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Many businesses were teleconferencing before COVID-19. After all, meeting virtually saves both you and your client time, and busy business owners often don’t want to spend the time to make a trip to your office. The coronavirus has hastened the move to e-accounting, but this approach presents some new problems, which we’ll address in this article.
First, let’s consider speed. You may have a promised internet speed such as “up to 15 Mbps.” But internet connection speed, which impacts your experience, reflects bandwidth and latency. Bandwidth is the amount of data transferred per second, whereas latency is how long it takes for that data to get from source to destination. You need both to be good to be able to handle many video calls at once. Yet a lot of consumer-grade hardware is not built for several of your staff to be on the same call with a client.
Tip: Switch to a business-grade router. Optimize its settings to ensure security from bandwidth leeches and improve signal strength.
Quality of Service
Large downloads can also impact your connection with a client or team member. If you’re on a video call and someone else in the office downloads a large file, your call could lag or drop. Likewise, if you’re working from home during a conference call and your teen is playing Grand Theft Auto, that could also cause issues.
Tip: Use smart networking hardware. You can rank the activities your business values more to improve Quality of Service (e.g. configuring video conferencing to take data preference ahead of file downloads).
Security and Privacy
With virtual communication, you need to be aware of security and privacy issues. Accountants have to consider compliance with regulations, too. Before jumping on an online call with a client, research the teleconferencing app, not only how it secures the call communication but also what it does with the data collected. Encryption is standard, but end-to-end encryption is the highest level available to you.
Tip: Depending on the app, there may be security options you are not using. They are not set up by default because they can make the software more difficult to use. Still, if security and privacy are a priority, you’ll want to make those changes.
Not all internet service providers (ISPs) are equal. Some ISPs, and the modems or routers they supply, may not be up to the task for your business.
Partner with a managed service provider (MSP) to identify the best options for your firm. Perhaps high-quality internet isn’t available in your area. We can help you find a good wireless option. If the internet is unreliable, we can set up failover options to switch your traffic to 4G when necessary.
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