Accounting Firm Risk – Is Your Firm Protected?

Accountants are naturally averse to risk. After all, your clients count on you to protect their finances. Their livelihoods depend on you, which makes trust one of your most valuable assets. With your clients’ most sensitive information in mind, managing accounting firm risk is a high priority for most firms.

Contrary to what many people think, the cloud offers security that traditional software simply cannot. Just ask any of the thousands of firms who have implemented cloud based tax and accounting software. Moving to the cloud provides peace of mind and protection from data breach, natural disasters, and the uncertain future of the profession.

Information Security

Every year, the IRS ramps up its warnings about identity theft, hackers and phishing scams. It’s easy to think your data is safer within the walls of your own office. However, many of the worst threats to your information security come from within your own firm. A professional, trusted cloud provider has security resources that are just unheard of in a typical accounting firm.

“Our clients expect us to keep their information secure and be prepared for the unexpected. The term ‘cloud’ scares a lot of people – especially CPA types because we say ‘wait a minute! I’m sending client information into la-la land?’ But the reality is we’re just using the Internet to access Wolters Kluwers servers. I feel very confident about the security of that process.” Walt Kero, Kero Byington and Associates

Disaster Recovery

The weather is an unavoidable accounting firm risk. Natural disasters can happen at any time, regardless of geography. Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados and fires all pose threats to your business continuity. If your office was without power for days or weeks, would you still be able to do business? Even in less dire situations, a cloud solution can help keep your business running. Snow storms during tax season are a regular occurrence in much of the country. Wouldn’t it be great if your staff didn’t have to brave icy roads on their way to the office?

“I am aware of firms that have had to deal with a tornado, hurricane or super storm, and when they were in the cloud, the firm survived. And when they didn’t have cloud-based software, the firm had significant challenges. We wanted to get into the cloud for business recovery and continuity.” Jake Jacobs, McDonald Jacobs

Changing Business Models

One often overlooked accounting firm risk is the transformation of the profession as a whole. As tax work becomes more of a commodity and competition from on-demand services increases, firms need to be able to define the value they offer. The entire profession is changing, and your clients are changing as well. In order to be successful, firms need to find ways to work with these new clients and offer services they are willing to pay for.

“The benefit of us staying ahead of technology is that it changes the demographics of our clients. It allows us to serve a younger client who doesn’t want to communicate in the old ways and who doesn’t want to be interrupted by phone calls or come into the office for meetings.”  Frank Stitely, Stitely & Karstetter, PLLC

Mitigate Risk with Cloud-Based Software

To hear more about mitigating accounting firm risk, watch real CCH Axcess customers discuss their thoughts:

AUTHOR

Aimee Hall

Product Marketing Manager at Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting

All stories by: Aimee Hall

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