Building a Successful IT Team in your Accounting Firm: Part I

Does your accounting firm need to create an IT team or expand an existing team? Xcentric account manager Jonathan Hull shares his insights on how accountants can make skillful decisions on IT hiring.

As IT costs continue to rise, the need for intentionality around hiring has never been greater. According to the McKinsey Global Survey, “Executives continue to set exacting demands for IT support of business processes, and they see an even larger role for IT.”   As we step further into a paperless, real-time, virtual world, CPA firms will need to hone their IT hiring skills in order to stay up-to-date and maximize their IT spend.

What goes into a successful IT team for a CPA firm?

There are three key players:
Level 1: IT Help Desk
Level 2: IT Administrator
Level 3: IT Director

We’ll take a high level look at the role each of these positions plays in a series of upcoming posts.  We’ll examine what characteristics make each successful and include a link to a detailed job description messaged to fit a CPA firm.

At this point, you may be saying , “I thought the cloud helped me get out of the IT business and staffing situation?” You are correct. We have designed our Xcentric Cloud offering to help CPA firms get out of the day-to-day IT grind as much as possible, and an aspect of this is staffing. However, we recognize that not all firms will adopt the cloud in the next few years and, at a minimum, they need to understand the proper staffing needed to have a successful go at having an in-house network.  With that said, let us begin by looking at the first level: IT Help Desk.

Level 1: IT Help Desk

This particular position will live and breathe friendly customer support.  This is your front lines, the first smiling face your clients see when they walk in the virtual door of your firm. This role will provide helpdesk support and resolve problems.  This person is responsible for administration and internal support of the firm’s PCs, printers, servers, and related equipment. Tasks include end user support, license tracking , performing PC maintenance, upgrades and configurations.

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Displaying a passion for and responsibility to the end user are keys that lead to the success of a person who will fit well in this role.

Here is a full IT Help Desk Job Description that lays out job responsibilities, requirements and salary as well.

Future posts will explore the other levels of the IT team.

Jonathan Hull is an account manager at Xcentric, an IT solutions company that provides hosted and managed technology platforms for the accounting profession.

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