How to Survive and Thrive in Natural Disasters

Nov 12th 2017
Certified Public Accountant Gary M. Kaplan, C.P.A., P.A.
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Natural disasters are a fact of life. Any business that plans to be successful in the modern era has to have a plan for surviving the natural disasters most common in their area. Does your firm have a plan? Here are a few things to consider when planning for the inevitable.

1. Back up files

Loss of information can be more devastating to an accounting firm than even loss of facilities. You depend on having prior records to continue moving forward. In addition, it is hard to imagine the cost of losing the work that was in progress. It would mean a lot of overtime and pushed back deadlines, in the middle of a natural disaster at that. If this natural disaster occurred in March or April, it could mean consequences for clients as well. Keep your files in electronic copies, backed up on a server that is preferably located in another geographic region.

2. Keep a presence in the cloud

Cloud computing allows your accountants to work from almost anywhere. It also allows your clients to upload or access information from any place that they have internet access. You will also never have to search through a cabinet for a record again, as cloud computing puts access to all documents in one digital place.

It is easy to see how this can be a benefit for an accounting firm, particularly in the midst of a natural disaster. The cloud can also serve as a valuable back up for files and records. 

3. Have a plan for resuming work immediately

Depending on the time of year, many accounting firms may need to get back to work as quickly as possible. However, this is unlikely to happen if you do not have a plan. Work out ahead of time who will perform which duties in the event of an emergency. Make sure to have back up plans in case your Plan A is not feasible for any reason. Employees should be aware of their responsibilities in the case of an emergency and their options for accessing their work.

For example, cloud computing can be possible for an employee immediately after a disaster, as soon as electricity and internet access are restored. Your employees may need more time due to the effects of an emergency on their personal property and lives, but having a plan will ensure that people get back to work as soon as possible.

4. Reach out to clients

Your clients chose you because you are the most capable accountant in their area. You should continue to show your competence by letting them in on your disaster plan. Send an email explaining your company's protocol for a disaster. Let clients know what they can do to make the recovery process easier for everyone involved. For example, they should make sure all of their paper documents are scanned and uploaded to the cloud before a storm hits. 

Natural disasters of some form strike almost every area of our nation. Part of being an accountant Boca Raton is being prepared for these events. Planning, good communication, and cloud computing should help any firm to survive a natural event and get back to work quickly.

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