Security ranks first among accounting firms’ technology challenges, according to a new survey.

Just under a third, or 29 percent, of respondents to the 4th Annual Accounting Firm Operations and Technology Survey cited security as their biggest challenge over the next one to three years, up 10 percentage points from last year’s survey.

Close behind was workflow and efficiency, at 26 percent.

Even as firms face those major challenges, however, more than half won’t have any more money to deal with them. Exactly half of respondents said that their firms’ IT budgets remained the same this year, and 8 percent reported that their IT budgets would actually be smaller.

The survey is conducted by Randy Johnston, president of Network Management Group Inc., and Leslie Garrett, CEO of Insight Research Group, and seeks a detailed understanding of the operations and technology policies and practices at accounting firms of all sizes across the United States. It gathers data on software and hardware use, technology strategy and budgets, IT policies, and more.

Survey participants receive a complimentary copy of the 180-page e-book reporting the survey results; non-participants can buy it from CPA Trendlines for $550.

To participate in the fifth annual survey, contact Garrett at

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