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How Law Firms And Accounting Practices Can Plan For A Crisis

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How Law Firms And Accounting Practices Can Plan For A Crisis

There are emergencies business owners can plan for and others cannot be planned for but will critically impact a business and its long-term viability. We have put together this information on how law firms and accounting practices can plan for a crisis is crucial for recovery following a disaster is our focus.

Law practices, accounting firms and medical office managers understand crises arise. If you haven’t proactively planned for an emergency situation, your business may never recover. Emergencies include: fire, IT failure, flood, power outage, restricted office access or the coronavirus pandemic.

Business owners who do not have a crisis management plan may never reopen their doors. If a business is struck by a ransomware attack the average cost to that business is $200,000. Your business may never recover and have to shutter its doors forever.

Crisis management requires you to ask:

“How much can my business afford to lose,” and how can we recover is not usually a question lawyers, accountants, and medical office managers ask, but they should. Your BCDR provides peace of mind. If a crisis strikes any business transitions can be smooth and cause less worry. The COVID-19 situation could have been prepared for in BCDR. The BCDR would have spelled out step-by-step strategies for changes brought about by social distancing mandates.  

How Law Firms And Accounting Practices Can Plan For A Crisis

IT solutions and BCDR experts at WareGeeks Solutions in Roselle, NJ save clients time, money, and offer peace of mind.

Disasters have a devastating impact on day-to-day operations and also make it difficult or impossible to carry out daily client activities. If your practice doesn’t have a crisis management plan in place you face losing clients or going out of business, now is the time to work with us to design and implement a BCDR plan for your business.

WareGeeks Solutions’ BCDR and crisis management experts minimize impacts of disasters for our clients and helps you be proactive, identify potential risks and react during a disaster.

Business owners we consult with realize lack of planning means the business is facing its own internal disaster.

What goes into the preparation of a crisis management plan?

  1. Identifying potential disasters and how they might impact your business.
  2. Planning for a remote workforce was not something many law practices and accounting firms were prepared for and they were left scrambling.
  3. Minimizing the risk during a disaster like coronavirus and the shut down required many business owners to go from in-office staff to work-from-home staff. A BCDR would have had a strategy for a smooth transition. The plan could have included protecting company data, equipping employees for success and instructing IT personnel on their duties in the employee shift and potential cyber risks.
  4. Put point people in place for specific areas of the crisis management plan. These individuals will implement necessary actions for business continuity.

Having a BCDR assures your clients that you are effectively addressing the crisis situation and protecting their data.

Reaching out to clients to assure them there will be minimal impact to the service you provide. Proactive conversations strengthen put a client’s mind at ease (and should be part of the crisis management plan.) Law firms and accounting practices can plan for a crisis by being proactive.

Law firm, medical and accounting practice BCDRs include strategies addressing key business functions. There are functions that need to be immediately addressed to get the business back up and running and the BCDR names point people to carry out tasks.

The first hour after the disaster is the most important time in minimizing the impact on the business and its recovery.

Here are disasters and emergency situatons we cover during BCDR preparation:

  1. Theft. If your office is vandalized and computer equipment is stolen or damaged, it is a major cost and this could lead to theft of data.
  2. Natural disasters. These include external disasters like fire, or flood or a disaster that includes a burst pipe in the office that damages equipment.
  3. How will your business recover from a loss of power, especially if you don’t have a back-up power source and where can it relocate to continue business operations?  
  4. IT system failures. IT disasters can be caused by cyberattacks, ransomware attacks or a system-wide computer virus.
  5. No access to your office. Restricted access, or no access to your business compromises your business operations. How will you and your staff function if you can’t access your workplace and workstations?
  6. Loss of key staff. How much do you rely on a single person in your office to manage critical office operations? What happens if that person becomes ill or simply leaves the business with no notice? Who will pick up the tasks that key person managed? Your BCDR will address this issue.
  7. Disease outbreak (the COVID-19 pandemic), a crisis that impacts your clients, a terrorist attack, crisis impacting your suppliers (do you have an alternative source?), a crisis that negatively impacts your business reputation.

This is a broad, almost all-encompassing list of potential disasters that could impact a law firm, accounting practice or medical office. There are disasters that are unique particular industries that are analyzed and strategized during the preparation of its crisis management plan.

During the development of the BCDR for your firm we will discuss:

  1. The likelihood of a particular disaster impacting your business
  2. The potential frequency of that disaster
  3. The potential cost of a specific disaster

We will discuss “worst case” scenarios, how they could potentially devastate your business. Putting strategies in place help you more calmly navigate it and protect your business.

Let’s look at some of the disasters we listed. Stolen or damaged company equipment or computers could hinder daily operations. What happens if you need to work off-site and can’t access computer equipment? The BCDR addresses that.

If staff had to relocate where would they go? Is the site you’ve selected for your relocation available to accommodate your staff? Don’t be caught unaware in the midst of a crisis that your “new address” is not available.

Minimizing the potential impact of a disaster is the key component of a robust BCDR.  

  1. Identify risks
  2. Take steps to protect your business against them
  3. Implement recovery activities

In the second part of this two part series we will discuss the preparation of your firm’s crisis management plan.

Contact WareGeeks Solutions today to schedule a review of your BCDR.

WareGeeks Solutions help organizations transform technology, operations and service delivery to meet business challenges. We first seek to understand your business needs. Then we apply our in-depth knowledge of Data Protection, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) during the BCDR planning and we discuss Cyber Security whether in the cloud or your data center environments. The end result is a draft roadmap for your recovery after a crisis.

Check out this article about how it’s not too implement a B.C.D.R. plan.

Click here to schedule a consultation with one of our business continuity and disaster recovery experts.

WareGeeks Solutions has an article library for attorneys, law firms, accountants, medical practices and others. We write about cybersecurity, BCDR, password protection and online shopping security measures. 

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