The Information Age: Friend or Foe?

David Hadley

Albert Einstein once said “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing“. In today’s technological world it’s not only how much online information there is available and how quickly you can find it but also distinguishing the correct information from the incorrect.

Just recently a client rang with two questions, whilst I knew the answer to the second question, I was unsure of the answer to the first question. I stated to the client that I wasn’t entirely certain of the answer and I would do some research to find out a bit more before I gave a response. I was a little surprised with the response from the client that went along the lines of: “The smarter people know what they know and know what they don’t know and aren’t afraid to admit it.” I was quite chuffed with this reply from the client whom I have a lot of respect for. I had a bit of an idea on the answer to the question but I did not want to risk only getting it half right. The half wrong part could have dire consequences. Therefore my little bit of knowledge on that subject could lead to a total stuff up for want of a better term.

This leads me back to my opening paragraph… We often see increasingly in-depth and technical information sent out on via Facebook, email, Twitter, LinkedIn and many other online mediums. For example, currently there is an online article stating that a ‘loophole’ is allowing operators of machinery to be funded in part by taxpayers through fuel tax credits.

Contrary to what the post says, I am not sure that the fuel tax credit of 38 cents per litre is available to all that they are suggesting. This is dependant on the type of vehicle and what it is used for.

We too often see this; based upon a small amount of information available on the internet the user can appear to be an expert on any subject. However, if they get it wrong… a lot of people will be affected by this misinformation.

We at GTP pride ourselves on trying not to get it half right. The team has over 200 years combined experience in the accounting profession, the latest technology and attend regular training sessions to assist our clients. We will always endeavor to ensure that if we do not have a direct answer that we do further research to find out the correct answer. Sure on some very, very rare occasions we may get it wrong (we are human), but we will own up to it and NOT rely on “Googleing it”.

In today’s society there certainly are many tools available for obtaining information, but it is important to realise that they may not give all the facts that you require. It is so important to make sure you have all the facts and knowledge from accredited professionals before you can make a truly informed and concise decision on any subject.

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