“They never tried to upsell us … they looked for solutions for us, not profits for them.” The good people of Charles, Blank & Karp (CBK), a CPA firm in Encino, needed a solution to their looming IT woes. Their file server, a 2002 vintage that held clients’ most critical documents, was showing signs that it was not long for this world. When the firm’s leaders pow-wowed about how they might go forward, they talked about just getting another server. Only when they started bringing up all of the security considerations involved did they come to the conclusion that the cloud was the solution.
Like all of our clients, Jim Karp (the firm’s managing partner and CPA) found our customized approach to outfitting his firm to be a breath of fresh air. “We’re numbers people,” he says. “We live in numbers; we work with numbers; we love numbers. We also like helping people, so it’s sort of like the best of both worlds.” In that sense, accounting and IT go hand-in-hand. Behind the formulas and cold hard facts, there are people trusting in and relying on you.
When our assessment experts came by CBK’s office, we met the firm’s capable-but-overloaded IT/office administrator. “Our IT department was … Jackie,” Karp remembers with a wry smile. We discovered that CBK had just one server — it was on its last legs and had low levels of security. This isn’t to speak critically of the CBK operation — the firm has top-notch employees who can make lemonade out of whichever lemons they’re given. It just demonstrates how easy it is for a business to outgrow an infrastructure that’s been in place for many years.
Setting up the assessment was easy. Going through our thorough data migration process told Karp and their COO, Noal McDonald, everything they needed to know about working with DiamondIT: “Everyone there was willing to take the time, and to explain at whatever level you wanted to know the information,” she remembers.
I made sure that my team followed up thoroughly and that we conducted a good deal of testing to figure out CBK’s strengths and weaknesses, along with exactly what was needed to provide a network that the firm could expand into over the coming decade. This was a fully customized solution, just like the ones we provide for every other client of ours.
For Karp and McDonald’s team, we provided an always-reliable cloud server, thorough data backups, and excellent network security to protect the firm’s and its clients’ sensitive information. Says McDonald, “[We] had the safety we needed, which was always a concern of mine, plus the updates [and] backups.” On top of that, there were some days early on in which our people and theirs were working side-by-side to make sure that everyone “got it” and that the transition was smooth. We’ve found that type of follow-through really resonates with our clients.
Sleeping Well at Night With DiamondIT
Let’s fast-forward to now. The dust has settled (and the dust on the old server has been long-since swept up), and after the task of migrating everything from that old server, CBK now doesn’t have to worry about everything that might have gone wrong. Can errors still occur? Of course. But, that’s why we have data backups, security, and a team of network experts working on the firm’s side. Before, the CPAs would be sweating, worrying about how long the server would last. Would it make it to the end of the month? If the building had a power-outage, would the server come back up? As Karp says, now, “You go home, you go to bed, you sleep well at night, knowing that you have DiamondIT taking care of you.”
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being able to work hand-in-hand with CBK, from the very first introduction all the way through the process of customizing cloud solutions with the firm’s employees. It’s really quite satisfying to see how the firm has reallocated extra office space and saved labor hours now that its employees don’t have to stress about IT. “It’s [DiamondIT’s] headache, it’s not mine,” says Karp.
With CBK, as with DiamondIT, the people are the driving force. For example, I love that a new IT infrastructure allowed the firm to reconnect with an employee that a few months before had moved to Phoenix with her spouse. Suddenly, remote work was possible, and one of the firm’s most valuable assets — a trusted and beloved coworker — could be retained. To find out what you can gain, reach out to DiamondIT to discuss a potential migration with us.