LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS
why you need a disaster recovery plan
mike perry, client accounting services director
To understand why you need a disaster recovery plan, you need only think about events that have occurred over the past couple of years in the United States. Recent flooding in Nebraska and Iowa, wildfires, and mudslides in California. Hurricanes in Texas, Florida, and North Carolina. Data breach after data breach. And many more localized catastrophes that might only affect your business.
Making a disaster recovery plan takes some time and effort, but not nearly as much as recovery would if you’re not prepared – if recovery is even possible. Here are eight of the things you should be doing.
Determine what your risk level is.
What kinds of risks is your business most vulnerable to? How likely is each to occur? You know what natural disasters are common in your geographical area, but what about a fire in your office? Burst pipes from a frigid cold? A burglary? Figure out the probability of each event and tailor your plans accordingly.
Evaluate your business insurance.
Do you have adequate coverage? If the worst happens and you are under-insured, you can always apply for disaster loan assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Create a written inventory of your company’s major assets.
Ask employees to take photos of the equipment at their workstations, and ask someone to get pictures of shared valuable items. Document all of this in writing and store it offsite or in the cloud.
Identify key personnel roles.
Start by assigning a crisis manager. If you’re a sole proprietor or very small business, this may be you. But make sure there’s a digital central location devoted to disaster recovery documentation.
Establish an emergency communication plan.
Not just among employees, but with customers and vendors. How will you all communicate if standard communications systems are down? How will you let the outside world know what’s happening?
Know what your most critical software/website needs are, and prioritize them.
Which software applications are the most important to your ongoing operations? Are they accessible through the cloud? If so, are any or all of your employees able to work remotely? If not, how will you gain access to your local business solutions?
Always have comprehensive offsite digital storage, and make sure it’s secure.
This should be standard practice all the time, but it’s essential to beginning the recovery from a disaster. Any important documents that are on paper should be duplicated offsite, too.
Test your plan.
If you have a staff, schedule some dry runs so that everyone knows what should transpire. Organize a bag lunch or bring in pizza and go over your plans.
Your accounting data is some of the most sensitive information owned by your company. Customer records, accounts receivable and payable, payroll data – all must be absolutely safe and possible to recover quickly. We can help here. If you’re still doing manual accounting, we can help with getting your data into QuickBooks; it’ll be easier to secure. Contact us, and let’s have a conversation about your disaster recovery plan.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
MIKE PERRY + CLIENT ACCOUNTING SERVICES DIRECTOR
Mike Perry is a Client Accounting Services Director at Lutz with over 15 years of accounting experience. He focuses on providing business consulting, software implementation and training, accounting procedure assistance and outsourced accounting replacement consulting for closely held companies.
AREAS OF FOCUS
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
- American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Member
- Nebraska Society of Certified Public Accountants, Member
- Intuit Certified ProAdvisor, QuickBooks Advanced
- Certified Public Accountant
- BSBA in Accounting, University of Nebraska, Kearney, NE
- Community Bike Project Omaha, Past Treasurer
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