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Following fiscal cliff, firms still struggling to meet compliance and security guidelines

Many businesses dodged a bullet in the form of the fiscal cliff. Tax cuts and other major financial changes that could have been devastating to employers and the American workforce were largely averted, though some of the pain will still come in regular payroll deductions and annual state and federal tax filings. Year end tax planning 2012 may have gotten businesses geared up for a more difficult tax season, but even with that threat in the past, there are certain ongoing issues with corporate compliance that are lingering dangerously around daily operations.

The move toward more digital assets is coming in conflict with higher reporting demand, a factor that should not regularly be in contest with other regular operations. In terms of year end tax planning 2012, these plans are particularly important to transparency and accuracy in IRS reporting, but as a Deloitte study showed, banks are putting these processes on hold more often than not as they try to prioritize overall electronic storage upgrades, as opposed to looking security guidelines that affect these assets.

More than two-thirds of all surveyed financial institutions told Deloitte that they would prefer to enforce compliance standards more uniformly, but that isn't an option as they try to transition their files to electronic formats and make good on reporting requests. About three-fourths of all respondents also stated that IFRS global standards will likely be deferred at least another two years, since so many firms are behind the stated deadlines for compliance.

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Lacking in security could be a much bigger problem for firms in the future, however, as federal compliance requirements grow more strict and financial liabilities for failing to meet these expectations also continue to rise. The advent of big data, social media and massive cloud networks may make year end tax planning 2012 easier to plan and its results faster to disseminate, but these same tools also leave corporations open to a slew of vulnerabilities.

The New York Times reported that this was exactly the case in a recent banking attack by hacktivist groups suspected to be operating out of Iran. In one of 2013's first suspected terrorist events, the source wrote that attackers are using entire data centers and performing operations at a much greater depth than ever before, allowing for more thorough and pervasive invasion of corporate systems.

Businesses that feel global security standards can sit on the back burner while they work on better analytics and storage resources may be sorely incorrect in this matter. The Times stated that the future of corporate threats will likely lie in international groups operating on a global scale in order to foster widespread unrest. Year end tax planning 2012 could be the last time some firms manage to pull off these operations without a hitch unless they take steps to safeguard the tools and infrastructure they use to complete this process.

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