Cloud System Helped Jillian To Not Lose One Client After A Fire
In 2013, Jillian Stanford got a late-night telephone call from first responders with bad news: The building that housed her office was on fire. A 30-minute drive later, she found a chaotic scene as firetrucks were fighting a blaze that damaged the left side of the three-story building.
Her first thought is "I'm on the lower level and I hope I am spared.", said Stanford.
But Stanford, a financial planner, soon learned that smoke from the fire had badly damaged her office even it was spared fire and water damage.
A day later, Stanford and her two employees surveyed the aftermath, donning face masks to ward off fumes and picking irreplaceable items, such as personal keepsakes and critical files, out of the wreckage. Stanford loaded her computer, server and cherished photos onto an office chair and wheeled it outside.
Ten months later, Stanford' company moved back into permanent office space with its client list completely intact. During that time, however, she realized that her preparations, while substantial, weren't enough, and today she counsels colleagues to treat their disaster recovery plan as a serious exercise rather than an annoying bureaucratic requirement.
Stanford didn't have a written plan before the fire, though she wasn't completely unprepared. She could have done more by digitizing her files, backing them up on tape drives and taking them off-site on a regular basis.
"I'm not a techie, but looking back now at the advice given to me the idea of setting up cloud solutions and a CRM [customer relationship management] system," Stanford said.
As an added precaution, she ensured her accountant received copies of her files every month. The accountant logged into Stanford' server and used QuickBooks to review and reconcile her books—and then save a backup file.
By doing that, Stanford ensured that a trusted, independent third party could provide another layer of ongoing oversight of her books. The accountant also offered suggestions to improve administrative processes and tax reporting.