Accounting firms and CPAs are tax and finance experts. Few comprehend the complexities of an IT infrastructure and what it takes to have a tech stack capable of managing the many facets of running an accounting practice.
There are roughly 46,000 accounting firms in America, and the 500th largest firm only has 20 employees. Small to medium-sized firms outnumber large accounting corporations by 91 to 1. That means most accounting firms do not have an IT department.
Unless the firm has a dedicated IT department, accountants must spend their billable hours focused on technology that is often outside their scope. The alternative is to outsource IT tasks to specialists with tech expertise in your industry.
4 Ways Outsourcing IT Can Help Accounting Firms Grow
Data breaches are a very real concern for accounting firms. Most cyberattacks on accounting firms involve taxpayer information like social security numbers. That is why these firms are heavily regulated in areas of data security because of the sensitive nature of the information they store and manage.
Outsourced IT services protect the firm’s data, time, reputation, and compliance efforts. It also allows staff to maximize productivity and ultimately, the profitability of an accounting firm.
When accountants can focus on providing high-quality consulting and tax prep services, firms can take in new clients. That will lead to onboarding more staff to meet demands and help accounting firms expand operations. Here are four ways outsourcing IT can help your firm grow:
1. Get Long-Term IT Strategy from Industry Experts
Firms have several technology tools but do not always get the most value from the IT programs they pay for. Many are not even aware of the features provided by that software or service. Accounting firms have specific needs, goals, and business issues. An IT service provider serves as a business partner. These IT professionals do not simply provide a help desk when a firm’s network goes down.
Outsourced IT providers continuously improve the current tech stack and make quarterly recommendations regarding additional technology tools. They take a proactive approach to leveraging a firm’s IT investment. Firms gain access to highly trained IT specialists and consulting services that are also implementation experts who can identify a firm’s IT pain points and offer solutions.
2. Spend Less Time on Tech, More Time Working with Clients
It’s all about the billable hours when it comes to an accounting firm’s profits. Every hour spent managing the firm’s IT infrastructure takes away the time staff can focus on their clients. Any time spent on managing IT issues is time taken away from running the accounting firm, even when dealing with minor issues. Off-track IT projects cause unexpected interruptions and missed deadlines.
An IT services provider increases billable hours by freeing up the accountant’s time to work on tax prep and financial services – not on IT. Outsourced IT services offer complete coverage of a firm’s technology bases, including IT strategies, upgrades, planning, and support.
Expansion requires new tech integrations, like upgrading the firm’s customer relationship management (CRM) platform or moving all of your files to the cloud. An IT strategist can create a roadmap outlining a plan for implementing tech changes with minimal interruption to daily operations.
Resolve recurring business pains for good by using an IT services provider. They can assist you with determining what is causing these issues and how to resolve them. That way, employees do not face constant disruptions to their workflows from recurring IT issues.
If there are major IT issues, techs can set reasonable expectations for a response and resolution time frame when systems are down.
The benefits of outsourcing a firm’s IT include:
- Less downtime
- No interruptions
- On-going IT support
- Eliminate repetitive and tedious technology pains
- Get help right away
- Peace of mind
3. Maximize the Value of Your Current Accounting Tech Stack
Tax professionals are not IT support specialists. Even a highly tech-savvy accountant does not (in general) understand every nuance, feature, and benefit of a tech stack. Accountants are less likely to know what programs work well together and which accounting software solutions are not compatible with other networks, applications, and programs.
An IT services provider, or MSP (Managed Services Provider), that specializes in your industry can ensure that every staff member knows how to use all the features and benefits of your firm’s entire tech stack. They can also evaluate the usefulness of programs, eliminate unnecessary or redundant systems, streamline operations, and find new ways to integrate new and current systems.
4. Continuously Update and Monitor Security
Data security and compliance standards require accounting firms to stay up to date on new security regulations. MSP’s can continuously update a firm’s tech stack to ensure compliance with these regulations. They can also monitor security concerns and act quickly to keep data from getting into the hands of hackers and cybercriminals.
In the United States, every state has laws that require organizations to inform the public when a data breach has occurred. IT services providers can make the appropriate notifications to the authorities if a data breach happens.
Finding Strategists You Can Trust When Outsourcing IT
Manual processes are no longer adequate for firms looking to remain competitive. CPAs and accounting professionals have options when it comes to IT solutions and integrations. Yet, it can be overwhelming to even consider what a digital transformation for their firm will entail.
With the help of tech specialists, firms can align their technology with their accounting practice, along with the systems they already have in place. Outsourcing IT provides firms with a solutions architect who can pinpoint system vulnerabilities and inadequacies in their processes.
At Tech Guru, we can help review and assess a firm’s current technology to look for ways to improve its IT infrastructure. We help our clients take the steps necessary for a higher-level technology action plan by discussing the pros and cons of their current IT plans and software.
When you decide to outsource your IT, you need a tech guru you can trust. Schedule an introductory call with us today to speak to one of our IT strategists.