The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), which conducted the poll, said other security-related issues found places in the top three, with privacy management climbing from fourth last year to second and a new topic - secure data file storage, transmission and exchange - coming third.
This reflects a rise in legislation requiring companies to safeguard personal data, it noted.
Other issues expected to influence IT policy over the next 12 to 18 months included business process improvement, mobile and remote computing, training and competency and identity and access management, AICPA said.
Improved application and data integration, improved document and content management and electronic data retention strategies completed the top ten.
Tracing its roots back to 1887, the AICPA is the national professional body responsible for setting CPA ethical and US auditing standards.