Do you need an IT support service?

At what point should a firm drop the DIY approach? Mark Lee asks Adam Maurice for advice on the IT support options for accountants and their clients.

According to Adam Maurice of The Internet Group, there are three main options for IT support:

  1. On- site - generally used by larger organisations where there is sufficient work to keep on-site staff busy.
  2. Outsourced - for smaller organisations, or firms that don’t want to have the hassle of managing internal teams and keeping them trained and updated with new technologies.
  3. Mixed - some businesses see the benefit in having a friendly face on site but also want to streamline their support by outsourcing the back end (network, server and storage), but keeping the helpdesk on site. Others do the opposite and prefer their staff to know personally the helpdesk person but allow a specialist team to manage the back-end off site.

Register with AccountingWEB.co.uk and log in to read the full article, which covers:

  • The level of expertise required to resolve on-site problems and the head of IT role
  • IT outsourcing for smaller businesses and accountancy firms
  • What to look out for when choosing an IT support service provider
  • Key issues for IT support within accountancy.
  • Other challenges need to be addressed?
  • The opportunity cost of partners focusing on the firm’s IT.

Adam Maurice is managing of The Internet Group, an internet managed service provider with particular expertise in providing support to accountancy firms. The Internet Group can be contacted on 0800 007 5797, by email via accountancypractice[AT]theinternetgroup.com or via the firm’s website.

Mark Lee is consultant practice editor of AccountingWEB and writes the BookMarkLee blog for accountants who want to overcome the stereotype of the boring accountant – in practice, online and in life. He is also chairman of the Tax Advice Network of independent tax experts. His Twitter handle is @bookmarklee and his Twitter lists can be accessed through this link.

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Comments

If a one-man band wants to do it themselves, that’s their look o

chatman | | Permalink

Does "If a one-man band wants to do it themselves, that’s their look out" mean that a one-man band should get someone to manage their IT? What exactly is there to do for a one-man band?

IT support    1 thanks

Chambers Accounting | | Permalink

Marry your daughter off to a Microsoft trained IT expert - it worked for me!

My advice is to make sure you    1 thanks

Oppco | | Permalink

My advice is to make sure you have an IT specialist client. We have, and for over 10 years they have dealt with all our IT systems, recommending, ordering and installing hardware and maintaining all our applications including IRIS. Any problems, they log on remotely or ring IRIS, or BT or whoever

Paul Scholes's picture

Or ship the lot out to a hosted environment    1 thanks

Paul Scholes | | Permalink

We had a good IT support company for many years, they installed & maintained servers & workstations and we only paid £750 pa for remote phone & login support with their engineers being charged at £70ish ph for call outs, perhaps twice a year.

The problem is that without the luxury of an onsite IT person, the small practice (ie me) takes on that role and so, the every day stuff of backups, Windows updates, firewall conflicts, network problems, virus/security protection, software updates & instals, downing (crossing fingers) and booting up servers when a problem hit or just kicking the bloody thing when it wouldn't boot up plus a lot of worry, was down to me.

Now it's all hosted and I would never go back to DIY, the downside? I'm forced to spend my time doing accounts and tax.

One Man Band    1 thanks

kevin.shah | | Permalink

Hi,

 

I think Paul's comments further down cover the various tasks that might be needed. Of course it depends on what you focus is but things like DR and problem solving (when google doesn't help) can sometimes be easier to manage if they are dealt with off site (which is pretty much where the cloud offers real value add for the small business community.

yes, if I was starting out

Oppco | | Permalink

yes, if I was starting out again I would go the hosting route.

IT Support

Malcolm | | Permalink

Check out our support packages at www.trustmalcolm.co.uk. We offer no nonsense, no geek-speak, help and support for anyone baffled by technology. We're at your service 24/7 even on Christmas Day...you never know when you'll hit problems.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Malcolm