Remember what working in accounting firms was like before today’s technological advancements existed? We now rely on the cloud resources, software and hardware we use every day to work productively and efficiently in the financial world. When your systems go down unexpectedly, don’t work correctly or get compromised, it can put your business and client relationships at risk.
While today’s tech is an important part of serving your clients, it can also create a headache if systems aren’t working at peak efficiency. Staffing agency Robert Half reported in a 2022 study that professionals waste almost two hours a week dealing with IT-related issues. For context, that’s more than a week’s worth of work lost every year.
One of the best ways to fight against lost time is by outsourcing your IT service provider. Managed IT services can solve your IT and computer problems, keep your systems working efficiently and reduce the amount of time you have to spend dealing with infrastructure issues.
Here are the eight top reasons accounting firms need managed IT services.
1. Reduce Costs
Managing your IT takes both time and money. These precious resources can add up quickly, especially when there’s an issue that needs resolution. Sourcing, hiring and retaining top-notch IT staff is more challenging than ever in today’s competitive environment and may or may not be an option for your accounting firm, depending on how much time and money you have.
Outsourcing IT support for accounting firms can improve your staffing, reduce the mental burden and ultimately save you money.
2. Ensure Regulatory and Industry Compliance
As you’re well aware, accounting is subject to an ever-increasing number of reporting, regulations and compliance concerns. Strict data governance and privacy protocols are required to ensure governmental and industry regulations are met.
A managed service provider that collaborates with accountants can help you install and maintain the critical framework needed to ensure compliance.
Regulatory compliance is especially important for accounting firms that have clients located across different states, or that do business in different states. While there is currently no federal data privacy law being enforced, every state approaches data handling differently.
The bottom line is you need expert guidance to ensure compliance to the fullest.
3. Predictable Costs With No Hidden Fees
Managed IT services will take into consideration your integration, support, accounting software and maintenance needs and combine all of them into one monthly fee. This reduces the amount of paperwork you have to process to pay multiple vendors into one predictable fee schedule, helping you plan your accounting firm’s budgeting more easily.
4. Make More Money
Every minute you have to spend thinking about how to fix the latest IT issue in your accounting firm is time taken away from growing your business. By using managed IT services, you can significantly reduce the amount of time spent worrying about your infrastructure and get back to focusing on what matters: managing your clients’ finances.
5. On-Demand Expertise
Even if you already have an IT team, it’s likely they specialize in a couple of areas. However, they aren’t necessarily experts in every aspect of technology and may not be up to date on every new piece of software or equipment available.
Choosing an IT-managed service provider that understands the inner workings of the accounting and financial industry can provide the expertise and experience necessary to fill in any knowledge gaps in technology, and they can answer any burning questions you may have right when you have them.
6. 24/7 Availability
IT problems don’t always happen between your regular 9 to 5 business hours. Managed IT services include around-the-clock help desk support to keep your accounting firm running smoothly and help minimize downtime.
Since the support level you get is included in the service level agreement (SLA) you choose, there are no additional overtime fees, surprise costs or hidden crisis fees when emergencies happen.
7. Your Cyber Security, Fortified
Accounting firms handle sensitive and confidential client data. It’s one of the reasons why finance and accounting firms are optimal targets for cybercriminals. More recently, accounting firms report a significant increase in cyberattacks, around 300 percent since the start of the pandemic.
These attacks expose client data, disrupt work and even force businesses to close permanently. A recent 2022 study of 1,200 small and medium-sized accounting firms and other industry service providers showed that 75 percent say they would be unable to survive and recover from ransomware attacks.
When you partner with a managed IT provider, you get access to expert knowledge, sophisticated cyber security tools and 24/7 monitoring for suspicious activity. As businesses today perform more remote work and use more cloud-based software, managing cyber security has become especially challenging.
Your cyber security can be fortified exponentially when you collaborate with a cyber security team that is highly skilled in cyber threat mitigation and prevention.
8. Proactive Maintenance and Management
Outside of making sure your systems are secure, a managed services provider will ensure your software is properly maintained. Software updates and patches occur regularly and failing to implement them can leave exploitable openings for cybercriminals.
Proactive maintenance of your hardware and software is crucial to stay on top of emerging threats and keep your accounting firm running at peak efficiency.
The Bottom Line: How Managed IT Support for Accounting Firms Helps You
Tasking small IT teams to stay on top of everything can be a challenge. In small to mid-sized accounting firms, IT support may even be handled by fellow accountants or support staff, which takes focus away from working with clients or growing the business.
Managed IT support handles the management and maintenance of your infrastructure so you can refocus your efforts on what matters: your client base.
Contact us to discuss your accounting firm managed IT support needs.