Expert Group: Information Technology
At the Lisbon Conference, the group reassessed its title and, consistent with the recommendations of Jan Willem Alpenaar, eliminated the reference to “IPG Q&A.” Much discussion was focused on how to consistently generate valuable content. Group members Alina Obrizanova (Moscow) and Angeliki Moschandreou (Thessaloniki) graciously volunteered to assist and, following the meeting, promptly fulfilled that undertaking. Three content posts have been made since Lisbon.Summary report by Jeffrey Larso, as Alexander could not be present in LisbonIt was agreed that the group would operate under the name of ‘International Trade’, which means that it will not be limited just to the legal issues. As a next step, it was agreed that the group will be a close one, in that sense, that we will not accept our competitors from outside IPG as members of the group. It is possible however that some independent experts (as Professors) will be accepted. In order to achieve it, as a first step, we will issue Rules of the Group. They are under construction now. The next step, which is under re-construction, is the list of the topics, on which we would like to continue discussionThe group discussed the impact of the IT on IPG members. The main headings agreed upon were:
Infrastructure – within the group we have a wide range of experience t draw upon which will assist members in planning and maintaining their IT infrastructure. From anti-virus, to on-premise servers v. cloud hosting, we can share important information to enable the members to develop their infrastructure in a cost effective and positive way.
Applications – what is the trend in computing for accounting, tax and legal services? How will Artificial Intelligence impact upon what we do and our ability to work efficiently? Can we find best of breed software for our members. Can we get efficiencies with a group subscription to online reference material (e.g. international tax), etc. Basically, what can we share to move our businesses forward?
Data protection – the sharing of client data across borders is becoming fraught with regulatory pitfalls. What can we email? Where must data be hosted? What permissions do we need to share data? What levels of encryption are used and how well do they work? Whilst the up-coming impact of the EU General Data Protection Regulations from May 2018 might seem very Euro-centric, the impact will be felt by nearly all of our members.
The sharing of knowledge and the open platform to exchange information which is provided by this Expert Group will be valuable to all members in taking forward their businesses. and undertake the initiatives. Such a list was already created in Dehli, but will be revised next weeks and published. I propose the following deadlines: preparing the rules of membership in the Group –15th July; preparing the list of topics within the interest of the Group – 30th July.
During the sessions in Lisbon we briefly introduced the description of the Group’s purpose as agreed upon in the Delhi conference as outlined in the group’s profile on LinkedIn to such members who did not participate in the Delhi conference as well as new members of the Group.
Since traffic within the International Accounting & Auditing Group is still very limited we focused on gathering ideas to significantly increase the volume on the platform. One suggestion to mobilize more traffic was to increase the number of members within the Group (the number of members has increased from 24 before the Delhi conference in November 2016 to 38 as of June 19, 2017). Furthermore we encouraged Group members to provide their share to increase traffic within the Group, e.g. provide suggestions for new Group members, share information (e.g. case studies) and comment on the information shared, ask Group related questions and respond to these questions. We agreed that specific current topics of interest were, amongst others, current developments on Revenue Recognition (e.g. IFRS 15), International Group audits (e.g. ISA 600) and raise specific questions arising in the day to day business.
Since the level of traffic within the Group is still very low the most crucial next step is to find more or other ways to promote the platform, i.e. further extend the network to gain a critical mass for ongoing communication and also to add further value to its members.
Expert Group Leader Graham Wallace