Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery Services for CPA Firms
December 29, 2016
We all know that disasters only happen to someone else, until they happen to us. CPA firms must be mindful of disaster recovery services to prevent their data from being destroyed. When a fire, flood, high winds or some other disaster strikes you must have a disaster recovery plan in place.
The plan must be updated on a regular basis, and there should be a risk management officer in charge of this duty. You need to try and keep your firm up and running during disasters, and the cloud can give you the options you need. TOSS C3 has services that can protect your data and keep your people connected to the cloud through external devices.
The Importance of Data
Data is the bread and butter for CPAs, and hackers are out to steal it and disasters want to destroy it. State and federal governments state if the data is lost then the CPA firm could be held responsible for improperly storing the data. Clients can sue the CPA firm, and your reputation could be ruined. So, protection of your data is very important.
According to the Journal of Accounting, Jim Bourke, CPA/CITP/CFF, CGMA, said “All I have to say to CPAs who are not in the cloud, who are not advising their clients to be in the cloud” are making a big mistake. He also “agrees that disaster recovery plans are important, and he emphasizes the need for firms to update and test those plans. He also places great value in migrating as many IT functions, applications, and processes as possible to cloud data centers that have been vetted with a Service Organization Control (SOC) audit.”
The Importance of Disaster Recovery
Disasters can strike at any moment. There is no set time or event that can be determined when THAT time is THE time. There will always be disasters, so the main question is will it happen to you, right? No, the real question is ‘how quick will it take you to recover?’ An example comes from Forbes magazine; “A deadly EF5 tornado struck Joplin, Mo., in 2011, leaving 158 people dead and more than a thousand others hurt. The storm caused $2.8 billion in damages.” However, a small company that was totally prepared for any disaster “was back up and running in just five hours, and all of its customers were able to conduct business as usual in just 72 hours – even though its office building had been destroyed.” Find out more about disaster recoveries and see how vBCDR can help.
The Cloud Versus Tape
Almost every business has their data backed up. This data is typically stored on tape or some other media device and stored on-site. If a fire were to break out then the servers and the backup data would both be wiped out. Some companies keep their backups at a different location than their servers. This is a better idea, but what happens when the site with the backups are burned down. All the archived data is lost.
Emergency Management explains how “cloud computing reduces concerns about whether the data center will survive a disaster. Businesses and agencies are good at copying and backing up data, but the real challenge is restoring the applications to keep essential services and critical functions online. Entire servers, including systems, applications, and data can be copied, backed up and be ready to activate in another data center in a matter of minutes.”
Techtarget reminds us, “There are two things you want to protect your data from: obviously, system failure, which is why you copy the data, but further than that, there could be a disastrous event affecting your facility, causing loss of your IT environment. It doesn’t matter how many backups you have on site at that point, if the data was not moved from that location, the data is lost.”
Disaster recovery services are needed, and not something that should be taken lightly. The data CPA firms produce is not only important to the firms, but to their clients.
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