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May 2, 2017
CPA firms are in the business of numbers, and those numbers need to add up. That is why many CPA firms are ditching their IT departments and hiring a managed service provider to deal with all their IT woes. IT departments are costly. Many firms can spend upward of 70% of their IT budget just on system maintenance. The worst part about these costs is they usually come out of nowhere. Managed service providers receive a scheduled payment each month and keep your computers up and running without incident.
Loss of Time
Lost passwords, crashing servers, and slow applications can cause problems around the office. Especially if these problems happen on a frequent basis. CPA firms cannot afford to lose time due to inefficient hardware and software issues. If hardware or software issues are a consideration during tax season, then it is time to talk to a managed service provider.
Line of Business
Line of Business (LOB) applications are big, take a lot of resources, and require a solid integration with other applications. These applications can slow computers and entire networks down to a crawl. In some cases, these apps are a necessity, but the problems they bring with them are not. Look to managed services to help keep the network going as optimally as possible.
Security is of the highest orders of importance for CPA firms. Client and business data is stored on CPA networks, and if that information were to get hacked, then the CPA firm could be held liable. Hacked information can cause liability issues, loss of prestige, and loss of clientele. Hackers are creating new ways to access information all the time, and security software companies try to stop them, but the reality is, a defense cannot be created until the attack has been generated.
You cannot afford to fall behind the security curve when it comes to your network. Managed service providers update anti-virus software regularly, and tell you what has been done and when. Buy the book ‘Easy Prey: How to Protect Your Business From Data Breach, Cybercrime and Employee Fraud’.
What happens when the server crashes thirty minutes before the office closes? Do you have to pay your IT guy/team to stay later to fix everything? Of course, that is if they have access to the materials needed to fix what was broken. Another option is to hire a third-party fix-it company to come in and repair everything. If they do not have the resources immediately, then you have to wait till the next day or the weekend to get repairs. Of course, that may mean paying weekend rates as well. Managed providers are free to fix your problems. That is part of the monthly fee you pay.
Providers have tools to evaluate and scan your network twenty-four hours a day. These monitoring checks help ensure that the network is running optimally at all times. It can determine spikes in traffic, usage of utilities, and helps to determine where bandwidth is slowing down. Monitoring can act as an early warning system, and tell providers if there is a possible crash eminent. With this information, providers can switch out parts as needed during off-hours to keep your system running without a snag.
Providers promise a certain amount of up-time and rely heavily on their internal monitoring services to keep those up-time percentages high. In order for providers to attain the levels promised to their clients they try to fix problems before they exist. This fluidity they create is what every CPA firm needs during crunch time.
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