NCCPAP Members, Steve Mankowski, CPA, CGMA and Andrea Parness, CPA, CTC Published in Notable Journals and Recognized for Their Expertise and Leadership
Stephen F. Mankowski, CPA, CGMA has recently been published in CPA Now
, a publication of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA). In his article, Data Safety Prep and the 2021 Tax Filing Season
, he talks about the importance of having a written data security plan. He also recommends looking at IRS Publication 4557, Safeguarding Taxpayer Data: A Guide for Your Business
, as a great starting point to create a framework for a data security plan. In addition, if you have not already done so, Steve strongly suggests looking into a cybersecurity insurance policy. There’s no doubt that cybersecurity will continue to be an issue in 2021, and beyond.
Steve encourages NCCPAP members to be proactive on cybersecurity within their firms. The Tax Professional Work Group of the IRS Security Summit issued a Taxes-Security-Together Checklist
. For some practical and useful suggestions, click here to read Steve's full article
Also calling attention to concerns about security in CPA firms, Andrea Parness, CPA, CTC was recently published in Intuit’s Tax Pro Center. She notes that without proper precautions, firm databases afford access to exactly the type of information hackers need to carry out their fraud. This may include Identity Theft which is currently causing fraudulent state unemployment insurance claims for our business and individual clients in 2020, and likely beyond. Most recently, the SBA reported millions of dollars awarded to nonexistent businesses from fake PPP loan applications. She also illustrates another example where the spouse of an elderly couple received a notice pertaining to the balance due on her “recently filed” tax return. When Andrea informed the IRS hotline that the couple would be filing their joint return once her firm had finalized it, she realized at once that this was a case of identity theft. Apparently, the market rate for an elderly person’s Social Security number and basic data is $1,000 a pop!
Andrea cautions CPAs to take data protection seriously and work closely with appropriate IT resources, have a strong firewall, use secure portals for data transmission to and from clients, set strong passwords, and use multi-factor authentication software products. Among other IRS resources, one excellent resource guide is IRS Publication 5293, Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself. Read Andrea's full article here.
NCCPAP members should heed the cautions presented by Steve and Andrea to protect their clients’ and their firms’ data. Please reach out to them for best practices and trusted resources as you begin this tax season.
The National Conference of CPA Practitioners (NCCPAP) is a professional organization comprised of Certified Public Accountants practicing in the United States. In addition to serving as a forum for education, networking, and community impact, NCCPAP also advocates for its clients. NCCPAP influences tax administration and tax policy by regularly meeting with Internal Revenue Service representatives, state taxing authorities, and elected officials. NCCPAP members represent over one million businesses and individual clients. The organization is headquartered in Woodbury, NY. For more information visit, www.NCCPAP.org.