Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is an inexpensive, feature-rich service that allows businesses and individuals to make and receive phone calls over the Internet. Approximately 70 percent of businesses now utilize some form online communications, leading many people to speculate that conventional land lines may one day be a thing of the past. Perhaps you’re thinking of joining the masses and switching to VoIP for your accounting firm in Orange County, CA. While the advantages of doing so are many, there are also a few drawbacks to consider. Let’s take a birds-eye view of some of the pros and cons of making the switch.
- Lower costs. VoIP is by far the most cost-friendly option, especially for small businesses on tight budgets. In fact, the average business experiences an overall savings on phone service up to 45 percent with VoIP compared to conventional phone lines.
- Abundant features. Internet-based phone service opens up a world of inexpensive features to users that are either quite costly or completely unavailable on traditional land lines. From easy conference calling and video conferencing to call park, escape from queue and hold music, small businesses like accounting firms can now compete with much larger companies by making it easy for their clients to get hold of someone quickly.
- Mobile and portable. With VoIP, you basically never have to miss another call from a client because incoming calls can easily be configured to ring in on your cell phone wherever you happen to be. In addition, moving offices or locations becomes much simpler because with Internet-based phone service, there is no wired infrastructure to reconfigure. You can even keep your same phone number wherever you move.
- Dependent on Internet bandwidth, quality and speed. Although Internet phone connections and voice quality continue to improve, VoIP may still underperform with bad or slow Internet connections, especially when your office is using the Internet extensively for other things. Make sure you have high-speed service that can handle your phone calls along with other traffic.
- Dependent on power supply. Generally speaking, if your power goes out, your land lines will still work. VoIP, however, runs on electricity, so if your power goes out with VoIP, so does your phone service.
- Limitations with Emergency Calls. Not all VoIP carriers offer 911 services, and for those that do, location information may be limited or inaccurate. (Here’s where the mobility factor can work against you. Land lines are tied to a specific, traceable location; Internet phone service is not.)
- Security concerns. Since VoIP operates over the Internet, it may be vulnerable to the same cybersecurity threats as the Internet itself. Make sure you have a robust security system in place to protect your clients’ personal information online as well as to keep client calls from being intercepted or recorded.
Not sure whether VoIP is the right solution for your accounting firm? We can provide more information to help you make an informed decision. Give NetServ a call at 1-877-NetServ.