Real Life Example of a Firm Using the Cloud to Meet Hiring Needs

One benefit of using the cloud is that you don’t have to limit your search for good employees to your geographical area.  Whether it’s long-term or seasonal, it’s possible to get high-quality work done from employees thousands of miles away from your firm’s office.

For instance, I know of a firm located in a smaller Virginia town who was looking for some quality temporary employees. With an approaching 4/18 deadline, there was a high load of returns still needing to be processed.  The managing partner reached out to AccountingFly, a great resource for finding accountants to hire all over the country, and was able to find two remote employees who happened to live in California.  Both seemed to have great experience, and both were looking for a little extra work.

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The undifferentiated heavy lifting that threatens your firm’s growth

Each year, we speak to thousands of accounting firms from all across the country about Cloud and its relevance to creating operating efficiencies. In fact, our very own Roman Kepczyk specializes in using the Lean Six Sigma process to help firms squeeze out every last ounce of productivity by streamlining their tax, audit, and administrative workflows.

One of the core tenants of the Lean Six Sigma process is to eliminate waste, or unproductive cycles, in a process. In 2006, Jeff Bezos proposed that businesses spend 70% of their time, energy, and dollars on undifferentiated heavy lifting and only 30% on true differentiated value creation. Nowhere is this more present in than in the realm of managing the technology life cycle. Every 3-4 years, your peers replace technology that was functionally working — although it may be deemed end-of-life by the manufacturer — with another black box that essentially does exactly the same job. The replacement may be marginally better or faster, but rarely does it add revenue, better enable you to deliver

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Roy’s Ramblings: Cloud Enables Growth & Scale

If your firm is going through or preparing for a merger/acquisition, this short 2-minute video applies to you.  If your firm is interested in retaining key employees with the incentive of working from home and/or not having to quit the firm if their spouse is relocating, etc., this video is for you.

Several CPA firms often find themselves stuck in the same IT routine, replacing their core IT systems every few years without adding value.  In the Xcentric Cloud, you don’t have to do stay in that routine.  Watch this quick video to find out how to become more scalable and add more value to your firm.

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Building Your Firm’s Technology (Vendor) Team

Designing and implementing a high-quality network that supports the needs of a CPA firm is not a simple task. Unfortunately, as technology progresses, what has always been a difficult task is only becoming more complex. On a positive note, the opportunities for CPA firms to take advantage of different and new technologies has grown drastically and those opportunities will only continue to increase. Looking forward, technology companies will continue to create new applications and services that will allow CPA firms to better serve their clients. This continuing growth and development of the relationship between IT providers and the accounting industry creates both opportunities and challenges for IT decision makers.

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CRITICAL SECURITY ALERT: Exercise extreme care when opening email links or attachments

You may have seen recent news regarding the WannaCry ransomware virus. This virus is expected to have significant impact in the coming days.

Protect your data by:

Avoid clicking on links or opening attachments or emails from people you don’t know or companies you don’t do business with
Ensure you have smart screen (in Internet Explorer) turned on, which helps identify reported phishing and malware websites and helps you make informed decisions about downloads
Ensure that the pop-up blocker is running on your web browser
If you save documents to your local computer, regularly backup your important files. For those clients who do not use Xcentric Managed Security Services:

Make sure your Windows Operating System is up-to-date
Make sure your Windows Server Operating Systems are up-to-date

Xcentric has performed the necessary updates to Xcentric Cloud-based servers and all of workstations managed under the Managed Security Services (aka. Managed Workstation Service).

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Stop Turning Wrenches, Turn Up Value

How will you show your value to your firm as an IT person?

Keeping the servers going?  Making sure the backups are working? How about making sure you are legal on licensing?

All of these things are important but are they valued or commoditized? We both know the answer to this but unfortunately it’s those things that take up most of your time.

How about engaging various technology vendors to save 8% on your IT budget? What about rolling out a learning management system to better facilitate training and CPE tracking?  What about connecting siloed data via APIs or figuring out a better way to get reports out of your practice system? 

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Beware Technology “Gotchas” in M&A

Merger discussions kick into high gear each summer as partners look to expand their practice reach, combine well-suited practices, discuss new service opportunities, and address succession and retirement issues.  Often, these discussions focus on tax and assurance practice compatibility from a financial and cultural perspective, and while Information Technology is touched upon, the lack of IT knowledge often has the negotiators defaulting IT issues to a later time.  Unfortunately, many firms have found out that there are a variety of IT “gotchas” that can result in major headaches with hidden financial consequences after the deal is closed.  Below we share a number of technology surprises that firms should look out for before the M&A celebrations start.

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Xcentric Is #4 on the 2017 Top 100 Vertical Market MSPs List

Xcentric has made it on ChannelE2E’s Top 100 Vertical Market MSPs List again, but this time, we’re in the top 5!

This list is comprised of top 100 managed services providers (MSPs) in healthcare, government, financial services, manufacturing and other vertical markets. The rankings are based on ChannelE2E’s Q1 2017 readership survey results.

We are ecstatic to Xcentric at #4 on this list. We couldn’t have done it without the support of all of our amazing clients!

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Xcentric Completes Another SOC Audit

We have completed our SOC audit for this year, verifying our adherence to security standards and policies. We’re excited to have achieved a favorable report from the auditor.

“Maintaining an environment that can withstand the scrutiny of a SOC2 audit each year is a formidable task shared by every team member at Xcentric and one we take very seriously. Enough so that we have a third-party review and strengthen our policies and audit how effectively we manage to them. I’m pleased to say that we have completed another annual SOC audit successfully, and it’s very gratifying to see the validation of the hard work and diligence of the Xcentric team in following our controls.” – Bob Cross, Director of Technology

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