We’ve all taken the term “world-class” and applied it to everything from chocolate chip cookies to airline flights. But what does world-class IT support for accountants look like and how could you even begin to define it?
Let’s look at the term world-class. What does it mean to you? The Google dictionary (yes, there is such a thing – it appears at the top of some searches and uses dictionary definitions licensed from several popular dictionaries – this one is from the Oxford English Dictionary) defines world-class as: an adjective (of a person, thing, or activity) of or among the best in the world.
The average accountant (if there is one – we think they are all above average) might define world-class as “the best” or “nothing compares”, or “champion”. At Solution Builders, we might define world-class as “responsive” or “reliable”, or “best-of-breed”. However you define it, world-class is something you know when you see or experience it.
If you were going to search for an outsourced IT provider who can provide world-class support, how would that look?
Accounting Firm Knowledge
Accounting firm knowledge is critical to providing world-class support for a firm. Knowledge in understanding how billing works. Knowledge in understanding how accounting firms find new clients. Knowledge in understanding the cyclical nature of a firm’s workload. Knowledge in understanding accounting workflows and the technology needed to make them efficient.
IT Director Knowledge
IT Directors are unique people. They typically straddle between the business and technology sides of the accounting firm. They understand both the business process and the business technology, and they know how to get things done on both sides. They understand accounting cyber-security needs. They understand regulatory requirements. They understand risk management and how to lower those risks. They understand CPA IT support and how to keep the firm running from a technology perspective.
Project Deployment Knowledge
How do you stay world-class in something done only a few times per year (or every other year)? When software and hardware upgrades come around, is the firm getting the right knowledge and understanding at the right time? Does the team doing the project complete several of these accounting projects each month? Some of the hardware is fussy and getting the settings just right can be hard. Can the team get these settings right – or if they are world-class – do they already know the settings and instinctively apply them to your systems?
When support issues come up, how can we apply a definition of “world-class” to issue resolution? The support team needs to be responsive to staff’s support needs – especially your highest billable people! Not only does the support team need to resolve the issues, but they also need to be able to work closely with all vendors involved to get to the root of the issue – resolving it forever. And finally, your staff needs to be “in the loop” at all times – so there is never a question about how the issue resolution is coming along.
Here to Help
We hope our list of world-class IT support for accountants tips helps you make your IT decisions easier. If improving IT support for your CPA firm is on your to-do list, let us know. We happen to know a thing or two about supporting accounting firms, and we love to share the knowledge.