Here’s how to tell which MSP you’ll be happy with a year from now before you even sign a contract:
When you’re initially looking into outsourcing IT support for your accounting firm, the problem you’ll run into is that all of your options look the same on paper.
It’s tempting to just flip a coin, draw straws, or lob a dart at the dartboard to decide which company you’ll go with, because it seems you won’t be able to tell if you really made the right choice until you’ve already received a couple months of service, and by then you’ve already signed a contract.
But don’t get discouraged and leave your choice up to chance: there are things to look for when interviewing IT companies that will help you avoid future disappointment and make the right decision, and it’ll still seem like the right decision a year from now.
- Experience with accounting firms
Okay, this seems a little obvious, but it’s easy to get distracted by the swagger of large providers that walk in the door having already served hundreds of clients. They’ll boast about their impressive amount of experience, and, to be fair, this argument does work in their favor.
But experience will only help you if it’s experience that’s relevant to your needs. Of those hundreds of clients, how many are accounting firms? You’ll be better off going with an IT support company that may have fewer clients total, but more clients that actually do what you do.
- Support for the apps you use
One way that you will benefit from using a solution that has experience specific to the accounting industry is that they will likely already be familiar with the apps you use: Lacerte, Peachtree, Ultratax, Quickbooks, etc.
When interviewing your options, tell them which apps you use regularly. Ask if any of their other clients use those apps. If so, ask about any problems those clients had with those apps, and find out how they dealt with those problems.
- Proactive rather than reactive support
Anyone high school kid with a handful of CISCO certs can come in and figure how to fix the problems that are already affecting your IT infrastructure
The difference between an amateur IT worker and a professional IT worker is how well they can provide proactive support. Some firms always seem to be running around putting out fires. Others are able to relax, not because they’re lazy, but because they had to foresight to predict those issues, and they were able to prevent those problems from happening in the first place.
Ask a prospective provider during your interview: What will you do to proactively support my infrastructure so that I have fewer problems in the future?
- Long-term planning
Businesses that migrated to the cloud years ago have been enjoying a significant competitive advantage for a while now, while businesses that are only now virtualizing their servers get no advantage and are just playing catch-up.
What is the next cloud-level advancement in business tech? No one knows quite yet … but with our connections and expertise, we’ll make sure you’re ready to invest in the next advantage before your competitors even know what it is.