IT outsourcing

Large CPA Firms and the Era of IT Outsourcing

September 18, 2017

Increasingly, technology is the business. As our society has grown more digitized, pressure is being placed on internal IT staff to manage rapidly changing technology, security, and all the digital devices trying to access servers from beyond the firewall. At what point does the legacy IT staffer hold up their hand and cry, “Uncle?”

If your large CPA firm has an internal technology team that is struggling to keep pace, it’s possible that IT outsourcing could be an option to broaden the reach of full-time employees and improve how your business handles technology innovation.

This post explores why large CPA firms are outsourcing their IT management. How can IT outsourcing help the large accounting enterprise if they already have an in-house IT team?

Internal IT as Strategists, not Cable Pullers

Today, IT is at the forefront of everything we do. In the past, a network engineer was relegated to the server room. But today, these professionals need to sit at the table with leadership in the enterprise CPA firm. The role of technology has evolved into having ever-increasing importance to the organization, whether we’re talking about accounting or any other business sector.

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If your IT staff is busy handling a multitude of basic data center functions, they will not have time to build out the future state technology architectures that will allow your business to achieve a competitive advantage. They won’t have time to research machine learning or blockchain or other technologies to understand how they’re about to change our businesses. What this means is that your CPA firm will lack the innovation to thrive in new business models that are sweeping our world.

That’s where IT outsourcing can come in handy. Outsourcing your IT functions can help stretch your team in new ways, possibly teaching them new methodologies and frameworks, freeing them up to become engineers and not hardware cable pullers.

Some of the ways IT outsourcing can help include:

  • Cloud infrastructures
    CPA firms are still migrating to the cloud. In this area, the small to mid-sized firms led the industry in adoption of cloud models, while enterprise CPA organizations were slower to trust the cloud. Having an IT outsource option to manage cloud services may make sense for your team.
  • Compliance
    Encryption of data for compliance purposes is just one function IT outsourcing can provide. Compliance is one of the areas that is constantly changing, so having an outsourced specialist to stay on top of regulatory shifts is important.
  • Routine network maintenance
    From patches to monitoring, IT outsourcing could free up the time your high priced internal teams spend on the most mundane tasks.
  • Security
    Let’s face it; some of the biggest security breaches have occurred because internal IT teams are more generalists than specifically focused on building walls around your organization and maintaining them. IT security is one of those critical business areas that almost necessitate a hybrid approach to staffing. This is one area where cloud models and IT outsourcing are particularly important; real time upgrades and the latest security frameworks make a strong case for IT outsourcing.
  • Storage
    Cloud storage and IT outsourcing are both scalable and affordable ways to store and access data. These options are much faster and less expensive than purchasing new hardware.

These are just some of the ways IT outsourcing can help your team. An IT outsourced specialist will help you your firm improve their productivity by streamlining tasks. It also helps with “highest and best use staffing,” which is a term used in the real estate industry to connote putting the right people in the right places at the right time. Changing IT workflows by farming out mundane tasks or activities that require specialization might make sense for your CPA firm.

Final Thoughts on IT Outsourcing

CPA firms recognize a clear “busy season” during tax time. Why not use IT outsourcing as a way to scale up with incremental staffing and network management during your very busy time of year. You may even decide to use the technology that the IT team brings to the table to offer new value-added services to your clients.

Take the time to request a quote on IT outsourcing for your CPA firm.

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