September 6, 2022

Cloud Solutions vs. In-house or Local IT Providers

Cybersecurity threats continue to pose a serious risk to accounting firms. Accounting firms need to shift their risks to proactively protect their firms' and clients’ data. With the rise of cyber risks, now is the perfect time for accounting firms to explore the cost-benefit analysis of partnering with cloud solutions compared to in-house or local providers. This blog will discuss IT solutions and review why cloud solutions reign. First, a brief explanation of the different storage options. 

Storage Options Explained

 There are distinctions between cloud, in-house, and local IT solutions

  • Cloud storage: A business’s data is managed and stored on remote servers by a hosting provider.  
  • In-house storage solutions: This storage strategy involves keeping IT infrastructure completely in-house within an organization.  
  • Local storage solutions: Involves storing data on physical drives, whether hard drives, or USB flash drives either on your own premises or outsourcing IT to a third party provider. 

Understanding the differences in IT storage solutions is important in determining which solution is right for your accounting business. 

The Reality of Local IT Provider Solutions for CPA Firms

Using local IT provider solutions has drawbacks for CPA firms. This is of particular concern for firms striving to be flexible, innovative and proactive with advanced cybersecurity measures.

  • Inexperience with accounting applications. Local IT solutions often do not have experience with unique accounting applications and software designed for the CPA industry. Often, local providers deliver an out-of-the-box IT solution, which does not meet the specific needs of an accounting firm. 
  • Limited support. Outsourced IT solutions have only a designated amount of time and level of availability to support each team. 
  • Ineffective disaster recovery plan. Local IT solutions frequently do not have a well-developed disaster recovery plan. Rather, they tend to leave the data protection strategy to the client. 
  • Lack of research investment. Investment in top-tier solutions on the market requires time and money. Local or outsourced IT solutions are often not able to invest the resources required to give CPA firms the best daily experience. This can lead to lost productivity and increased downtime. 
  • Less availability of security features. Cybersecurity threats remain a paramount concern to CPA firms. The level of cyber risks which confronts CPA firms requires a designated cybersecurity team with the expertise to prevent, detect, isolate and remediate cyber threats. A local IT provider solution can be limited on their investments in advanced threat protection systems proven to reduce risk and mitigate threats. 

As technology advances, local and outsourced IT solutions have some limitations. 

The Reality of In-house IT Solutions for Accounting Firms

In-house IT personnel offer foundational services within CPA firms. Yet, with the ongoing risk of devastating cybersecurity crimes and rapidly evolving technologies, in-house IT solutions face economic challenges and time constraints as noted below.

  • Limited security solutions. The long-term cost investment to install and deploy an on-premises security infrastructure including hardware, software licensing fees, data back-up, etc., is significant compared to the cost of a cloud solution provider.  
  • Ongoing security maintenance is costly. Protecting a CPA firm from ongoing cyberthreats requires constant focus and ongoing financial investments. On-premises security systems require a high level of security expertise, continuous monitoring/maintenance of hardware, servers, and the network to manage risks.  As noted in The Daily CPA, “the expenses associated with setting up a local IT infrastructure, in-house servers and equipment can cost a fortune to accounting firms.” 
  • Ongoing change in the IT world. IT is complicated and constantly changing, even for the experts. As CPA Practice Advisor discusses, even large multinational accounting firms are struggling to keep pace with the evolving cybersecurity risks. They have to constantly adapt to new technologies, software, data privacy regulations, cybercrime threats, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and more. An internal IT department can struggle without outside, expert IT advisors to supplement their capabilities.
  • Rising investment in technology. CPA firms are recognizing the crucial role technologies have in evolving their businesses to satisfy clients and employees, while increasing productivity and mitigating risks in lost revenues. 

The role of in-house IT solutions is vital to the continued success of CPA firms. However, a technologically advanced cloud solution like Cetrom enhances traditional in-house IT solutions.

The Value of a Cloud Hosting Solution: Cetrom Makes the Switch Easy!

With the continual rise and complexity of cybersecurity threats targeted toward CPA firms, this is an excellent time for C-suite executives and IT professionals to work with a cloud solutions provider.   

  • Experienced in accounting applications. Cetrom’s niche is 100% focused on CPA firms. 
  • Available continuously. Cetrom’s cloud solutions provide 24x7x365 IT support, poised to handle late-night needs during the grueling tax season. Cetrom holds an industry-best 99.9% uptime since the company’s inception. 
  • Allows flexibility. Cloud solutions satisfy the need for remote flexibility and scalability as staffing demands change. Multi-user collaboration is easily accomplished with a cloud IT solution. With the cloud, various resources can be upscaled or downscaled without having to purchase additional infrastructure. A cloud IT solution allows a C-suite executive to customize their cloud solutions to meet their firm’s unique needs.
  • State-of-the-art security. Cetrom invests in best-of-breed security technologies, which include proactive and advanced security methodologies. Frequently scheduled security updates and multiple daily backups are part of Cetrom’s comprehensive disaster recovery plan. Cetrom has adopted Advanced Threat Protection solutions to better protect clients. 
  • Committed service. Cetrom provides white glove migration services with no heavy lifting. Clients are provided ongoing training and resources to maximize their IT experience paired with direct access to its 5-star Support Team anytime, anywhere. 

Switching to a cloud hosting solution has clear benefits for CPA firms. 

Concluding Thoughts

Cetrom is a well-established, proven cloud hosting solution providing advanced support to CPA firms of all sizes. Just as businesses hire accounting firms to do taxes, enlist the help of the IT professionals to handle cloud hosting solutions and data security! Allow yourself the gift of time to focus on what you do best and leave the IT to the experts. Contact Cetrom today to learn more about how we can help answer your questions on cloud hosting solutions.

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