The big four and national CPA firms offer technology advisory services that can include network design, vendor evaluation, rollout of accounting software, GRC and cybersecurity audits. Regional and local CPA firms that serve small businesses may be not be staffed to offer these services yet aspires to. (A small business may employ up to 2500 people.) A computing environment for a small business that works smoothly, safely, and reliably is one that’s aligned to operating needs, is governed and managed by an IT professional, and remediates results of [scheduled] technology audits. Digital integration, basic access controls, and change management keeps the network running reliably, smoothly and safely to foster productivity. RiSe Solutions can partner with your CPA firm as managed service provider; your firm conducts the audits, we close [any] technology gaps found in the audits.
Technology Platform. The technology platform of any business, that includes configuration of devices and software, enables staff productivity and competitive advantage. Therefore, change management policies and procedures are critical to maintain the integrity of the platform. Small businesses need planning, advocacy, negotiating advantage, and a level playing field to evaluate change to their technology platform. The CPA team can identify the financial impact of those changes.
Unbeknownst to the firm’s [client-facing] practice partners, the CPA team can be leveraged as trusted intermediary to help evaluate changes to the client’s technology platform and identify its cost of operation. The client-facing [practice] partner can partner with a managed service provider (MSP) (such as RiSe Solutions) to offer a technology assessment, provide MSP services, offer preliminary due diligence of technology change, and costs of remediation from GRC and cybersecurity audits. The CPA team projects a budget for total cost of operation (TCO) and technology change, leaving room for unexpected nominal items. (Technology change costs can be factored into the change year’s P&L to assess its impact and payback term.) The CPA team also explains how technology change qualifies for depreciation, tax credits, or operating expense. TCO should include just-enough computing and cybersecurity to enable staff members to provide efficient, effective economic advisory services. TCO can be applied to technology as a healthy ratio of revenue; what ratio is in the client’s best economic interests? The firm’s business development executive should build a network of savvy MSP’s like RiSe Solutions to partner with when client’s require MSP, technology change, or remediation services from technology audits.
The computing environment for a small business should include the following:
- Known entry point from Internet into business network
- A firewall device sufficient to defend and protect the confidentiality of business operations; it may include WiFi with separate access controls for staff and guests
- Virtual monitoring of network health can solve issues before they become problems
- Security of storage devices and cloud services holding sensitive client information
- Virtual desktops via browser available to cut costs and TCO of computing devices
- A cloud-based means to manage company-owned mobile devices
- Notice of reports on continuity or changes to company website
- Notice of reports about email management; often hosted by a cloud provider
- Phone system; login credentials for cloud-based system to reconfigure desk phones or mobile connectivity
- Policies to establish and maintain a list of accepted software used by the company
- Virtual management of cybersecurity shield and defense
- Able to patch all software when needed, subject to COO’s prior knowledge, consent, and deployment date/time
- A predetermined block of helpdesk support events per month, pending needs and budget of business
- Scheduled audits of GRC and cybersecurity
- Monthly reports (or as needed) about status of computing environment sent to COO.
RiSe Solutions serves for-profit businesses, health care and biotech companies (see web page “IT Services for Health Care”) from PA to CT. All costs for cloud subscriptions, device purchases, and software licenses are separate costs paid by the customer.
If your business development executive is interested to learn more, please fill out “Request A Consultation” at the base of the “Consulting” page. Write “Partner with CPA firm” in the subject line, post your contact information in the body of the message. I reply within 24 hours to schedule a call to discuss your interest. Thanks for investing time to learn about partnering your CPA firm with RiSe Solutions; perhaps I’ll hear from you soon. ###