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IT Support for Accountants: What to Look For In An MSP

IT Support for Accountants: What to Look For In An MSP

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IT support is integral for accounting firms aiming to maintain efficiency, security, and compliance. Managed Service Providers (MSPs) offer a comprehensive solution for firms looking to enhance their IT infrastructure without the overhead and technical knowledge of managing an in-house IT team. Understanding what to look for in an MSP can help accounting firms choose a partner that aligns with their unique needs and supports seamless operation. Regarding IT support for accountants, here is what to look for in an MSP.

Understanding the Role of MSPs

What is an MSP?

An MSP is a third-party company that manages IT services for its clients, in this case, IT support for accountants. MSPs typically provide services such as cybersecurity, network management, data security, cloud computing, technology budgeting, and technical support. Depending on the MSP, often some or all of these services are delivered through a proactive approach.

Differentiating MSPs

When selecting an MSP, it’s important to understand the differences between various types of providers. A security-first MSP has security and the protection of sensitive data top of mind for accounting firms. This contrasts with MSPs that offer basic remote monitoring, some proactive maintenance and tech support. IT companies that operate on a pay-as-you-need basis can address short-term issues but do not provide ongoing data security services or management which is key to maintaining uptime and reducing the risk of cyber incidents which could have an expensive impact on an accounting firm.

Benefits of Using an MSP for Accounting Firms

Partnering with an MSP offers numerous advantages, particularly for accounting firms that handle sensitive financial data and require strict compliance with industry regulations. Key benefits include enhanced data security, reliable backup solutions, continuous system monitoring, and expert support tailored to the firm’s specific needs.

Key IT Support Services for Accountants

Data Security and Compliance

Accounting firms manage vast amounts of sensitive financial information, making data security paramount. MSPs help protect this data through advanced security measures and support compliance with relevant regulations. They work to significantly reduce the risk of cyber incidents and data breaches by implementing an ongoing process that includes auditing the account firm’s technology to align it with industry standards and best practices.

Cloud Services and Data Backup

Cloud computing offers significant advantages for some accountants, depending on their budget, company structure, and operational goals, and may include remote access to data, improved collaboration, and scalable storage solutions. MSPs provide secure cloud services and reliable backup solutions, making critical data always accessible and protected against loss.

Network and Infrastructure Management

The smooth operation of accounting software and tools is essential for productivity. MSPs ensure that your network and infrastructure are well-maintained, updated, and secure. Regular maintenance and updates in addition to an ongoing alignment process with industry best practices, help to prevent potential disruptions, enhance security, and improve overall efficiency.

Development of Technology Plan and Budget

An effective technology plan and budget are essential for long-term success and predictable costs. MSPs assist in developing a strategic technology plan that aligns with the firm’s goals, supporting cost-effective technology investments and business growth so accounting firms won’t have unexpected IT costs.

Remote Support and Monitoring

Continuous support and 24/7 monitoring are essential for quickly resolving issues and preventing potential problems. MSPs offer remote support and monitoring services, making sure that any technical issues are addressed promptly, minimizing downtime and disruptions.

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Features to Look for in an MSP

Industry Experience

Choosing an MSP with experience in the accounting sector is vital. Such providers understand the unique challenges and requirements of accounting firms, offering solutions that address specific industry needs.

Proven Process

A proven process for identifying and addressing risks is a key competitive advantage. A security-first MSP, for instance, often utilizes a labor-intensive process that compares clients’ technology against industry standards like CIS (Center for Internet Security) and NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology). This helps identify high-risk areas and prioritize actions to enhance security and efficiency.

Customized Solutions

Accounting firms require customized IT solutions that cater to their specific needs. MSPs should have familiarity with accounting firm applications as well as create and test comprehensive disaster recovery plans to enhance business continuity.


As accounting firms grow, their IT needs evolve. An effective MSP should provide scalable solutions that can grow with the firm, ensuring continuous guidance, support, and alignment with changing requirements.

Proactive Approach

A proactive approach to IT management minimizes downtime and disruptions. This includes planning for cyber attacks, conducting exercises to prepare for incidents, and having the right tools in place to respond quickly. While prevention is not always possible, proper planning and quick response significantly reduce recovery time and associated costs.

Evaluating MSPs: Questions to Ask

Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Understanding the response times and services outlined in an SLA is crucial. Firms should ensure that SLAs align with their expectations for support and service quality.


Clarifying the scope of services provided by the MSP is important to avoid misunderstandings. Often accounting firms hire an MSP and think “cybersecurity” or being “protected” is included. Firms should ensure they fully understand what is covered under their agreement and what additional services may be required.

Customer Support and Availability

Availability of support and how issues are handled are critical factors. Firms should evaluate the MSP’s support structure, availability, and response times to ensure they meet their needs.

References and Reviews

Checking reviews and asking for references from other clients can provide valuable insights into the MSP’s performance and reliability.

Cost vs. Value

Balancing the cost of services with the value provided is essential. Firms should discuss the differences in pricing from IT companies they are considering working with. If there is a significant contrast, then there may be a large difference in services.

Jersey IT Group Provides IT Support for Accountants

For specialized IT support tailored to the unique needs of your accounting firm, contact Jersey IT Group. Our security-first approach and proven processes will help improve your accounting firm’s data protection and operations. To learn more about how your accounting firm could benefit from managed IT services, feel free to reach out to Jersey IT Group today.

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