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Cloud Computing: Blog Post

The Cloud Journey of Chicagoland CPAs

The cloud is where the future is - if you want to be a part of the future, you need to embrace it

First, please tell us something about your company

Dario C. Zanichelli, CPA, CGMA, Owner/President: Chicagoland CPAs is a group of certified public accountants. We provide tax, financial management, and accounting solutions for small businesses, individuals, and corporations in Chicago and the surrounding area. We provide superior services for all our clients by remaining up-to-date with all accounting tax laws in Chicago, IL and abroad that can impact your business. Our firm takes an active interest in efficient financial management of your business.

 

How big is your company, and are you accepting new tax clients for 2018?

Zanichelli:  We are a boutique company, with a combination of full-time CPAs and subcontractors. We are growing and accepting new clients.

 

When did you move to the cloud and how did this workout for you?

Zanichelli: We decided to move to the cloud four years ago, in 2013. There were some growing pains in moving to the cloud, like there are to anything else, but there were definitely more upsides than downsides. The cloud allows us to login from anywhere, at anytime, on any device. That flexibility is something we really appreciate. Mobility is also a big thing. We provide devices to our team members, but sometimes they use their own mobile devices and it allows them to work from anywhere and at anytime with any device.

 

How do you leverage technology and embrace mobility to improve your client’s service?

Zanichelli: We have 24/7 real-time access to our clients’ tax information. There are no more transfers of Quickbook files and I don’t have to login only when the client is free - their data is always available when we need it.

 

What does Chicagoland CPAs do for their clients?

Zanichelli: We are geared toward tax planning and making sure to reduce our clients’ tax liabilities, so they don’t overpay taxes. We try to be really comprehensive with our services. We want to bring our clients value, we want to be proactive, and we want to give business advice to help grow their businesses.

 

Do you also provide IT Solutions to your clients?

Zanichelli: We do, we offer technical support with everything from Quickbooks to virtual desktops.

 

Do you have any advice for other CPAs thinking about switching to the cloud?

Zanichelli: The cloud is where the future is at, so if you want to be a part of the future, you need to embrace it, not deny it.

 

Have you had any push back from clients regarding your use of the cloud?

Zanichelli: Yes, we got some push back from clients, but when we explained it all to them they usually change their opinion of it. We let them know that it is bank level security, and that there is encryption and passwords required to get to their information. You are just as protected with us as you are with online banking. I would actually go as far as to say that the old school way of snail mail is less secure. People can take important papers right out of your mailbox and you would never even know it.

 

What were your strategic IT requirements? What problem did you need to solve?

Zanichelli: We needed our cloud provider to work in a multi-screen environment, play well with apps, redundancy and backup, work with our local desktop, and most importantly work well with other cloud environments. Nerdio was the only system we found that checked all of those boxes.

 

What alternative solutions had you considered?

Zanichelli: We went through three other cloud solutions before we settled on Nerdio. Neither of the other solutions offered everything that Nerdio offered. One didn’t work well with other cloud services, which made things really difficult, to the point where working with client solutions was impossible. The other had serious limitations with speed, and didn’t offer a high-speed virtual desktop, which was a big selling point for Nerdio. Nerdio’s desktops in the cloud are simply so much faster!

 

How long have you been using Nerdio?

Zanichelli: We started on the Nerdio program in 2015 and we are very happy with it. We’ll definitely continue.

 

What led you to choose Nerdio?

Zanichelli: Nerdio was specifically recommended to us by our IT consultant. We ultimately decided to go with them because not only is the server in the cloud, but the entire IT environment including the desktops are in the cloud, so it works very fast. It is all up in the cloud, so everything is virtual which is nice for a smaller, boutique companies like ourselves.

 

What Nerdio services are especially important to your company?

Zanichelli: I think the most important part of the Nerdio service for our company is the desktop in the cloud. It means that we can work from anywhere without sacrificing speed and it’s really something we didn’t find with any of the other cloud services we researched.

 

How was the switch from your prior cloud provider to Nerdio?

Zanichelli: It was so easy. We were offline for maybe 4 hours to a half a day tops. Nerdio helped with the entire implementation and we’re very hands on. They backed up our entire previous cloud environment, uploaded it to Nerdio, set it all up, and that was it!

 

What is your overall assessment of Nerdio?

Zanichelli: Overall we are really happy with everything we have experienced with Nerdio.

 

What’s the next big thing in accounting?

Zanichelli: I think Artificial Intelligence is the next big thing. Along with Bitcoin and BlockChain.  I’m very interested to see how it might be integrated into consulting, and if automated accountants become a big thing. It is something I have been following closely.  I really think more of the accounting will be automated and accountants will become more like consultants. Now I don’t know if this is five years away, 10 years away, or 20 years away, but it is definitely something I foresee in the future. I also predict that there will be an even bigger push to outsource CFOs services.  If there is a shortage of personal, and business owners have to outsource and contract CFOs, I feel CPAs are the natural stop for that.

More Stories By Xenia von Wedel

Xenia von Wedel is a Tech blogger and Enterprise Media Consultant in Silicon Valley and Paris, serving clients in a variety of industries worldwide. She is focused on thought leadership content creation and syndication, media outreach and strategy. She mainly writes about Blockchain, Enterprise, B2B solutions, social media and open source software, but throws the occasional oddball into the mix. Tip her if you like her articles: http://xeniar.tip.me