June 21, 2024

Five Key Reasons & Five Selection Tips for Accounting Firms Seeking Managed IT Services

By George Louris, Vice President of Managed IT Services, Marcum Technology

Five Key Reasons & Five Selection Tips for Accounting Firms Seeking Managed IT Services Managed IT Services

Accounting firms, like any other business, can benefit significantly from engaging a Managed Services Provider (MSP). Here are five specific reasons why an accounting firm should consider partnering with an MSP:

1. Enhanced Data Security and Compliance

Accounting firms handle sensitive financial data that requires stringent security measures to protect against breaches and cyber threats. MSPs specialize in implementing robust security protocols and ensuring that data is stored and managed in compliance with financial regulations and standards like GDPR, PCI DSS, and Sarbanes-Oxley.

2. Reliable IT Infrastructure

For accounting firms, uptime is critical, especially during peak seasons like tax preparation periods. MSPs provide proactive monitoring and maintenance of IT systems to prevent downtime. They also offer quick response times and support for IT issues, ensuring that the firm’s operations are always running smoothly and efficiently.

3. Scalability for Business Growth

As accounting firms grow, their IT needs evolve. MSPs offer scalable solutions that can be adjusted to meet increasing demands for data storage, processing power, and user access without significant upfront investment in new infrastructure. This allows firms to expand their client base and service offerings without worrying about IT limitations.

4. Cost Management and Budgeting

By outsourcing IT management to an MSP, accounting firms can benefit from a predictable cost structure. MSPs typically operate on a subscription-based model, which means firms can budget for IT expenses more accurately, avoiding unexpected costs associated with emergency repairs, hardware failures, or software upgrades.

5. Access to Specialized Talent and Latest Technologies

Keeping up with the latest security software and threats, tools, and IT trends can be a challenge. MSPs possess in-depth knowledge of the latest security technologies, offering robust defense against cyber attacks, alongside tools like cloud-based financial systems to help run your business more efficiently. This allows firms to leverage cutting-edge technology and the wisdom of seasoned IT professionals without the need to recruit and retain specialized staff.

Once an accounting firm is in the market for a Managed IT Services Provider (MSP), there are several critical factors to consider to ensure they select a provider that meets their specific needs. Here are five important selection tips and considerations:

1. Industry Experience and Expertise

It’s crucial for the MSP to have experience working with accounting firms, similar financial institutions or ideally, as part of an accounting firm. An MSP that understands the unique challenges, software, and compliance requirements of the accounting industry can offer more tailored and effective IT solutions.

2. Data Security and Privacy Measures

Given the sensitive nature of financial data, the MSP must demonstrate robust security protocols, including end-to-end encryption, multi-factor authentication, and regular security audits. They should also be able to assist with data privacy regulations compliance, such as GDPR, HIPAA, or other relevant standards.

3. Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

The firm should review the MSP’s SLAs carefully to ensure they include guaranteed response times and clear escalation procedures. During peak times like tax season, it’s vital for the MSP to provide reliable support and quick resolution of issues.

4. Scalability and Flexibility

The MSP should offer services that can scale in line with the firm’s growth and adapt to seasonal workload fluctuations. This includes the ability to easily add or remove users, increase storage or processing capabilities, and integrate new applications or services as needed.

5. Backup and Disaster Recovery Plans

Accounting firms must have comprehensive backup solutions and disaster recovery plans in place to prevent data loss and minimize downtime in the event of a system failure or cyberattack. The MSP should have proven strategies for data backup, recovery, and business continuity planning.

In addition to these considerations, accounting firms should also evaluate the MSP’s reputation, customer service track record, and the overall cost of services to ensure a beneficial and long-term partnership.

In summary, engaging an MSP can provide accounting firms with enhanced data security, a more reliable IT infrastructure, scalable solutions to support growth, predictable IT costs for better financial planning, and access to specialized expertise and advanced technologies. All of these benefits contribute to a firm’s ability to serve its clients more effectively and to focus on its core business of providing top-notch accounting services.

Don’t just exist; thrive in the ever-changing digital landscape. Partner with an MSP that not only gets accounting firms but is part of one, delivering unparalleled insight and success. When you’re ready to elevate your IT capabilities, reach out to Marcum Technology at [email protected].