Does your firm have a policy for staff use of computers or the Internet? If not, you need to implement one sooner rather than later.
Info Tech Partners North America, a leading technology consulting organization working with CPA firms, authored a sample policy that was used in the MAP handbook and has weathered the test of time. Please send your comments (or thanks) to Roman Kepczyk for making this sample policy available to the profession.
Computer Usage Policy Sample
by Roman H. Kepczyk, CPA (Originally submitted for the AICPA MAP Handbook)
Each firm should have policies and procedures in place to assure proper use of the firm's Internet resources. A written policy signed by each employee is the best assurance that they understand the policy and will adhere to it. Listed below is a sample policy. It is for informational reference only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Any policy should be reviewed by your own legal council before implementation:
Sample Internet Usage Policy-READ BEFORE SIGNING
CPA FIRM NAME provides Internet access to employees for firm business use only. The policies listed below are a guide to help employees determine proper business Internet usage. CPA FIRM NAME reserves the right to modify policies at any time. If a questionable situation arises, please contact the Technology Partner for clarification. CPA FIRM NAME reserves the right to monitor and record Internet usage and fileserver utilization of all firm members. CPA FIRM NAME reserves the right to suspend individual user accounts for violation of firm policie.
E-mail and file transfers are to be for business use only by authorized users
Use of another employee's account or access to their personal files without their consent is strictly prohibited.
Confidential information is not to be transmitted over the Internet without proper encryption.
All downloaded files or applications are to be scanned for viruses before being saved on the firm's network.
All downloaded applications must be approved by the firm's network administrator before being installed on the network.
Transmission of harassing, discriminatory or otherwise objectionable E-mail or files (as determined by the recipient) is strictly prohibited.
Access to non-business related, obscene or offensive sites is strictly prohibited.
Disruptive behavior such as introducing viruses or intentionally destroying or modifying files on the network is strictly prohibited.
Any personal use of the network for commercial or illegal activity is strictly prohibited.
Transmission of any religious or political messages is strictly prohibited.
Game playing is strictly prohibited.
I have carefully read CPA FIRM NAME's Internet Usage Policy. I understand and agree to adhere to the firm's guidelines. I understand than any questions are to be directed to the CPA FIRM NAME's technology Partner and any violation of the policies will result in loss of access privileges and disciplinary action.
User Signature: _____________________________________
© Roman H. Kepczyk, CPA-AICPA MAPHandbook
InfoTech Partners North America, Inc....your technology partner (480) 706-1728