Around the world things happen. A bad wind can blow through your law firm or accounting firm. Daily there are reports of people and regions around the world devastated by unforeseen unpredictable events – natural disasters, fires, storms, floods and earthquakes, along with man made disasters of cyber attack, terror attacks and/or power outages. Accounting and Law firms cannot afford to take a “wait and see” attitude to this reality. The crippling business implications are potential loss of income and clients, malpractice liability exposure and worse. Every day that a business cannot recover from a disaster increases the damage to the firm and lessens the chances that the firm will survive.
Is your firm prepared?
Firms know they need a disaster recovery plan, but don’t have one. Even if your firm has started emergency planning procedures, but how can you be certain it is comprehensive enough or that you are not overlooking important functions? Without an effective plan, your firm is at risk. An action plan and checklist in emergency planning and disaster recovery is key.
One place to start is a template created by Barry Jackson, CPA, CLM:
There are much more detailed guides in the market place, but this template can be a good place to start.
A good disaster recovery process identifies vital files, documents (hard copy and electronic) and information necessary for a firm to continue in case of a disaster or emergency. Knowledge of your physical layout is critical for evacuating personnel, retrieval of important documents and equipment. A detailed floor plan helps with this and aids in the restoration of services and in the planning to repair or rebuild.
Not planning ahead for unforeseen events could jeopardize your firm’s practice and open yourself up to malpractice claims and disciplinary actions. As part of the disaster recovery process it is important to have insurance in place that can help with the financial burdens that come with the disaster. L Squared Insurance Agency can help with this part of the disaster plan by providing Insurance tailored to meet the needs of law firms and accounting firms. The insurance needed as part of your disaster plan should include:
1. Business Insurance that includes not only physical damage protection, but business interruption insurance.
2. Flood Insurance where appropriate
3. Attorney or Accountant Malpractice Insurance that can respond to practice issues created by the disaster.
4. Cyber Insurance that responses to cyber-attacks and hacking, with both 1st and 3rd party coverages.
5. Workers Compensation Insurance for your employees in case of injury or death due to a disaster.