Can you remember what it was like doing accounting work before today’s technology existed? We’ve come to rely on the hardware, software, and cloud resources we use every day to work efficiently and productively. When systems don’t work properly, go down unexpectedly, or get compromised, it can place your business and client relationships at risk.
While technology is an important part of serving your clients, it can also create a huge burden if systems aren’t working at peak efficiency. A 2022 study by staffing agency Robert Half reported that professionals waste nearly two hours a week dealing with IT-related issues. That’s more than a week’s worth of work lost every year.
Managed IT services can solve your computer and IT problems, reduce the amount of time you have to spend dealing with infrastructure issues, and keep your systems working efficiently. Here are some of the top reasons accounting firms need managed IT services.
How Your Accounting Firm Benefits from Managed IT Services:
Reduce Costs (and Headaches)
Managing your IT takes time and money. Both can add up quickly, especially when there’s an issue that needs resolution. Recruiting, hiring, and retaining high-quality IT staff is more challenging than ever in today’s environment and may or may not be an option for your accounting firm. Outsourcing IT support for accounting firms can augment your staffing, reduce this burden, and save you money.
Industry and Regulatory Compliance
Accounting is subject to an ever-increasing number of regulations, reporting, and compliance. Making sure industry and governmental regulations are met requires strict data governance and privacy protocols. A managed service provider that works with accountants can help you install and maintain the necessary framework to remain compliant.
This is especially important for accounting firms that have clients in different states, or that do business in different states. While there is currently no federal data privacy law, every state approaches data handling differently. You need expert guidance to ensure full compliance.
Managed IT services will take into consideration your accounting software, integration, support, and maintenance needs and roll it all up 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 budgeting more easily.
Increase Your Billable Hours
Every moment you have to spend thinking about your IT is time taken away from growing your business. By utilizing managed IT services, you can significantly reduce the amount of time spent worrying about your infrastructure.
Expertise On Demand
Even if you have an IT team, it’s likely they aren’t experts in every aspect of technology and up to date on every new piece of equipment or software that is available. Partnering with an IT-managed service provider that understands your industry can provide the experience and expertise to fill in any knowledge gaps when it comes to technology.
Problems don’t always arise during regular business hours. Managed IT services include 24/7 help desk support to keep your business running smoothly and mitigate downtime. Since the level of support you get is included in the service level agreement you choose, there are no overtime fees or surprise costs when emergencies happen after hours.
Accounting firms handle confidential and sensitive client data. That’s one of the reasons why finance and accounting firms are prime targets for cybercriminals. In fact, accounting firms are reporting a significant increase in cyber-attacks, up some 300% since the start of the pandemic.
Such attacks can disrupt work, expose client data, and even force businesses to close permanently. A 2022 study of 1,200 small and medium-sized accounting firms and other service providers revealed that 75% say they would be unable to survive and recover from ransomware attacks.
When you work with a managed IT provider, you get access to sophisticated cybersecurity tools, expert knowledge, and around-the-clock monitoring for suspicious activity. Cybersecurity has become especially challenging as businesses today do more remote work and deploy more cloud-based software and resources. Your security can increase exponentially when you work with a cybersecurity team that is highly skilled in cyber threat prevention and mitigation.
Proactive Management and Maintenance
Besides making sure your systems are secure, a managed services provider will also make sure that your software is properly maintained. Patches and updates occur regularly and failing to apply them can leave openings for cybercriminals to exploit. Proactive maintenance of your software and hardware is necessary to stay on top of emerging threats and keep your technology running at peak efficiency.
It can be challenging for small IT teams to stay on top of everything. In smaller accounting firms, IT support may even be handled by accountants or support staff, taking away focus from working with clients or growing your business. Managed IT support handles the management and maintenance of your infrastructure, so you can focus your efforts on your client base.
Keeping Your Business Running Smoothly, Securely, and Efficiently
Moving to managed IT services, you can keep your tech stack working at peak efficiency so you can spend more time with your clients and doing work that adds to your bottom line rather than dealing with IT issues.