Rainmaker NetworksCase Studies

Accounting / CPA Firms

In addition to the need for general IT support for servers, workstations, software, site-to-site connectivity, and infrastructure, accounting firms often need some special considerations. A few of these unique needs we have engaged for accounting firms are mentioned below.

Like many professions, Accounting long ago left behind pencil and paper. Computers carry the load of storing data and crunching the numbers. Many accounting firms support small businesses who themselves use Quickbooks or Peachtree on a daily basis to manage their own customer accounts. The accountant occassionally reviews the data and makes recommendations, offers tax considerations, and prepares tax forms for things such as sales tax reports, workman's comp payments, and payroll in some cases. Some accountants have customers on larger systems such as Great Plains, BusinessWorks, MAS90, or some other commercial heavy-duty product. Whatever your mix of tools, we can keep your services to your customers flowing smoothly.

A few accountants are engaged in services to industries that do not easily lend themselves to the general-purpose products mentioned above. In these circumstances, we often find that the accounting firm is using a package that was developed either internally or as a custom package by a third party. Such tools are generally based in a database product such as MS Access, SQL, or FoxPro. We help these customers analyze their
custom tools to identify limitations that are hindering productivity. We then work together to develop and deploy improvements to these existing tools, or perhaps replace them with more modern and more integrated custom tools. Custom software can be extremely powerful because it can be made to do absolutely anything that you need to support your processes, but if not kept current it can become a heavy burden. Is your custom software hindering your progress?

No matter what tools are being used, we have found that many accounting firms are able to greatly improve efficiency by having a streamlined way to access their customers' networks directly. Remote access lets bookkeeping and analytical tasks be performed directly and seamlessly without having to deal with the pain of moving files back and forth via thumbdrive, email, wheelbarrow, or any other manual method. If you or your customers have never tried it, let us show you the advantages for both of you. If you have considered it but been leery of it due to security concerns, let us show you how those concerns can be easily and thoroughly mitigated.

The nature of accounting inherently includes access to sensitive data. In an age where information is power for good guys and bad guys alike, protection measures are a must, and all the more important when the sensitivity of the data is high. Imagine the difficulty you would have if your customers' data were compromised in some way while it was in your custody. Do you have the right protections in place in order to substantiate that you took reasonable precautions to protect your customers data? There are accepted best-practices that govern such matters. A process and technical review should be periodically performed to keep you legally protected.

The accounting industry often brings a unique need to the table for cloud-based computing. A cloud-based server can be established for the firms' customers to connect to for their own accounting needs, rather than using Quickbooks or other tools on site at their own business. That secures the data, and puts it all in one place when you connect to it to do your portion of their accounting work. Of course, your customers are separated from each other completely. Refer to our discussion on cloud computing for more information or call us for more information.

Tax-time is coffee and Redbull time for most accounting firms. December to January is generally a good time to check all internal systems in preparation for the upcoming work marathon. Let us check your systems for potential weak links in your technology infrastructure. The last thing you want the first week of April is to lose two days due to a server failure that might have been prevented.

We have found historically that many businesses ask their accountants who they recommend for IT support. There are two reasons for that: 1) by definition, people trust their accountant, and 2) people know that an accountant MUST have good IT support to succeed. Our accounting firm customers have historically been a great source of referrals for us. We take referrals very seriously because in a sense we are representing you to that common customer. We will serve your customers well!