Your CPA firm depends on having consistent access to the toolsets that make it possible to do its work efficiently and effectively. Unexpected network downtime can create an environment where it’s difficult or impossible to perform necessary duties. The short and long-term impact of this infrastructure problem can create many challenges for your company.
Cybercriminals are attracted to CPA firms due to the valuable data that you work with. You have financial records and access to sensitive accounts, along with other information that hackers are happy to get their hands on.
They may break into the network and take systems down as a result of their activities, or they could load malware onto your systems. A common form of malicious software that accounting firms may need to deal with is called ransomware. This attack method encrypts all of the data on a particular machine or network. The hackers offer the encryption key for a cost, and until you pay or restore your systems from backup, they’re completely locked down.
Cybercriminals aren’t the only thing that can take your networks down. Hardware overload or failure can take out critical workstations, servers and connections. If the equipment isn’t set up or configured correctly when it’s deployed, it could end up with performance issues and unexpected downtime.
A lack of regular network maintenance can also lead to problems over time. Software updates, operating system patches and new firmware for equipment may not get handled quickly. If these updates fall behind, they could make your network more vulnerable to bugs that cause downtime or cyber attacks.
When data breaches occur, your firm can face lawsuits and financial penalties that come from not protecting sensitive data well enough. If you end up missing deadlines and milestones because of network downtime, you may end up breaching the contracts that you have with clients.
Your employees’ productivity drops and they end up frustrated because they can’t do their jobs properly. You could end up losing valuable workers if the downtime occurs regularly.
Clients won’t stick around with a CPA firm that is constantly falling behind on their schedules or putting their financial details at risk. The reputation damage may take years to repair.
A managed IT service provider helps you put the plans and processes in place to ensure consistent uptime and protect against data breaches. They have IT specialists who are experienced with the needs of CPA firms and capable of configuring your network to be more reliable, protecting it with the latest cybersecurity measures and maintaining it so everything functions properly.
Even if you already have your own IT team in place, an IT support company can give them the extra resources needed to deal with large-scale deployments and other projects that require more hands on deck.
Look for a managed IT service provider that has worked with CPA firms and can demonstrate that they are competent in providing IT services for CPA firms. They know the unique challenges that you face, the leading technology in this industry and the relevant best practices that are in place by top performers.
Your network infrastructure needs to be reliable so you offer a good experience to your employees and your clients. If you can’t keep your systems up and available, then they’re going to go to a CPA firm that can.