Planning for the Future: Your Business Continuity Plan
In the wake of the global pandemic, many businesses have been forced to confront that they are not as prepared as they should be for a significant disruption. Many different things can disrupt a business, from natural disasters to a global pandemic, and each requires a unique response.
What would you do if your computer system crashed, a natural disaster struck your area, or you were a victim of a cyber-attack? If you don’t have a business continuity plan in place, these disasters can quickly lead to business chaos, loss of revenue, client attrition and damage to your brand.
Creating a business continuity plan is one of the best things you can do to protect your business. It will help you identify potential risks and plan how to deal with them so that your business can quickly get back to normal during difficult times.
We will discuss what a business continuity plan is , the benefits of having one in your business, the key components of a business continuity plan, and why outsourcing your accounting and bookkeeping should be part of your BCP.
What is a business continuity plan (BCP)?
A business continuity plan is a document that provides a roadmap of how your business will continue to operate during an unexpected disruption. An unexpected disruption may include a natural disaster, cyber-attacks, power outages, global pandemic and illness or incapacitation of a key employee. The plan identifies the risks to the normal operation of the business and aims to reduce or eliminate risks where feasible. By having a plan in place, businesses can minimise the impact of an interruption on their operations and customers and protect their business.
The benefits of a continuity plan
There are many benefits to having a business continuity plan, including:
- Reduced downtime: If an incident occurs, a well-developed continuity plan can help minimise the amount of time your business is disrupted.
- Protects employee safety: In the event of an emergency, a continuity plan can help ensure that employees are safe and able to evacuate the premises if necessary.
- Protects your reputation: A continuity plan can help protect your reputation by ensuring that you can quickly resume operations and minimise customer impact.
- Reduced costs: By identifying potential risks and outlining steps to mitigate those risks, a continuity plan can help reduce the costs associated with disruptions.
- Increased customer satisfaction: A continuity plan can help ensure that your customers can still receive the products or services they need, even if there is an interruption in your operations.
- Improved communication: A continuity plan can help ensure that everyone knows what they need to do in the event of an incident.
- Peace of mind: Having a continuity plan in place can give you and your employees peace of mind, knowing that you have a well-developed plan to follow should an unexpected disruption occur.
The key components of a business continuity plan (BCP)
Within the business continuity plan, several key components need to be included, these are;
Risk assessment and management plan
This includes the risks that could potentially disrupt your business, such as natural disasters, extreme weather events, power outages, system failures, cyber-attacks and a global pandemic. This should include an assessment of the likelihood of potential disruptions, establishing the risks in order of priority, and a plan for how to mitigate the identified risks.
Business impact analysis (BIA)
The business impact analysis (BIA) will quantify the impact of the identified risks on the business’s operations. The BIA will include a list of critical business functions, the resources required to support them, and the maximum tolerable downtime for each function to avoid serious consequences. This information will determine the essential recovery strategies that need to be implemented.
Incident response plan
The incident response plan outlines the specific steps that you need to take to keep your business running should an incident occur. This includes who needs to be contacted, what needs to be done, and when. The process will generally have communication plans, recovery strategies, and an outline of roles and responsibilities.
- Communication plan
The communication plan will outline how you will communicate with employees, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders should an interruption occur. This should include who will be responsible for communicating, what channels will be used, and what information will be shared.
- Recovery strategies
This part of the plan will identify how the business will recover from a disruption. It will include information on how to get critical business functions up and running, how to obtain needed resources, and how to relocate if necessary. It will consist of information on alternate sites, backup systems, and recovery processes.
- Roles and responsibilities
This is critical in ensuring that everyone knows what they need to do in the event of an incident. Ideally, you have a response team to implement your continuity plan, and this team should be trained and prepared in advance to know what to do if an incident occurs.
Testing and maintenance Plan
A testing and maintenance plan is essential to ensure that your continuity plan is up-to-date and will work as intended. This should be done regularly and at least once a year. The testing and maintenance plan should include testing the plan itself and training employees on the plan. This can involve things like simulating power outages or running recovery drills.
Why outsourcing your bookkeeping and accounting should be part of your business continuity plan
When it comes to your business, you need to be prepared for anything. One way to do this is by outsourcing your bookkeeping and accounting, so if something does go wrong, you can be assured that your finances are being taken care of.
There are many benefits to outsourcing your bookkeeping and accounting, but here are some key reasons why it should be part of your business continuity plan:
- You can focus on running your business, which is especially important if you find yourself in the middle of a disaster. You can have peace of mind that your accounting and bookkeeping functions are under control, bills will be paid, staff will be paid, and your books will be up-to-date.
- If you lose key staff members, your outsourced bookkeeper or accountant can step in and help with the transition so that there is minimal disruption to your business.
- You can be sure that your data is being backed up and that there are procedures to keep your financial information safe.
- If you have to close your business temporarily, or if you need to relocate, your bookkeeping and accounting functions can continue to operate remotely so that you don’t have to worry about a lapse in service.
- You can be confident that you have access to experts who can provide you with the guidance and support you need during a difficult time.
Accario have qualified financial and accounting professionals ready to help you with all your bookkeeping and accounting needs
When you include Accario in your business continuity plan, not only do you protect your financials and business processes against unexpected events, but you can also save time and money, improve your business efficiency, and have access to experts to support your business to grow and succeed.
Contact us if you want to learn more about how Accario can help your business thrive. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have and tailor a solution that meets your specific needs. Let us show you how easy and stress-free bookkeeping and accounting can be!