Top 3 Technology Priorities for Your CPA Firm

#TechTipTuesday

You survived the second round of the “COVID busy season,” and these weird filing deadline changes make it feel like a “busy year.” Nonetheless, we hope you can enjoy some summer downtime before the arrival of the fall corporate tax deadlines. 

We are biased, but we come from a good place — now is a great time to put some of your extra energy towards strengthening your CPA firm’s technology!

Fun fact: PK Tech started as a spin-off from inside of a CPA firm. We have since become independent and have grown to serve other industries over the past 11 years. We are proud of our expertise in this industry and enjoy working with CPA firms in the Greater Phoenix Area.

If your firm is looking to take advantage of downtime this summer, consider these three technology priorities laid out below.

The Top 3 Technology Priorities for Your CPA Firm:

  1. Assess your IT vendors for risk – you could do everything right and still get attacked through careless or unprepared IT vendors that have unfettered administrator access to your systems. Over the last six months, two prominent IT software vendors that IT companies use (SolarWinds and Kaseya) to service their clients have had massive cybersecurity incidents resulting in their clients being attacked via the IT supply chain.

    What you can do: Contact the IT vendor with the most significant amount of access (likely your IT company), and ask them: 
    1. What are you doing to protect us from supply-chain attacks like the recent SolarWinds and Kaseya events? 
    2. Do you have an active Cybersecurity liability policy with at least $2 million in coverage? 
    3. Are our backups on a separate system that are out of reach of a ransomware attack?
  2. Require firm-wide use of multi-factor authentication – multi-factor (or two-factor) authentication (MFA) is the new standard for firms looking to be proactive with their IT security. Introducing new firm-wide requirements like MFA can be a daunting task but is easier completed during the summer when your employees have room in their schedules to learn new systems and processes.

    What you can do: Start with your communication platform (typically Office 365), remote access platform(s), and top line-of-business platforms that contain sensitive information. Set a firm goal to use MFA on all critical systems where sensitive data is stored before 2022.

  3. Replace obsolete hardware – this is an especially prevalent problem, as many firms start to return to in-office work after months of working remotely due to COVID-19. Using IT equipment past its life cycle unnecessary risks downtime and productivity loss. It’s also easier to replace equipment in the slower season. Know that there are computer shortages, and waiting until your computers break and needing a replacement in a pinch will be at a premium cost and/or be delayed by weeks to months.

    What you can do: As your employees return to the office, make sure your IT team pays attention to your hardware lifecycles. Proactively replace your computers in advance, so you’re not vulnerable to downtime and hardware shortages with long lead times.

Are you a CPA firm in the Greater Phoenix Area looking for managed IT support? PK Tech can help. We are very well-versed in servicing CPA firms and consider the industry a key part  of the clientele we support. Get in touch with us today.

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