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More than one in six businesses do not trust their accountant to have access to their accounting software, according to a poll conducted on the Australian website, My Business.

To the question “Do you allow your accountant or bookkeeper to access your accounting software?”, the vast majority (78.9 per cent) said yes, and a further 3.3 per cent admitted they are planning to do so, but nearly one in six respondents (15.6) said they do not allow these service providers access to their accounting software.

A further 2.2 per cent said they previously allowed such access, but have since cut it off.

Although the poll did not explore the reasons behind their decision, an article in Accountants Daily quotes the Australian consultancy firm Smithink’s director David Smith, as saying he suspects the reason for this is not so much a distrust of accountants, but rather of internet security and that they are probably fearful that the accountants may not have the right security protocols in place that might make their data vulnerable.

Smith also said businesses might be concerned of an insider threat within the accounting firm, causing them to be afraid that other accounting staff members might gain access to their confidential data.

He says accountants should explain to their clients the benefits of sharing real-time information.

“They need to have conversations with their clients around the importance of real-time reporting and understanding exactly where their business is today and where it can be in the future,” he said.

Read the article here.