Whether you have a full-blown audit or simply get profit and loss information for the accountant, it’s time to reflect on last year and seek advice going forward. You’ll look at your top expenses and evaluate business goals while trying to get the most tax breaks possible.
But who is checking your technology, advising you on trends, and helping you to lower costs? Technology is your #4 business expense after salaries, taxes/benefits, and rent. Just like everything in your business it’s time to cut the fat and stop repeating the same old mistakes.
Your IT Department is obviously trusted, but they are paid to maintain systems and keep users happy. New things are always on the back burner and the technology is constantly changing. To make a sharper point, do you provide your IT an annual budget, regularly certify them on the latest technology, and measure their cost or performance to the financials? No.
We generally find companies have:
- Inadequate documentation for maintenance, disaster recovery, or business evaluation.
- Too much hardware and mis-matched software.
- Minor to significant system configuration problems and pending failures.
- No understanding of pending or future needs and associated costs or risks.
A regular review of systems and network security prevents businesses from flying blind and prevents IT conflict. This review should be done by a qualified IT firm rather than an Accounting firm. It should include a breakdown of the top business/technology categories, specific issues for resolution by system, and immediate to future recommendations.
Be prepared to hear some things you may not like, but it’s better to know and react than remain oblivious. You also should be open to new ideas to lower cost like managed services, virtualization, cloud computing, remote monitoring, and online backup. Your IT likely needs help and would much rather have expert input and focus on helping the business than mundane maintenance tasks. If you chose to do nothing, you’re resigning your business to regularly paying a high technology tax.