Having proper IT services for CPA firms in your San Francisco-based business is vital to be able to operate efficiently, protect valuable data, and ensure trust with your clients. Unfortunately, many CPA firms may have technology services that are cobbled from a variety of programs and intermittent support services manly reactionary-based. Reactionary approaches can lead to risks of data loss and breach, and by using a more proactive approach, you can stave off major problems that can lead to significant amounts of downtime and unsatisfied clients. Still unsure of why reliable technical services are vital to your firm? Check out the five rock-solid reasons you need a reliable technical management provider for your company.
As an accounting firm, you are responsible for handling significant amounts of protected and highly private information. Not only would a breach expose your customer’s financial information but also open them up to the risk of identity theft. Security measures such as anti-virus and malware are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how you should be protecting your client information. A reliable technology management company will approach your security from a number of angles and include services such as:
Your firm is responsible for filing and maintaining tax forms for your clients. You also need to store that information in the event your client needs a backup copy for such things as a loan application or an audit. A strong backup system can keep your data stored safely and securely in the event of a server crash, human error, or even a natural disaster. In addition to having your data properly stored you will need to be able to recover it quickly and easily. A long restoration process can spell disaster if your need crucial tax information by a deadline. Unfortunately, the IRS would not view a downed system as an excuse for missing its firm deadlines.
There are two primary methods for backing up data. The first one is through the use of backup drives that physically attach to the server, and the other is creating a replica of your server in a cloud environment that keeps it offsite and on standby. Not only will a cloud replication backup protect you in the event of any disaster as it is safely stored away from the premises, but you will be able to recover the data immediately in the event of a total loss. Consider it similar to flipping a switch to get your firm back online and up and running, saving you significant amounts of downtime and customer frustration.
Your firm utilizes numerous types of software for office use, spreadsheets, and various accounting programs to be able to complete tax information and read client’s program backups. You need to be sure that your technical services company knows the programs you use and has programs for antivirus and malware that can work in tandem with your software to ensure the proper protection while making sure it doesn’t interfere with major components that allows it to operate properly. In addition to knowledge of accounting programs, your technical services provider should also be knowledgeable about all the programs you need to maintain and run your office and be able to provide suggestions for possible upgrades and packages.
The only way for the technical services of your company to work together seamlessly is if they and properly implemented, managed, and monitored. You need a provider that offers technical service management to make sure everything is running smoothly, and that you are always protected. Many companies only address problems when they occur which can lead to costly bills as well as lost data or difficult to repair the damage. A reliable technical management company will stay on top of and monitor your systems providing you with 24-hour support for any issue you can imagine. This allows you to continue to do business uninterrupted while your technical services company monitor everything behind the scenes.
Your technical services provider should maintain a system that can centralize and store event information where they will interpret the logs using a real-time analysis so they can be proactive and take necessary defensive actions more quickly, This allows your provider to catch small problems before they become larger ones
While backup, recovery, and security are essential elements that any CPA firm needs from their technical management company, prevention of data loss as well as risk assessment tools are also proactive ways to stave off digital disaster. With data loss prevention services your provider will examine sensitive data that moves past your organization’s secured digital perimeter. This will help protect you against internal information leaks, data breaches, and attempts for outsiders to pull data from backup systems and hard drives. These systems can also monitor access to secure data to find out who is accessing it as well as set restrictions for those who should not have access.
Along with data protection, your technical management provider should perform a regular risk assessment on your system to determine possible weak points, issues with compliance, and other vulnerabilities. From these assessments, they can create a plan to better protect your system and the risk of breaches.
Finding the right IT support for CPA firms is crucial to ensuring the security and operability of your company. You will need a company that not only knows your programs but can provide you with technical service management, critical backup systems, proper risk assessment, and the security you need to protect your customer’s personal and financial information.
My philosophy when starting OTT was I wanted to create a place that I would want to work at (fun and friendly.) Where there was no corporate politics and we could just do our job fixing things and helping people. We can help people with their technology and not be arrogant or condescending to people. We can actually make a difference in peoples lives and not just say it but do it.