Why every business needs a disaster recovery plan and how to write one

A disaster can occur when you least expect it. Be prepared by creating a disaster recovery plan for your business. Start here.

minute read

Last Updated February 15, 2024

A man sits in an office chair looking out floor-to-ceiling windows at the world burning in front of him.


If you don’t have a disaster recovery plan (DRP), it may take you a while to figure out what’s next after a disaster disrupts your business operations. And the longer it takes you to get back to business, the more negative impacts you’ll see. 

What’s a DRP for businesses? 

An image of four coworkers standing together in front of a pile of papers on a table. They're discussing what they should include in their disaster recovery plan.
Your business should have a disaster recovery plan in place.

A DRP is your blueprint for responding to unplanned events. It covers response to weather-related disasters—a flood, tornado, hurricane, fire, wildfire, etc.—and things like cyberattacks, pandemics, power outages and more. 

Why should you create a DRP for your business? 

As the IRS says, “How quickly your company can get back to business after a disaster often depends on emergency planning done today.” The sooner you recover from an event, the less impact it will have on your business and the more likely your business will survive. 

Businesses without DRPs waste time trying to figure out the best path forward. They also must make quick decisions because you typically don’t have time to thoroughly think through each option when you’re facing an emergency. 

The time to plan is well before an emergency or unplanned event strikes. 

What’s included in a DRP? 

An image of a two-dimensional lightbulb on the left side of the graphic, with the words "disaster recovery plan" stacked on top of each other on the right. Everything sits on a blue background.
Create a thorough DRP that addresses communication, business operations, and data backup and recovery.

You must consider everything from how you’ll communicate with employees and clients to data backup and recovery. 

  • Communication: Decide what channel you’ll use to communicate—will it be over text, email, phone or a mix of everything? Make sure you have employee and client contact information stored securely in the cloud so you don’t lose it in the disaster. 
  • Business operations: Ensure your team has systems and processes that support working remotely until it’s safe to return to the office. This includes giving employees laptops, using cloud-based systems that can be accessed from anywhere, and creating a communication channel—through something like Slack or Microsoft Teams—so employees can quickly communicate with one another.  
  • Data backup and recovery: You’ll need what’s called a data map. This critical document lists all the systems you use, what information is stored on them and who can access each system. Make sure that all your data is backed up so that you can still access it if you lose your local files or your computer. 

Make recovery easier by working in the cloud 

Losing data is a big deal. You can eliminate that risk by using a cloud-based document management system for businesses. When everything is stored securely in the cloud, you can access it from wherever you’re located and from any web-enabled device. It’s also backed up automatically. 

SmartVault Accounting Pro + Rightworks 

When you combine SmartVault Accounting Pro and Rightworks, you have everything you need to run your accounting practice in the cloud—securely, easily and efficiently. SmartVault’s document management tools seamlessly adapt to the workflows you already have, integrating with Lacerte®, ProSeries®, DocuSign and more, so you can easily share critical documents with your team, vendors and clients—anywhere, anytime. 

Maintain peace of mind knowing you’re working in the Rightworks secure cloud environment with security patches and updates handled by our team. 

Learn more about how SmartVault can help you achieve smoother tax seasons, enhanced collaboration and seamless integration—all with the protection that comes with being in the Rightworks cloud. 

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