Magazine article The CPA Journal

The "How To" of Creating a Disaster Recovery Plan

Magazine article The CPA Journal

The "How To" of Creating a Disaster Recovery Plan

Article excerpt

A comprehensive disaster recovery plan should be designed by the CPA consultant to respond to the worst case scenario; the total loss of a company's entire facility. Documenting the mission critical functions of a company will enable many of the vital components to be reestablished relatively quickly at an alternate site, thereby reducing business interruption and its consequences.

Design Step

1. Define mission critical company functions and establish a hierarchy of operational importance.

2. List mission critical personnel and their job functions.

3. List equipment needs of critical personnel.

4. Determine a site relocation contingency.

5. Establish a recovery event task list.

6. Document current computer data backup methods and frequencies.

7. Identify those hard copy documents which are vital to the company and not able to be re created electronically, such as files, contracts, financial data, etc.

8. Identify mission critical items vital to company operations which would be required in the event of a disaster emergency.

9. Form an internal emergency response ("crisis-) committee with employees assigned to specific crisis functions.

10. Create a crisis management "media kit."

11. Create a systematic schedule for updating the plan. Role of the CPA Consultant

This step allows the CPA consultant to prepare the company to implement the orderly reestablishment of critical operations which will help to reduce the impact of business interruption on cash flow, e.g., MIS, accounting, production, marketing, sales, etc.

Based upon the critical functions identified in Step 1, the CPA consultant must guide managers and department heads in determining which personnel function must be reestablished immediately, which could be phased in over time, and which could be excluded in a crisis. …

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