Phoenix (Aug. 31, 2004) -- Spam has become an overwhelming problem that is impacting the use, if not the perception, of e-mail in accounting firms, according to recent surveys.

Spam currently accounts for some 65 percent of all e-mail traffic, according to computer-security company Symantec Corp. That figure is up from 50 percent a year ago. According to a survey of some 600 member firms by the Association for Accounting Administration and InfoTech Partners North America Inc., Roman H. Kepczyk, tech consultant, writing in the e-newsletter of Phoenix-based InfoTech, says that most firms surveyed agreed that Spam was a “nuisance and disruptive.”

Eighty-five percent of the approximately 100 respondents had implemented some type of Spam filtering. Almost one-third of the firms had multiple solutions in place, often at all three levels of external hosted, internal filtering, and individual workstation filter. In addition, 57 firms stated that they had a specific person dedicated to the role of handling spam and filtering issues within their organization. Most of those responsible were spending between one and five hours per week, with 11 firms spending more time than that.

Other firms cited that most executives already feel “overwhelmed by the amount of e-mail received,” and that “e-mail has become a part of everyday business and when it is unavailable, you realize how much everyone is depending on it.” One respondent said that they “don't even want to open e-mail anymore,” and another noted that some partners had requested the elimination of e-mail.

-- WebCPA staff

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