Disaster recovery planning saves businesses. It protects them from the costly effects of unplanned business interruption, preserves productivity, and maintains cash flow.
More importantly, it keeps you from permanently losing data. That is data that belongs not just to you, but to your accounting clients as well.
Consider these eight tips on disaster recovery planning that can help your Los Angeles CPA firm better prepare:
- Know the roles of each employee. Disaster planning is useless unless employees know their roles. So don't hesitate to make them aware of their responsibilities. Since disasters can hit at any time, your team members also need to be ready to execute their duties on a moment's notice.
- Be redundant. Good disaster recovery planning uses redundant systems and processes as much as possible. Make sure that business-critical programs and data are backed up on a secondary server that is in a different location unlikely to be affected by the same natural disaster.
- Appoint a contact person. Los Angeles CPA firms like yours need a senior person in their plan as head of the disaster recovery team. Make sure everyone knows who leads the team. Also, make sure everyone knows how to contact this person in case of an emergency.
- Maintain communication. Keeping lines of communications open during a disaster strike is imperative. Staying in touch can mean the difference between a minor, temporary outage and a major business disaster. So make sure your plan has a strong communications component.
- Choose the right storage solution. Protecting your data is job one. A critical step in doing so is choosing a backup and storage method and provider. Many options exist, so choose the one that best fits the needs of your accounting practice.
- Opt for cloud data storage. Large CPA firms typically opt for in-house data storage solutions. Smaller firms often prefer cloud data storage. Savvy CPA firms in LA have both. Keep in mind that cloud storage provides both duplication and redundancy —necessary strategies in disaster planning.
- Practice recovery drills. Choosing the right storage solution is useless unless you know where it is and how to recover data. Practicing recovery drills several times a year can help you respond quickly to a disaster and iron out any kinks in your disaster recovery plan.
- Build in detection and monitoring. Make sure your disaster recovery plan includes a sound policy on detection and monitoring. This protects you from minor disasters like an office fire or malicious intrusion. The sooner you learn that your data is in danger, the faster you can react – and the easier it is to implement your recovery plan.
The Bottom Line
This list of tips is not meant to be exhaustive. However, it does provide Los Angeles CPA firms a solid starting point for disaster recovery planning efforts.
Disasters—whether man-made or natural—can happen at any time. They can threaten your firm's survival. But a good plan can save your business if an unexpected event occurs.
A disaster recovery plan provides several benefits. It protects your data, maintains cash flow, and lessens the impact of a catastrophe. More important, it speeds recovery and can dramatically reduce the costs of ramping up your accounting firm after an unexpected event occurs.
Does your firm have a basic disaster recovery plan? What are the key elements of your plan? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments box below.
And to follow-through on the tips introduced in this short article, be sure to download your free guide, 12 Ways for CPA Firms in LA to Utilize Technology More Efficiently.