Tax Season Tips: Why Your Accounting Firm Needs Off-Site Data Backup
It is tax season! If you’re an accountant this means you have more data by volume to manage and protect than any other time of year. Now would be the worst time for disaster to strike. If you don’t have an off-site data backup plan, your business is at risk. It is grim, but true! Off-site data backup is imperative for your business for these four reasons.
Photo credit: Damien Pollet / Foter / CC BY
Local or On-Site Backup Fails For whatever reason, a hard drive where on-site backup usually occurs has a high rate of failure.
- The system can corrupt itself due to a hardware error.
- Bugs in your accounting software may not backup every file you have.
- Placing your data on CDs or thumb drives are susceptible to corruption.
- Disasters, such as severe storms or fire, can eliminate your hardware where data is backed up.
While it is a good idea to continue to use these backup options, you need to add a third data storage solution – cloud computing. There are numerous benefits to the cloud, especially for accountants as laid out by Cocci Computer, but one is instant access. In the event of an emergency or data corruption on hardware, you can immediately turn to the cloud to retrieve your data. During this busy time of year for your business, this instant access gives you peace of mind. Off-Site Backup Has More Security This is usually the point that people have the hardest time believing. Yes, using the cloud for off-site backup is actually more secure than local backup. When you have your files backed up on site, they are susceptible to many threats, including:
- Computer viruses and spyware
- Accidental deleting of files
- Employee tampering
- Theft of physical data
The cloud has many layers of encryption security. Only authorized users are allowed in the cloud and you can track the actions of every visitor to see if any foul play occurred. Using off-site cloud backup also comes with a team of people who can custom-create security measures and manage any data breaches accordingly with your disaster recovery plan. Cloud Computing Automatically Updates One of the big risks with hardware and software are updates. Most require manual updates that require a system to restart or the software to shut down while updating. During this busy time of year, you don’t have time to wait for an update. Yet skipping updates makes your data storage more susceptible to all the threats mentioned above. The cloud is virtual, so no manual updates or special times to perform data backup to hardware or software are required, as suggested in Free State Accountant. Once there is a need to update, the cloud automatically performs the update to ensure the latest security and features are present. Cloud Computing is Affordable Of course every accounting firm has a budget in place that is usually eaten up by software requirements. But investing in a cloud computing service provider is extremely affordable. Since there is no hardware to maintain or software to update, implementation costs and maintenance of the cloud is much cheaper than hosting a data center on-site. The cloud is the perfect data backup solution for small to mid-size accounting firms. Even though tax season is a hectic time, a cloud provider will take the stress of data backup off your hands and keep your client’s data secure.