Accounting Skills that go Beyond what you Learn in School

Accounting software has come a long way since the advent of computers or even the internet. As an accountant, it is common to come across many new developments that you did not encounter in school. Accounting is evolving at a tremendous rate, especially when new forms of businesses are coming up with new accounting methods. There are new features and trends of accounting technology that has emerged over the years that were not part of the course content. Some things will arise that you will experience once you become a chartered accountant.


Making decisions

When you are an accountant, you will often be in situations where you will make difficult decisions, especially when you are operating your own business. In this case, you would be left with either an option of employing another accountant to deal with the accounting or handling it by yourself. If you do decide to hire another accountant there are definite steps you should follow. You can also choose to rely on an accounting technology that you are familiar with for accounting purposes. Moreover, the decisions would also involve whether the new employee or software would prove as a beneficial addition and is cost effective. In this context, trial and error apply as this would reveal whether your decision is the best choice. You can try out each software or read through the documentation to find something that suits your needs. These software solutions can also prove vital as they ease the accounting process for your business, and they tend to be a cheaper option in comparison to employing an accountant.



While you were a student, networking was not part of the course content. This means that in the real life situation you will often face situations where you have to network or interact with other accountants. This will ensure that you are updated on the latest development in accounting, and it would also reveal ways in which you can improve your practice. Networking is integral if you use cloud-based accounting technology. It allows you to learn about the technology you are using as well as gaining suggestions from other users on how to use the software for your benefit. Accounting plays a role in attracting new businesses. It is a challenging activity that an accountant will learn through experience rather than having the knowledge imparted on them. If you are an introvert, then networking would prove difficult.


Confusing social interactions with networking is commonplace. Even though the two might be similar, they have different intentions. Networking occurs in situations where you are marketing yourself or the product you are selling. On the other hand, social interaction often occurs where you build relationships with others, but it does not involve your work. Furthermore, networking can evolve to social interaction, and it would mean that you have developed a meaningful relationship with the other party.

As an accountant, there are many things that you should be prepared to learn by yourself. Even though the knowledge is not something that you will learn in accounting school, it can prove beneficial to your business and professional. It can prove useful in cases where you use cloud-based accounting solutions.


PCA and PRA Part 2

PRA: To ensure the orderly restart of applications in case of failure or disaster

For companies that do not have the means or the need for a PCA, the PRA is the solution to ensure an orderly restart and as fast as possible to the company’s IT infrastructure in the event of an incident. This restart is performed generally on a backup site, the company’s ownership or provided by a third-party provider. The PRA defines the architectures, the means and procedures necessary to implement to ensure the protection of applications it covers. Its objective is to minimize the impact of a disaster on the company’s business. There are several restart modes: warm boot is based on a synchronous or asynchronous data copy of the main site. This is to rely on the last known consistent state of data as a basis for servers positioned on the backup site. Data replication (which can be ensured by backup and replication technologies such as Veeam Backup and Recovery, or continuous data replication technologies such as EMC RecoverPoint, AppAssure Dell, IBM Tivoli Storage Manager, CA ArcServe Replication or at CA DoubleTake at Vision Solutions) provides a quick restart standby servers in a state as close as possible to that which preceded the disaster. The RTO (Recovery Time Objective – time to put the application into production – is therefore minimal and RPO (Recovery Point Objective – the time between the last consistent state of the data and the damage) reduced to a minimum, often within minutes .

The situation is somewhat different in case of cold standby. This also concerns many companies do not have the financial and / or technical support for a PCA or a warm restart. In this case, the disaster restart uses the last backups made by the company. These backups can in the best case be replicas from a backup system deduplicated disk-based Data Domain as a bay or in the worst scenario, a simple tape backup.

In case of disaster, the company has to activate its backup site, restore scratch its data from their backup media (disk or tape) and reactivate its applications. This is the most economical solution to develop a PRA but it has a price in terms of RTO and RPO. OTN is the minimum recovery time data and commissioning of servers, to complex environments can mean several hours or even days. The good news is that the trivialization of disk backup solutions like Data Domain has greatly reduced the RTO (from 5:00 p.m. to 2:00 on average according to an IDC study, 2012).

The RPO is dependent on the frequency of backups. In the worst case, it can reach one or more days (particularly for applications with backup windows are long and are not saved once a day or less). Again deduplicated backup discs has improved the situation by reducing backup windows (11 hours with a library of on average 3 hours with tape backup systems deduplicated disk as EMC Data Domain, Quantum DXi or HP D2D).

Note that if the cold start was the rule for many companies, especially SMEs there are still 5 years, the spread of virtualization and networked storage has made available a warm start to a growing number of companies. The PCA is still not necessarily accessible to everyone – even if it has become commonplace for some applications – but it is now accessible to many medium-sized SMEs. The progress made by applications (for example with the integration of failover in most databases), for storage arrays, backup to disk solutions and virtualization technologies should make it accessible to the largest number Over the next few years. And the advent of CAC and PRA cloud services should also help further democratize a little more these technologies