that have to be taken into consideration as the evaluation process unfolds. Like most companies in your industry, the key functional criteria to be considered, in addition to its core accounting capabilities, might be things like scalability, ease of use, time and effort to implement, or maybe even total cost of ownership. But there is another factor that must be considered, and that is its ability to integrate with third-party content providers. What type of third-party content providers would be important enough to include in the evaluation process, you might ask? Well, maybe your thoughts went immediately to solutions such as address validation or commercial commodity management, but the content we are thinking about is tax content, and specifically, U.S. sales and use tax content.

Tax content you say? Yes!

Why? Because it is equally as important as address validation or commodity cleansing solutions, and for some retailers, it is even more important. Consider this: According to third-party market research, any single business process is predicted to have errors occurring between one percent to more than six percent of the time, on average. With errors like this applied to tax data and decision points, your business could easily be subject to significant tax accuracy risks. For example, it has been estimated for every $100 million in transaction value, with an average U.S. sales tax rate of 7.50 percent, there could be anywhere between $75,000 to $450,000 of tax errors occurring within a single business process, on a year-over-year basis. Hidden process errors can quickly compound into unknown operating costs, and if left unmitigated, contribute to significant profit and performance erosion. These estimates do not take into consideration any additional costs like audit penalties, interest, or staff and consultant time spent gathering and analyzing data to defend audits. If you adjust for penalties and interest, this could easily reach to as high as $112,500 to $675,000 per year.

Now do we have your attention?

Sales and use tax, goods and services tax (GST), and value added tax (VAT), or “indirect taxes” as many in the tax and accounting industry affectionately refer to them, can add up rather quickly if left unattended. Even those prudent companies that decide to configure tax content directly within their ERP solution can find themselves facing penalties, interest, and fines if their tax content (rates, rules, codes, and logic) becomes outdated. Tax content can become outdated quickly in the ever-changing world of tax legislations; this is especially true in countries with multi-tier authorities like the U.S., Canada, and Brazil. In the U.S. alone, it is estimated that there are more than 14,500 separate sales taxing jurisdictions which represent more than 45,000 different rates. In addition to these staggering numbers, there are even more complexities such as product taxability – as is the case with software, which could be downloaded or provided in some sort of physical media, which would then require different tax treatment.

In addition, there is the legal concept of nexus, which simply means the level of business activity by a company or person in a specific state, which reaches a sufficient level of presence and therefore constitutes a legal obligation to collect the respective state and local sales taxes. These criteria can be applied to companies, even when their business activities do not include things like factories, employees, or even stored inventory in the jurisdiction. Then there is the challenge of providing comprehensive information about specific transactions to state and local auditors in a timely and detailed manner, yet without providing too much information to create unfair advantage to the auditing authorities due to skewed error rates based on anomalies in sample sets of data. Manually preparing tax returns and compiling audit reports are incredibly time-consuming and can lead to error-prone results. With a modern tax engine, tax management reporting is a standard feature included in the solution, which provides quick and easy reporting capabilities at the click of a mouse. In addition to management (non-statutory) reporting, there is the tax return filing process, which is also included in what best practices suggest as a complete end-to-end solution for tax automation. This part of a tax solution provides signature-ready tax returns that can be filed electronically wherever and whenever authorities mandate it.

Now, if we still have your attention, I would venture a guess that you have thought of the next question, which would be, “How does the tax engine (third-party provider) communicate with Microsoft Dynamics AX?” Good question! And one that is easy to answer. A leading tax solution would also provide out-of-the-box integrations from their solution to other leading ERP solutions. This would include solutions like SAP, Oracle, NetSuite, and PeopleSoft, and yes, Microsoft Dynamics AX. A solution like Thomson Reuters ONESOURCE™ Indirect Tax offers a comprehensive, cloud based tax automation solution that seamlessly connects with Microsoft Dynamics AX for accurate sales tax calculation, easy certificate management, and effortless filing and remittance.

Powered by the industry’s most comprehensive global tax content, the patented ONESOURCE tax engine intelligently delivers billions of real-time tax decisions for more than 16,000 tax authorities globally, right inside the Microsoft Dynamics AX platform, allowing Customers to focus on business rather than compliance and regulation. Built-in address validation and advanced geo-location technology, coupled with real-time, automatic tax rate and rule updates, guarantee the right tax calculation every time. Electronic document management makes it easy to store, track, and update exemption and resale certificates while robust, customizable reporting, and signature ready returns ensure stress-free filing and remittance. Once companies recognize the legitimate need for a third-party tax solution that integrates with their business applications and supports all of their indirect tax needs, the question then quickly moves to, “What is the cost of such a solution, and how do I justify this expense to my management?” The answer to this question is also straightforward, in that there are four key criteria by which any leading solution provider can be measured against, and if delivered, will provide a significant return on investment. They are:

  • A single scalable solution that addresses the entire end-to-end tax lifecycle process.
  • World-class, SSAE 16 compliance tax content including product taxability, rates, rules, and logic.
  • Vendor built, supported, and maintained out-of-the-box integration to their specific ERP.
  • Comprehensive summary level and transaction level reports, including User defined ad hoc and savable reports with various types of data analytics.

Once you have selected the appropriate tax solution vendor for the automation of your end-to-end tax process and have successfully implemented and configured it to meet all of your functional tax and business requirements, the value realized by your organization becomes self-evident. This is especially so when you speak to a customer of the vendor who has achieved ROI and is realizing value from their solution on a daily basis.

 Dave Emmons is a business consultant for Thomson Reuters. You can reach Dave at onesource.indirecttax@thomsonreuters.com or contact our Strategic Alliance Manager, Kathleen.perkins@thomsonreuters.com.

 

Who Is Really CEO

superwoman

Who Is Really CEO?

By Joni Johnson-Powe, JD, CPA   
GOD spoke to me this morning. I know this is not your typical opening for a LinkedIn or website posting but at 3 O’clock in the morning, that is precisely what happened. He told its okay to pull off my Super Woman Cape I had so carefully designed, crafted, and proudly sewn on with badges of super womanliness:

  • Holding the Colorado State Triple-Jump record for 14 years
  • Attending College and Law School on athletic and academic scholarships
  • Passing CPA and Bar exam on 1st try within 2 months of each other
  • My Big 4 Accounting Career
  • CEO of my own companies at 32
  • Mothering 4 children including my last at 41
  • Serving on boards in many capacities
  • Setting up my 529 plans for my kids and getting my first college student to Berkeley this year
  • Cooking dinner at least 3 -4 nights a week when not traveling
  • Always having a Plan A and (of course) Plan B, C & D
  • Tithing on Sunday’s at Church

I sit here at 46 years old in my rented medical bed looking out my bed room window. It’s 17 days after surgically having a 3.5 cm cancerous tumor removed, 5 lymph nodes dissected including two with cancer, and a double mastectomy with reconstruction. My first day after my surgery when the nurse asked if I was ready to take my first walk, I just “had” to pull out my Super Woman Cape and walk not just to the nurse’s station as she suggested but all the way to the end of the hall and back. Because that is what Super Women do, right? We can’t just do the average or the norm with anything.

You not only run your own business, lead boards, attend all your kid’s athletic events, throw fabulous parties, plan family trips with husband in tow, keep the house clean and finish laundry every Sunday, BUT you also continue to work in your bed researching, holding conference calls and coordinating carpools when you should be healing from major surgery 4 days earlier.

I am not trying to send out a controversial religious message to you but my inner voice was my Savior Christ, but your voice may be Allah, it may be a mother, father, grandparent or sibling passed or living, a friend, or your inner spiritual guide that I feel we all have in one form or another.

What I am saying is that life is a GIFT and sometimes we need to STOP and listen to those voices around us and think about what is REALLY important. I was blessed to have found my cancer lump by a simple early morning kick from my sleeping 4-year-old and I just happened to feel that area at that very moment.

But finding cancer was still not enough for me to take off my Cape. Until this morning I finally, finally heard and listened to that Voice. I love my career in tax, accounting, serving clients, and the industry as a whole. I feel blessed to have been given this ability to serve in an area I love.

But I also know for me a Change is coming. A change in how I live, love and interact with people. A change in how I give, who I give to and how I give more to myself. I am not sure when, where and exactly how it will take hold, but He will lead me along that path when its time and I will follow. I know who the REAL CEO in my life is.

How to Keep Your Data Secure

Photo of Lock IconHow to Keep Your Data Secure

By Diana DiBello

One only needs to see, listen or watch any newscast these days to hear about email security. This discussion is not intended to be a political one. We have plenty of that during this 2016 presidential election season. However, the campaign has brought to light an issue that puts many companies and accounting firms at risk. How safe is your data? Your emails? Your systems?

Here is a quick list of suggestions to keep your company’s data safe and secure, but for more details there are an abundant number of articles and standards available to assist the small-medium business with their digital security. These suggestions can be applied to your personal data security also.

People are still using the ever popular password of “Password.” Come on people, we need to protect our identities and data better than that! Use real passwords, the most secure are randomly generated passwords that include a mix of numbers, letters and special characters. Another strong password methodology would be stringing together random words. This creates an easier to remember password, but one that is more difficult for a computer program to figure out. Do you have a sheet of paper on your desk or post it notes with all your different passwords written down? The best solution to keep track of all of your passwords is to use a secure password keeper app for your phone. There are a variety available for free and for a fee. Then all you need to remember is the one password for the app. Many of the password apps also have a password generator tool that can randomly generate secure passwords. It is a good thing to get in the habit of changing your passwords every 60 days. Check out the reviews for the apps to find the one that best suits your needs and make sure it allows for back up in case you accidently take your phone swimming or something (no, I have never done that… really!)

Another common security breach can occur when secure files are transported. Do you carry files around on a thumb drive or another external storage device? Don’t do it unless the files are encrypted and password protected on the external storage device. Data breaches are a common occurrence and you don’t want to be responsible for allowing your clients’ social security numbers to be accessed because you dropped your thumb drive in the parking lot.

Another way to ensure that your data stays safe is to make sure that access to your company’s network requires a two factor authentication. Two factor authentication is a security method that requires the user to authenticate 2 out of 3 credentials from different categories. An example is using your login/password and a fob. For systems with more sensitive data it is best to add even more levels of authentication.

By knowing the data requirements when exposing your company or client data you can help to eliminate the risk of a breach or violation of a policy. International companies need to be aware of stringent security requirements directives when it comes to protecting their customer’s data. Many companies should have strict standards on how and when their data can be sent outside the secure firewall or copied locally and carried on a company issued laptop or external media.

To access even more information about security best practices and standards check out this article by Accounting Today.