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Case Study: Adam and Scott, CPAs, Denver

Background:

Adam and Scott are Denver-based CPAs that provide accountancy and taxation services to small and medium businesses in areas such as tourism, retail, MICE events, and beverage distribution. They handle book keeping and tax preparation for 82 companies and around 540 individuals; their full-time staff consists of two junior accountants, while the bookkeepers work from home. Adam and Scott also hire short term staff for about 6 weeks – for data entry and form filling – during the tax season.

The setup of the CPA firm was as below:

  • Software – QuickBooks, Drake, Sage 50 and Intuit; MS Office Suite; Browsers with add-ons
  • Hardware – 2 PCs with Core i5 processors and dual monitors (for the firm partners)
  • 2 PCs with Core 2 Duo processors and 17-inch single screens (for junior accountants)
  • 8-10 older Pentium home PCs used by the bookkeepers

Keeping up with the hardware upgrades for all the PCs in the office and laptops was one of the toughest challenges for these CPAs. In fact, they had been trying to catch up on PC upgrades every 2-3 years and finding it difficult to offset the IT spends.

Challenges Faced by Adam and Scott:

  • Software keeps becoming more powerful and therefore resource-hungry
  • The OS of the hardware needing frequent updates, service packs, and patches
  • Tax season resource spike – additional PCs/laptops needed for two months
  • Additional Office space, along with all the logistics for the seasonal staff
  • Reliability of the hardware and licensing of the OS software for short term
  • Data security and meeting the compliance standards of the industry
  • Data backups to mitigate hard-disk crash and loss of data/man-hours of work

Having a full-fledged internal IT team to handle the updates, patches, regular data backups, and disaster recovery meant spending considerable sums of money. And even to think of things like multiple redundancy was a luxury for them.

How Apps4Rent Made the Difference

Adam and Scott were referred by one of their customers to Apps4Rent and signing up for a few virtual desktops was their turning point. The CPAs discovered that they could practically do everything on the virtual desktops from wherever they were, using a PC, Laptop, Tablet, or even a Smartphone. The virtual desktops made all their accounting/tax software like QuickBooks, Drake, Sage 50 and Intuit available online. Besides they could also access all their documents, time and billing system, and everything else from anywhere. Residing on the cloud, the virtual desktops worked perfectly fine and turned out to be robust, secure, and extremely easy to use via a browser.

Benefits of Virtual Desktops for Accounting/Tax

  • RAM (Burstable to 20 GB) and vCPU (2.2 GHz) is more than sufficient
  • All OS service packs, updates, and patches taken care of automatically
  • No long-term contract, pay-as-you-go basis – ideal for tax season demands
  • Work from anywhere on the same desktop software, no office space needed
  • Guaranteed 99.9% uptime, housed in SSAE16 Type II datacenters in US
  • AICPA compliant, infrastructure secured by CISCO ASAs with IPS enablement
  • Automatic, regular data backup that is available on demand for recovery

 

The CPAs acknowledge Apps4Rent’s 24 x 7 x 365 tech support from experts on phone, live chat, and email as the biggest help. The support team was knowledgeable on how the accounting software worked and behaved across the different devices and could guide through most of the issues in a matter of minutes. And it was available round-the-clock, manned by people who knew the demands of accounting and tax profession.

There were several other factors that Adam and Scott found impressive – Office 365 ProPlus was a great experience, with all the familiar Office applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook behaving in the same exact way they were used to. Also, they now had 1 TB of safe and secure Cloud storage space on OneDrive for Business for their every user.

Moreover, there were no downloads required to run their accounting/tax applications, the data was persistent across devices used, and they could access their whole workspace digitally in a totally seamless manner. The CPAs also discovered that they could further save costs by adding multiple users to the same desktop who could access the virtual desktops simultaneously; new users could be created in minutes and be up and running fully. Today, their experience is best summed up in the words of Scott, “Wish we had done this earlier….”

Apps4Rent is a Tier-1 Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider as well as a Microsoft Partner with Gold certification. We have been supporting 10,000+ businesses from over 50 countries – from Fortune 500 corporations to SMBs – with hosted technologies for more than a decade.

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