Accounting Firms Prosper When We Specialize

Loosely (very loosely) quoting from "Wealth of Nations," Adam Smith taught us that economies prosper when people specialize.  It is in that point of view that we're going to focus on this week.

What are the economics of our firms; our primary inputs?  It is our minds, and those of our staff.  We use technology, and many pixels - and many more pixels - have and will be bent to the use of technology in our firms.  But what about some of the older tech?

I am old enough to remember the first widespread use of desktop computers in our offices.  Those clunky machines with their bulky cathode ray tubes spilling out green text on tiny screens heralded a new era.  Soon we'd be paperless! (Good thing we didn't hold our breath while we waited...)

Soon after the first PCs invaded our space - how would we fit 13 column paper on our desks now? - we gave up part of our closet for an even bigger and clunkier thing called a "Server".

Later we created a dedicated space for this server with its own air conditioning unit, battery backup, and lock.

Now, so many years later, that machine itself is starting to go the way of 13 column paper.  

For your consideration, what does it really cost - in terms of time and money - to keep a Server in your office?  You must account for electricity, give up square footage, get a lock for the server room, invest in battery backups - AND - ensure that it is patched and secure at all times from an endlessly evolving menu of threats from both incompetent and dishonest actors...phew, and that's the short list.

Now, proving that even 200+ years later, the Father of Economics is still taking us to school, there are companies that specialize in managing servers for you.  My brother is phasing out our old locally based server, having moved most of our current operations and files to a professionally managed cloud-based server.  

We don't have to worry about backups, power failures, break-ins, updates, or any of that.  The firm that hosts our cloud based server takes care of that for us.  We use the newly freed up time to build our business and serve our clients.

In terms of a carrot and stick thought process, the stick is the security risk of managing an on-site server.  The carrot is that you can turn your IT time back into billable hours.

Go forth, specialize, and prosper!

Tech TipsJonathan Rivlin