What Should My Chicagoland Accounting Firm Know About Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery?
As a leader of a Chicagoland accounting firm or tax preparation office, there are a few things that you have to do well. You have to run an organized office, you have to communicate well with clients, and you have to make sure that your firm is ready for whatever happens. That’s where Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery services come into play.
Why consider a robust Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery strategy?
Because you don’t have a crystal ball, and you can’t see the future.
That’s the problem.
You have to be prepared for everything…
- Electrical Surges/Outages
- Human Error
- Internal Sabotage
- Criminal Vandalism
What is Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Strategy?
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) strategy is the forecasting of potential circumstances that might have a negative impact on your ability to use your computers, applications, data, and servers at your facility. Once potential natural and manmade disasters have been identified, protective protocols are put in place to enable you to use your IT assets in the cloud, even if you cannot access them at your facility.
The Five Main Elements of a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plan are:
Network Assessment –Determining whether your network is capable of handling the traffic from your local server to the cloud server
What are the Most Common Errors that Accounting Firms Make with Their Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery?
Inadequate Survey of IT Environment
The first step of a strong BCDR strategy is a thorough assessment of the entire workflow and IT assets within an accounting firm. This step should be done by an IT consulting firm such as Alavanca Systems. Without this comprehensive assessment, critical data or elements of workflow can be missed.
Neglect to Update
Network changes, new hardware, new applications, and new databases are incorporated into an accounting firm’s IT environment over the years. In order for a firm’s BCDR solution to work effectively, those new assets must be taken into consideration as the BCDR strategy is updated from year to year.
Omission of Testing
A BCDR strategy, even one with automated IT backup functions, is not entirely functional without employee training, BCDR drills, and regular testing of the underlying systems. Following an annual update of the BCDR strategy, employees should receive training, and a practice BCDR drill should be performed in conjunction with mock fire/flood/storm scenarios to ensure that each person knows their responsibilities in a disaster scenario.
Lack of Appointed Responsibility
A BCDR strategy cannot simply be formulated and then stuck in the CEO’s desk. The accounting firm should appoint a C-suite executive to be in charge of ensuring that employees are instructed annually in BCDR protocols, that the BCDR plan is updated annually, and that the BCDR drills take place.
Failure to Plan for Secondary Working Location
If your current facility is rendered unusable by fire, flood, storm, or criminal act, it’s imperative that you have a fallback location for your operations. Whether that is a rented conference room at a hotel in the next town over or another office suite, you and your staff have to have a location in place as part of your BCDR strategy.
What is Included in the Alavanca Systems Managed IT Services Offering?
On-Site and Cloud-Based Recovery Methods
Regular, Automated, Verified Backups
VoIP Business Telephone System
Virtualization of On-Site Servers and Computers
Schedule a One-on-One Consultation
Don’t Let Your Technology Issues Hold You Back!
Ciro Cetrangolo is an IT specialist with over 30+ years in the IT services industry. Ciro has a deep understanding of the software, workflow, and underlying technology of accounting organizations and helps firms like yours achieve the secure, stable, and streamlined IT environments you need to accomplish your work more effectively. See my Amazon Author Profile