SVB, risk, and what it all means for your accounting practice

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What does ‘risk’ mean to your accounting practice?

Is it the risk that clients will leave in droves, or (as sometimes/often happens) they hang around without paying what they should for services?

Perhaps money laundering and ‘dodgy’ clients is a key risk for you. Or GDPR. Or a key member of staff leaving.

I wrote a post on LinkedIn last week about SVB’s collapse and the contagion effect on other banks but, as important, its potential to leave the software industry in dire financial straits – which could have had a huge knock-on effect to practitioners.

Accountants have to understand, embrace and mitigate lots of risk. And so, while here at Advancetrack we can extol the virtues of our service, we understand very well that practices interested in working with us have big questions around the ‘risks’ associated with outsourcing and offshoring.

As an accountant myself (and founder/MD of this business), I am acutely aware of the risks that primarily concern them: business continuity; IT security; and data privacy. They almost feel like the big, first, hurdle that practice leaders to need clear before consideration is made to workflows and benefits.

For us, risk management is a fundamental to how we serve practices and, by definition, their clients. Advancetrack is certified through numerous management system and security standards. We are among the first ten organisations globally to attain the updated information security standard ISO/IEC 27001:2022 (read the new case study here). We have FAQs on GDPR and data security.

There is another layer to this. Firstly, you need to be able to sleep at night, knowing that your practice is working well, doing the right things and is sustainable. And so do we too. For us that means appreciating that ‘safe and secure’ on one day may not be exactly the same as the next day. We constantly test our systems and ways of working – and our certifications are externally audited every year.

In some ways, SVB showed the best and worst of risk management – its collapse could have perhaps been averted earlier, while the amount of software industry capital tied up in the organisation should have set alarm bells ringing. But the contagion effect has been fended off, with protocols and actions put in place post-‘Credit Crunch’.

Ultimately, there is only so much that can be controlled. From Advancetrack’s perspective, we aim as high as possible.

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