How Outdated IT Infrastructure Is Holding CPA Firms Back

IT for CPA

CPA firms have been traditionally late adopters of new hardware, software, and IT solutions. However, there has been a significant uptick in firms moving to a cloud or hybrid cloud-based IT infrastructure and model.

Why?

Adopting a modern approach to IT management offers invaluable benefits, including increased productivity, improved efficiency, stronger data privacy, and reduced overhead.

Is your CPA or accounting firm still debating? Stuck in a perpetual state of analysis paralysis? If so, here are some compelling reasons why your CPA firm is being held back by outdated IT tools and processes.

The Problem: Silos and Bottlenecks

If your firm operates within an outdated, fragmented IT ecosystem where access is limited, data is siloed, and document management is inefficient and labor intensive, you have an IT problem.

Remote access, cloud-based document management, and efficient information sharing is not the exception  — it should be the norm for your organization and for your customers.

Antiquated IT tools, software, and processes waste time. Not to mention, they cost significantly more money in the long run than purchasing cloud software and contracting with an IT-managed services company.

The Solution: Migrate to the Cloud

Migrating to a cloud or hybrid cloud platform (a system that retains some on-site storage and IT hardware) empowers your team to do more and provide your customers with a better, more consistent experience. Features like virtual desktop allow for faster, more reliable remote access and improve productivity and performance, as does stronger collaborative interfaces that improve workflows and data sharing. Cloud-based platforms empower your team to work from anywhere, anytime.

The Problem: Overwhelmed IT Staff and Higher Overhead

Recruiting, hiring, and retaining strong IT talent is difficult and expensive. Hiring and training your IT tech only to have them leave six months into the job for a better opportunity can be devastating to production and hiring budgets. What’s more, the complexity and fast-moving pace of change in the IT world often quickly overwhelms small IT teams — and certainly inundated one-person IT “departments” — quickly degenerating IT’s function into constant, perpetual “break-and-fix mode.”

Relying on one person or a handful of IT staff members is risky on a variety of fronts, not the least of which is maintaining the privacy and data security of highly sensitive client information.

The Solution: Contracting With a Managed IT Service Provider

Migrating to a cloud or hybrid cloud solution and partnering with an IT-managed service partner is a cost-saving move. No, really, it is. While there will be some upfront costs to upgrade your IT performance and maintenance, the long-term benefits are hard to refute.

Check out our video that explains why cloud and managed-services partnerships are cheaper and far more efficient when paired with your existing IT team.

The Problem: Costly Downtime

There is no greater threat to your CPA firm’s reputation and future success than your IT system crashing in the midst of tax season, where being down for just a few minutes can leave your reputation damaged and your revenue evaporating.

CPA firms with antiquated IT infrastructure and overwhelmed IT staff experience significantly longer and more frequent system downtime than those deploying cloud technology with managed-services companies that offer 24/7 monitoring and deep expertise. On-site IT infrastructure managed by a staff of one or a small team is a recipe for a crash during tax season.

The Solution: 24/7/365 Monitoring, Maintenance, and Support by Experts

IT maintenance —  including software and security updates — are updated automatically via the cloud and can be monitored by the service provider; having a team of tier-3 engineers monitoring your system 24/7 reduces human error and will identify issues before your system goes dark. In addition, remaining agile in the face of ever-evolving cyber security threats is unrealistic for in-house IT teams. With an expert partner, your IT team can focus on proactive initiatives while your outsourced partner keeps constant watch over your system.

The Problem: Lack of Flexibility and Scalability

Up until now, every time your CPA firm has grown, your team has been an IT Macgyver of sorts. Hardware is rigged to work together, software licenses have piled up, and multiple security technologies are in place — yet none of them are really integrated properly. What you’re left with resembles Frankenstein’s monster — something that functions but is made up of disparate parts that don’t work well together.

And when it comes time to “upgrading” that monster, it’s expensive in both cost and labor and yields minimal improvement.

The Solution: Better Scalability and Adaptability

The cloud is a highly flexible platform that can evolve with your accounting firm’s changing needs. CPA firms can go full cloud or opt for a hybrid-cloud platform, retaining some on-site hardware and capability while using certain elements of a cloud platform. The bottom line is you pay for what you need now and then CPA firms can build additional capabilities over time and more easily as needed.

Cloud and hybrid-cloud IT solutions are growth friendly platforms that offer CPA firms the ultimate flexibility and adaptability.

At Cetrom, we’ve helped a host of CPA firms just like yours improve productivity, increase efficiency, enhance security, and lower operational expenses over time. It’s time to get off the fence, seamlessly migrate to the cloud, and partner with an expert IT-managed services provider to take your firm to the next level.

Reach out to us today. We’d love to hear more about your challenges and where you want to go.