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IFAC Releases New IT Guidance for SMPs and SMEs

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has released two new guidance documents to assist small and medium accounting practices (SMPs) and enterprises (SMEs) in managing and operating their computer systems. They are entitled “Controlling Computers in Business: Backup, Archive and Restore,” and “Controlling Computers in Business: Physical Security.”

Both documents may be downloaded at no charge from the SMP section of IFAC's online bookstore (www.ifac.org/store). Print copies may be ordered through the online bookstore, with discounts applying to individuals from developing nations.

This new series of information technology guidance was published under the direction of IFAC's Small and Medium Practices (SMP) Task Force. The task force selected these topics after receiving input from IFAC's member organizations that such guidance would be useful in the global marketplace.

“To benefit from their investments in computers and information systems, SMPs and SMEs need to devote time to systems management and control issues. This new guidance is designed to provide practical guidance that can help SMP and SME managers in identifying and resolving potential problems and risks associated with computers,” states Angelo Casò, chairman of the SMP Task Force.

Each of the booklets features a series of notes that provide information on specific computer control issues, including definition of key terms, costs and benefits, and risks and practicalities. A best practice checklist is also included with each note. The series was first produced by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS). The majority of the research and drafting of these publications was undertaken by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

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