How Specialized IT Helpdesk and Support Transforms US CPA firms

Certified Public Accountants (CPA) firms are always guiding businesses through the financial problems, however sometimes, even these expert firms encounter challenges. Among these challenges, the lack of IT helpdesk and support is an important factor that can negatively impact their client’s trust. IT helpdesk is where problem meets solutions and technology meets support. This blog will discuss the benefits and factors responsible for CPA firms opting IT helpdesk services, how they can transform by following the best practices of implementing IT helpdesk and support in their organizations.

FIRST POINT OF CONTACT: IT HELPDESKS AND SUPPORT

An IT help desk functions as a centralized platform that employees and customers can easily access to resolve technology issues, questions, or requests. It serves as the first point of contact for employees and customers when software, hardware, or other IT-related challenges inevitably emerge in the workplace. Robust help desk solutions typically provide features like ticketing queues, agent assignment workflows, inboxes for efficient collaboration, and analytical reporting on trends. By consolidating these capabilities into a unified service portal, IT teams track issues, minimize the problems, and help regarding products, services, or processes. It is a simplified access as it also minimizes time waste by providing a single and easily accessible point to turn to with IT problems.

WHY CPA FIRMS THRIVE WITH SPECIALIZED IT HELPDESK SERVICES

For CPA firms, specialized IT helpdesk and support services provide a variety of benefits. With these benefits, organizations can concentrate on offering their clients top-notch consulting services while making sure that their technological infrastructure functions easily and effectively.

Increased Productivity: By managing technology infrastructure, these services enable accountants to invest more time on core accounting tasks, ultimately driving higher productivity.

Guidance on IT Infrastructure: IT helpdesk provides expert guidance on optimal technology infrastructure for CPA firms, facilitating informed decisions.

Security & Compliance: It ensures adherence to industry regulations and compliance standards, while also protecting sensitive client data.

Cost Savings: Opting for IT assistance from an IT outsourcing company reduces staffing costs and mental burden compared to retaining in-house IT staff.

On-Demand Support: Managed IT services provide support in all areas, ensuring that technical issues are resolved promptly and efficiently.

Proactive Maintenance: These services take a proactive approach to identify and address potential technology issues before they escalate.

Industry-Specific Solutions: Helpdesk services understand the accounting industry’s unique needs and challenges, providing customized solutions.

THE RIGHT TIME FOR A CPA FIRM TO ADOPT IT SUPPORT

It is important for companies to determine the situations and reasons why they require IT helpdesk and support services. There are several key factors that urges an organization, especially CPA firms, to seek out IT assistance. By evaluating these factors, CPA firms can improve their operations, maintain compliance, and stay competitive in the market.

Factor 1: Growth and Profitability

Specialized IT helpdesk and support services can help you manage this growth effectively as your current IT infrastructure might fail to keep up with the demands of your business.

Factor 2: Ongoing IT issues

If a company consistently faces disruptions in operations and encounters a decline in productivity due to recurring IT issues, these services enable the quick identification and resolution of issues, preventing potential issues.

Factor 3: Compliance and Security

CPA firms operate under strict compliance rules which makes it crucial to have a robust IT infrastructure. These services can uphold critical security protocols, satisfy compliance mandates, and preserve their reputational standing.

Factor 4: Outdated Technology

Relying on outdated technologies can affect the ability of providing high-quality services to clients. These services can help identify and implement the best technology solutions, keeping you competitive in the market.

Factor 5: In-house IT Staffing Challenges

Struggling in recruiting, keeping, and overseeing internal IT personnel may signal a firm’s need for specialised IT helpdesk and support services. These services can provide expert guidance, allowing focus on the core competencies.

UNDERSTANDING IT HELPDESK’S COST EVALUATION

By considering the costs associated with IT support services, CPA firms can make informed decisions about the most effective and efficient IT support options for their specific needs and budget.

Reactive Technology Management Costs: It includes payment for addressing individual tech issues, professional liability, damage to trust and reputation, and reduced productivity due to reactive IT management.

Cost of in-house IT support: The expenditure associated with in-house creation and maintenance of an IT support, involves costs like staffing, tools, and consultation fees, adding up to significant annual expenses.

Potential Initial Budget Allocation: Initially, partnering with an IT outsourcing company for an in-house support might appear expensive, leading to a new budget, however in the long run, it can lead to a more predictable and cost-effective IT budget.

Outsourced IT support Costs: The cost of outsourced IT support for accounting firms can vary, depending on several factors such as the size of the firm and service level.

ANALYSING RISKS DUE TO LACK OF ‘IT HELPDESK AND SUPPORT’

The absence of specialized IT helpdesk and support poses several risks for CPA firms, potentially resulting in significant challenges to their security, operational efficiency, and competitiveness.

Data Security and Compliance Concern: With the lack of IT support, CPA firms may grapple with maintaining data security and compliance with industry regulations. This can lead to consequences such as data breaches, penalties for non-compliance, and loss of client trust.

Disruptions in Productivity and Operations: The lack of specialized IT support can give rise to frequent technology issues, causing disruptions in operations and diminishing overall productivity. This, in turn, can impact the firm’s ability to deliver services efficiently.

Lack of Expert Guidance: This will lead to ineffective technology choices and processes and missed opportunities for digital transformation and business growth.

Increased Costs and Inefficiencies: Reactive technology management and the absence of proactive IT support may lead to higher long-term costs and inefficiencies in managing IT resources. This can further complicate the resolution of technology-related challenges, affecting the overall efficiency of the firm.

IMPORTANT PRACTICES: EFFECTIVELY IMPLEMENTING IT HELPDESK

Implementing a range of best practices within an organization will enhance operational efficiency, promote seamless collaboration, and foster a culture of continuous improvement. These practices are designed to optimize various aspects of your organizational structure, from workflow processes to employee interactions, ultimately contributing to the overall success and sustainability of your enterprise. Here are a few best practices to consider while implementing IT helpdesk in an organization:

  • Incorporate automation and business rules to minimize manual efforts for repetitive tasks and workflows. This also ensures service level agreements and quality standards.
  • Monitor key performance indicators like resolution and response time to continuously optimize the performance.
  • Select helpdesk solutions with robust included support models via training sessions and documentation.
  • Actively compile feedback to continue improving and uncover opportunities for refining processes beyond what metrics reveal.
  • Prioritize user experience by customizing your help desk, taking into account the emotions and attitudes of the end-users.
  • Integrate with third-party applications to enable seamless continuity across tools and platforms which the company already uses.

BEST ‘IT HELP-DESK’ SOFTWARES

  Software Best For
1 Lakeside Software Assists L1 Help Desk
2 HubSpot’s Help Desk Software Seamless Cross-Team Collaboration
3 Zendesk Creating Customer Portals
4 Happy Fox Task Management
5 Freshdesk Field Customer Service
6 Intercom SaaS Customer Onboarding
7 Zoho Desk Customer Sentiment Analysis
8 Jira Service Desk IT Ticketing & Support
9 Help Scout Email Collaboration
10 LiveAgent Call Centers

FINAL THOUGHTS

The integration of specialized IT helpdesk and support services acts as a transformative force for CPA firms. It facilitates processes, tracks important metrics, and manage workloads efficiently, allowing staff to focus more on delivering excellent customer service. With the important practices and using best software, companies will be able to ensure compliance and keep the standard. It is expected that helpdesk market will reach approximately $15billion by the two years. Establishing a help desk may require significant effort initially, but it is a crucial investment for companies seeking long-term success.

About Author

Pankaj is a Software Applications Expert with more than 25 years’ of experience in IT Industry. Pankaj has created over 100 applications and has led the practice of the application in Wipro. Pankaj has extensive experience in Application development, application management and application modernization. He has an in-depth experience in low-code / no-code platforms as well.​

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