Your clients come to you to get their taxes done or for assistance with financial planning. Why? Because they can’t do those things themselves, and they don’t want to try. Accounting is too important to be left to people who aren’t experts. The same idea applies to managed IT solutions for your accounting firm.
Clients expect, quite reasonably, that their information will always be secure and available. If you’re trying to manage IT yourself, you’re putting critical data at risk. And if you hire someone to handle IT internally, you might end up spending a lot of money on someone who doesn’t have the security expertise you need. Hiring IT staff is difficult and expensive, and managing IT internally can take you away from doing work for clients.
The answer for accounting firms is outsourcing to managed IT solutions, not just because of security or reliability—both very viable reasons—but also because letting experts manage IT can be less expensive than trying to go it alone inside your firm.
How Managed IT Solutions Help Your Firm Avoid Common Risks
You might try to unclog a drain in your kitchen or change the oil in your car by yourself because those tasks are relatively approachable. Managing IT for an accounting firm isn’t. It’s an unrelenting challenge best left to IT professionals. If you choose not to use managed IT solutions, you’ll leave your firm open to serious risks, such as the following:
This is the threat firm owners should quite frankly fear. The frequency and severity of cyberattacks increase constantly. In 2022, ransomware attacks increased by 13% year over year, a jump larger than that of the previous five years combined.
It’s almost cliché now to say that a cyberattack can devastate a business such as your firm, but the numbers are still shocking: Nearly two-thirds of businesses reported being hit by a ransomware attack in the last year. Almost half of the victims paid the ransom, but only 4% of them got all their data back. The average cost to remediate a ransom attack was $1.4 million.
The fact is that your firm is one click away from disaster at all times. Your firm is constantly under attack, even right now. IT isn’t about simply fixing a problem when one crops up. It’s about making sure problems don’t happen to begin with and minimizing their potentially devastating impact when they do. It requires a continual series of tasks 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Only IT experts can truly protect your firm. And IT experts can be hard to find.
2. Expensive, questionable IT “experts”
Yes, that’s right. Not everybody who claims to be an IT expert is one, and not every IT expert is the right kind for your firm. Some IT people primarily respond to help-desk requests, which is a useful competency but by itself falls far short of the skill set they need to truly manage your IT operation.
Many—possibly even most—firms that hire IT professionals internally end up with employees who aren’t up to date on technology trends and can’t really develop a solid IT strategy. Security is one area in which being up to date is an absolute necessity. Unfortunately, hiring and retaining security experts internally is expensive because cybersecurity competency is such an important and highly prized ability for IT professionals.
You also need someone who can handle updates, maintenance, uptime, and backup and recovery. It’s difficult and costly to find that package by hiring just one or two people. However, a dedicated IT partner offering managed IT solutions can deliver in all of those areas of expertise.
Hiring IT people isn’t cheap or easy, either. In May 2023, the average salary for an IT administrator was $72,500 per year. That’s just the salary for a generalist. Hiring someone—or, more likely, several people—to run an entire IT operation for your firm would almost certainly cost more (and possibly a lot more).
IT hiring is notoriously complex as well. Certification in the field involves a massive web of vendor-specific courses and credentials. Are you hiring the right IT person for your needs? It’s very hard to tell. If you outsource IT, you don’t need to worry about it.
3. The general expense (and angst) of running IT on your own
This might seem like the part of the blog post where you hear about how outsourcing is more expensive than running IT internally…but “darn well worth it!” Well, here’s the kicker. Outsourcing is darn well worth it, but it’s not more expensive than managing IT with internal staff. In fact, it’s cheaper.
When you add up all the costs of managing IT in-house and compare them to managed IT solutions, firms could actually save money by outsourcing this function. There are also hidden costs to internal IT hiring to consider, such as training staff. Continual training for IT professionals isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. Chances are if you hire internally, your firm will pay for that training on top of everything else.
Then there’s the less quantifiable but no less real cost of peace of mind. When you outsource IT, you can ensure your clients—and yourself—that experts are protecting your firm’s critical data at all times. You also have a support team ready to assist you any time a problem occurs. You don’t sacrifice support when you outsource IT. You strengthen it.
With Managed IT Solutions, You Can Leave IT to the Professionals
Here are a few other reasons to embrace managed IT solutions: predictable monthly costs that are easy to manage, backup and recovery that ensures the availability of your data no matter what happens, and compliance with the IRS Security Six. The bottom line is that moving IT to a managed service such as Right Networks Cloud Premier, and letting professionals handle your technology needs, delivers increased security and reliability for a price lower than what you’d pay if you tried to run IT yourself.
Ready to start reaping the benefits of a managed IT solution and get started outsourcing with Cloud Premier? Start here today.