Ensuring You And Your New IT Service Are On The Same Page

If you've been handling all of the technical and security services for your accounting firm and are finally outsourcing them to an IT company, watch out for the details. It's way too easy for you to think you've communicated exactly what you want when you really forgot a few things that could make the negotiations between you and the IT company less than efficient. If you hire a company that is big on security and caution, you should have less of an issue, but you still need to be on the lookout for anything you might have forgotten to mention.

Be Clear About What Should Stay out of the Cloud

You work at an accounting firm, handling a lot of confidential information. While it's tempting to put some of that into cloud storage so that others can access it from home, say, those who still need to work from home during the pandemic, some information absolutely should not be in the cloud. Despite advances in cloud security, it's still not the most secure storage area. Make it clear to the IT company which information has to stay on a hard drive in the office.

Arrange for Daily Backups Spanning a Week or Two

You should have a backup system running and recording daily, creating backups that go back several days. That way, if you forget to back up one day, you've lost only one day's worth of data. You want backups for multiple days, however, because holidays can mess with people's internal calendars, making them think it's Monday when it's really Tuesday, and then they try to access the wrong data, or they start backing up the wrong day. Having those extra days on record in the backups lets people track changes to accounts if they need to reconstruct lost data.

Renting Versus Purchasing Hardware

You should also discuss renting and purchasing hardware to ensure you're getting the best option. If you rent hardware from the IT firm, find out what they do to erase data when you return the hardware. If you purchase hardware, find out if you can use programs on it from companies other than the IT firm. This shouldn't be a problem for basic computers and things like spreadsheet software. But if you buy backup hardware and later decide to end your contract with this IT firm, will you be able to install different backup software on the same hardware, or will you have to buy new hardware?

Keep writing down everything you think of before you meet with the IT firms that you're considering. There's a lot of detail, but if you get everything settled up front, that will make your transition to outsourcing your IT needs a lot easier.

For more information, contact an IT service for accounting firms in your area.