Phoenix (March 8, 2004) -- Electronic communication, both good and bad, will hit the profession this year, according to Roman H. Kepczyk of InfoTech Partners.

In his e-newsletter, ExSTRM Alert, Kepczyk says spam will get much worse before it gets better. The passing of legislation to improve the mushrooming problem of junk e-mail will actually have the opposite effect for the rest of 2004, he believes, adding that firms will have to increase spending for both internally and externally managed applications to prevent spam, deal with the soft costs involved with deleting spam off networks to prevent inadvertent back-up, and make sure that all policies and e-mail are in compliance with the legislation for the firm’s marketing efforts.

Kepczyk also believes that application service providers will make major inroads. With the cost of broadband access and server infrastructure dropping significantly, and the cost and difficulty of securely managing applications within the firm increasing, Kepczyk expects more firms to consider outsourcing individual applications, or even their entire network, to ASPs.

He also predicts that outsourcing will make everyone winners. Kepcyzk says the hot debate over overseas processing of tax returns will expand to include all accounting functions including write-up, trust accounting, and spreadsheet analysis. Firms that use overseas outsourcing will be able to provide accounting services at a lower cost, while firms choosing not to outsource will benefit by marketing the "All-American accounting team" message, and playing on fears of privacy and security.

-- WebCPA staff

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