What Does an MSP do? IT Support for Accounting Firms

Alavanca Systems - IT Support for Accounting, Tax and Finance Firms

You were looking for someone to fix or maintain your Accounting firm’s computers, and you’ve come across the acronym “MSP”.

I know, technology people have an acronym for everything…

If we can push two words together or abbreviate a term by just using the first letters of each word, we do it in a heartbeat.

Which makes it even harder for you to understand what in the world we’re talking about!

I get it, and I want Alavanca to be the plain-spoken technology business partner you can trust.

So, let’s break it down for you.

What is an MSP, and what can they do for your accounting firm?

An MSP (Managed Service Provider) is an IT services company that has embraced a subscription model of IT for accounting firms like yours with all-inclusive IT maintenance, management, security, and operational monitoring in return for a consistent monthly payment.


What Was Wrong with the Old Models of IT Support for Accounting Firms?

Before the Managed IT Services model and Managed Service Providers became popular, there were four IT support models in use.

  • Internal Employee
  • External Company on Hours + Materials
  • External Company on Retainer
  • External Company on Purchased Block Hours Discount

In their day, each of these models worked well and were fair for both the IT support company and the client.

But times have changed.

COVID-19, IoT (Internet of Things), and Big Data have driven companies to utilize massive amounts of data with employees in increasingly diverse locations.

Even before COVID-19, companies were moving to the Managed IT Services model of IT support en masse.


Because a global economy requires companies to function around the clock, and businesses no longer had any tolerance for IT breakdowns that resulted in costly downtime.

So, the age of 24/7/365 remote IT operation and cybersecurity monitoring and help desk was born.


How Does Managed IT Services Benefit Accounting Firms in Chicagoland?

  1. Fixed Costs

No one wants a big, unexpected IT repair bill to land on their desk. CFOs of Accounting firms like budgeted predictability. The MSP provides that predictability and puts your IT support team on your side.

“Weren’t they always on my side?”

Good question.

Think about it with me for a moment.

In the break/fix scenario where one or more of your workstations crash or your server starts billowing smoke, what is your IT guy doing?

He’s waiting for your call…or he’s out golfing.

Either way, you’ve got to get him down there ASAP.

So, you’re waiting for him to arrive, then you’re waiting for a diagnosis, then you’re maybe waiting for new equipment, and you’re waiting for him to get it all installed and running again.

What’s happening while you’re doing all that waiting?


Clients aren’t getting their work done.

Nobody’s happy.

Sure, your IT guy may be a good fellow, but the break/fix model of hours + materials doesn’t put him on firmly your side.

MSP IT support for accounting firms is a game changer. The MSP IT model of support puts us firmly on your side of the table.

Alavanca Systems is most profitable when we keep your IT systems running efficiently and flawlessly.

Your monthly managed services subscription payment ensures that you don’t have to suffer the reputational and financial cost of unexpected downtime.

Managed IT Services helps accounting firms move away from unpredictability in their IT maintenance expenses and delivers reliable computing for their workflow.


  1. Scalable Resources

You’ve no doubt considered hiring an in-house IT professional (or an entire IT department) to care for the end-user questions and day-to-day IT maintenance of your organization.

Then, you ran the numbers…

What did you find out?

If you can find and hire competent IT professionals (they’re in demand), the cost of a full-time salary plus vacation, health, and benefits is prohibitive.

So, partnering with an outsourced team is the next best thing – or maybe better.


Because having access to an entire team with a full range of IT specialities gives you room to scale your operations without having to scale up and entire in-house department at the same time.

Most MSPs charge Chicagoland accounting firms by the “seat” or “user.”

What does that mean?

It means that if you take the per seat/user price given to you by your MSP and multiply that by the number of employees you have utilizing computers, you’ll be close to your monthly IT support for accounting budget.

But your advantage goes further than being able to easily calculate and predict your IT support spend for the year. You know exactly what IT is going to cost you as you scale your operations.

  1. Access to Experts

We’ve already made passing reference to an entire team of outsourced IT subject-matter specialists, but let’s dive into the concept.

The simple fact is that even if you have an in-house tech person, he/she can’t know everything about everything.

By partnering with an MSP here in Chicagoland, you give your accounting firm access to professionals with niche specializations in areas like cloud computing, Big Data analytics, remote work, etc.

  1. Strategic IT Consulting

Because an MSP is most profitable when your IT systems are well-maintained and running at full-throttle, it only makes sense that your accounting firm’s IT support team will be looking down the road.

Monthly, quarterly, or annual IT strategy meetings help the MSP executive consultant to help you align organizational goals with IT capacity, strategy, budgeting, and purchases.

The IT roadmap that comes out of those high-level discussions provides the action steps by which the IT team will support your organizational objectives.


Ready for IT Support for Accounting FirmsThat Gives You a Competitive Advantage?

If you’re ready to stop putting out IT fires and move to a predictable, effective model of IT support, let’s talk.

Our comprehensive approach to IT care deals with technology issues before they impact your productivity and addresses cybersecurity gaps before they become costly intrusions.

If you’re looking for an IT support team with a business model that makes sense for you, Alavanca Systems is the right choice.

We look forward to hearing from you!




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