7 Ways Accounting Firms Benefit From Outsourced IT Services
Information and communication technology services are the backbone of every modern business. The accounting industry, in particular, is the most under pressure to adapt to modern technologies. There is no denying that Information technology and cloud services are shaping the future of accounting and bookkeeping. Today, accounting firms have only two options: to hire an in-house IT team or outsource IT services to a specialized service provider.
Outsourced IT services are beneficial to accounting firms in many ways, but only when they hire the right services provider. Most firms choose to outsource IT services to save on the costs of hiring an in-house team, but they soon discover many other benefits for which they did not plan.
If you run an accounting firm, you have probably already invested in PCs, laptops, servers, and software to bridge the gap between accounting and IT. But is that enough leverage your firm needs to stay competitive and streamline its operations?
Security, costs, and redundancy issues aside, the old way of maintaining local IT services just doesn’t cut it with ambitious firms any longer. Here are seven of the top reasons you should consider outsourcing IT services to a specialist provider.
1. Access to Cutting-Edge Technology
The information technology industry, its tools, and services are very volatile as they evolve fast. Consequently, IT tools, infrastructure, and skills become obsolete much faster than ever before. The tools and skills accounting firms that choose to hire in-house IT teams will have to replace or re-train their staff much sooner and spend more on the latest hardware and software just to stay above the curve.
IT service providers are in the business of making sure that organizations get the latest infrastructure and services at minimal costs. Outsourcing is the best option for firms in every industry today because it is a not-so-obvious cost-sharing investment in highly volatile tools and skills.
An accounting firm should not have to waste some of its capacity worrying about the new technologies or how they may impact them. Outsourcing to an IT services provider is an easier path to let the specialist worry about keeping your firm technologically up-to-date.
2. Cost Saving and Quality IT Services
The accounting industry has been among the most affected by new information and communication technologies. Integrations to simplify workflows, blockchain databases, and digital currencies and cloud computing are here to stay.
Forward-looking accounting firms must embrace these technologies to take on new market entrants who blur the lines between accounting and IT. The best start is to leverage the skills and technologies offered by IT services providers to gain an edge over the competition.
Outsourcing accounting IT services to IT companies is a sure way to spend less on quality IT services. It cuts the firm’s operations costs and helps the firm better manage its IT-related finances.
The most notable cost-efficient benefit of outsourcing services is that the firm only gets to pay for the services they use. The best IT services providers in the market have structured their services packages to accommodate the needs of businesses of all types and sizes.
For example, should your accounting firm only need cloud accounting software, you will only need to pay only for the number of users accessing the software within a period, e.g., monthly or annually. When your firm’s needs grow, you can switch product packages to include the new services you need, such as cloud storage or remote work connectivity services.
3. Deal with Recurring Business IT Problems Once and for All
Let’s face it, even if you hired the best in-house IT staff, most of their effort and time could be wasted on resolving minor IT problems. An IT department should not be spending more time than necessary resetting passwords or serving as a computer help-desk.
Specialist IT service providers typically have a system that eliminates the need to deal with the same basic computer problems in different companies. They have their systems optimized to save themselves time and effort and will ultimately benefit your accounting firm the same way too.
IT systems are the nervous system of any modern company. An out-of-control IT function in an accounting firm may mean disruption of service, risk of data loss, and, eventually, loss of revenue.
For your firm to focus on its core business, you must pay the best IT service provider to streamline the running of every facet of your business and minimize common issues that gradually eat away at a firms’ productivity and revenues.
4. Invest in Scalable Specialized Systems
Accountants that outsource to IT service providers get access to a world of software options they may not even know exists. Small to medium-sized accounting firms hoping to take on the big fish in the industry must think differently to stand a chance. More importantly, they must invest in cost-saving but scalable systems that they can fine-tune and optimize for their market target.
The right IT services provider for an accounting firm should assist an accounting firm to seamlessly manage projects and leave the CPAs and accountants to interact with the clients. IT service providers can automate and even streamline accounting responsibilities such as:
- Document management
- Bill payments and management
- Audit confirmations
- Financial statements
- Use and Sales Taxes, and more
There are affordable stand-alone software and tools that can handle all these tasks. However, their real cost is when a firm is growing, but their heavily invested IT systems cannot grow with it. The best IT services should offer scalable solutions that will not end up a bottle-neck to a growing accounting business.
5. Easier Compliance and IT Vendor Management
Every IT services company worth its name must have invested heavily in security. It must have experts in cybersecurity and modern technology compliance requirements as a part of cybersecurity. For instance, businesses that handle or process credit card transactions are required to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). Outsourcing your accounting firm’s IT services simplifies IT-related compliance requirements that affect your firm.
In the same breath, handling IT vendors can be a pain for an accounting firm. Outsourcing to an IT service provider may also mean delegating technology service provider management to a capable third-party.
An accounting firm should not waste employee billable hours resolving vendor mishaps or going back-and-forth about why a service failed. An IT services provider would have the expertise and can afford the effort to manage all the tech aspects of your accounting firm effectively.
6. Enjoy Cost-Free Benefits of Accelerated Reengineering
Business process outsourcing emerged as a byproduct of a powerful business management reengineering. Simply put, organizations discovered unexpected benefits of having another organization take charge of the processes for which they were not well equipped.
The benefits of outsourcing are immediate and often business-changing. For example, when a small accounting firm invests in the services of a world-class IT services provider, they get reengineered world-class services at a price they can afford.
The benefits of outsourcing extend way beyond what the business focuses on. Firms that outsource to specialist IT firms are better placed to adapt to new technologies such as cloud accounting and digital currencies better than those that do not.
Outsourcing enables a firm to redefine its IT roadmap and manage the technology budget without paying a consultant to evaluate its readiness. The best part is, the most significant benefits may be passed from an IT professional to an accounting cost-free over an informal tete-a-tete.
7. Make the Most of New Business Tools and Accounting Technologies
With all the new business technologies promising efficiency and accounting technologies threatening age-old accounting practices, where does your firm stand?
Your firm is on a mission. It has specific, measurable goals, needs it must meet, and business issues it must resolve to achieve its objective. Outsourcing IT services to an expert is a lot like entering into a business partnership with an invaluable IT resource.
Choose your IT service provider the same way you would choose an accounting business partner. The provider must have the right level of IT expertise and consult and must show readiness to help your firm align its mission with present and future technologies.
Business technologies have a lot to offer your business when you have a proactive team of experts helping you leverage your investments. The right IT services provider should prove the ability to work with the leadership in your accounting firm and help it take advantage of the business management tools and accounting software at its disposal.
Every business today relies on information technology just to operate. The challenge of balancing productivity with functionality is a real one that businesses in every industry must deal with. Accounting firms expected to deliver high-quality and accurate services have a difficult task finding a solution that resolves all their technology concerns at minimal costs.
While IT services providers are not a one-size-fits-all solution for an accounting firm, it offers a lot more benefits than an in-house IT department would at a fraction of the cost. If you need to find out the specifics on how your firm would benefit from such world-class services, talk to an expert at Tech42 today.
Michael is the President and owner of tech42 LLC. He has more than 20 years of cross-discipline experience in the information technology industry, and has worked both as a network engineer and software developer. He is a passionate student of the interaction between technology and business and leveraging that knowledge to help tech42’s clients achieve both technology and business success.