Running an accounting practice is challenging. There’s the ever-growing volume of client work while trying to keep up with legislative changes. Grinding through deadlines never ceases—and the push to expand advisory services is ever-present. Did we mention the profession-wide staffing shortages creating a constant stream of stress? And lastly…the constant threats to and management of technology. If you’re not outsourcing IT by now, your firm is at risk.
Most of the challenges listed above are understood when signing up for a career in accounting. But being a technology expert is seldom something accountants are ready to take on.
In this post, I’ll be sharing:
- Why outsourcing IT should be an integral part of your firm’s long-term strategy.
- How to find the best, accounting-specific technology partner for your practice.
Not Outsourcing IT Leads to the Same Issues, Over and Over
I’ve spent the last two decades as a strategic technology partner to hundreds of accounting firms that felt they could manage their own IT infrastructure. Unfortunately, I’ve also found they consistently struggle with the same technical issues over and over:
- Inability to evaluate if internal resources—like IT personnel—are competent
- Difficulty planning for future technology costs to replace outdated equipment and meet rapidly changing demands
- IT personnel who lack strategic leadership when choosing to promote or implement fresh solutions
- IT personnel being rewarded for keeping outdated, inept technology under the guise of “stability”
- Unreliable, inconsistent remote access solutions for mobile workers at client sites or home
- Cringeworthy, untested backup and disaster recovery solutions (in case of ransomware, natural disasters, hardware crashes, etc.)
- Cybersecurity concerns due to lack of security focus, training, tools and focused time to implement
While overall IT management is integral to every firm’s strategic plan, that last item—cybersecurity—is one of particular importance.
No Firm Should Manage Its Own Security
No firm should be trying to manage its own security without the help of experts.
Why? Just ask your own IT personnel how much time they allocate to security or how up to date they are about the latest cyberthreats. Do they have experience evaluating, implementing and monitoring current cybersecurity safeguards?
Unless your firm has a team dedicated to all the above—it’s out of its league against today’s hacking organizations. And unfortunately, your firm is at risk.
The solution to both the IT strategy and security challenge is obvious: Partner with a provider that’s able to handle security and provide an enterprise-class, purpose-built accounting IT infrastructure.
Meeting all the needs listed above at an enterprise-class level means, by default, your firm’s accounting infrastructure must be cloud-based.
How to Find the Right Outsourced IT Provider
With hundreds of cloud vendors to choose from, firms should base their selection on outsourcing IT providers that have:
- A thorough understanding and focus on the accounting profession
- A track record of success and experience onboarding accounting firms to the cloud
- The ability to host the thousands of unique applications that accountants use to run their practices
- Expanded hours during peak busy seasons with 24/7 live coverage close to specific tax deadlines
- Optimum stability bolstered by software “change freezes” during peak periods
- Maintenance performed outside accountants’ busy season work schedules
- Direct relationships with primary tax and accounting software vendors for faster remediation
- 24/7 security team compliant with latest SOC2, HIPAA, GDPR and CPA requirements
We refer to meeting all these requirements as “Smart IT Management,” which every firm should be striving to implement.
How to Stay Ahead in 2023
Now you know what to look for…and why to look for it. But how does your firm make the next move? Learn more about implementing Smart IT Management in our webinar, “Getting to the heart of cloud strategies: Planning for success.”
Expect to learn:
- The benefits of outsourcing IT vs. self-managed IT
- How outsourcing IT better secures your firm
- Why you should be in the cloud (and the process of moving to it)
Start partnering with a team that’s focused on accounting firms and how to secure them. Contact Right Networks today.