Aamir Raza is a delivery project expert and IT Consultant at Ram Associates, a large tax, accounting, and management firm with offices in Hamilton and Southfield, N.J., and in California. Led by founder and CEO P.K. Ram, the firm has more than 18,000 clients and 30+ years’ experience serving clients in finance, healthcare, manufacturing, trading, and technology. The firm also offers outsourced CFO services, SOC audit, and cross border taxation.
Even though filing returns for tax year 2019 was like no other due to the volatility of COVID-19 and the filing deadline of July 15, nothing shines a harsh light on a firm’s issues as much as a busy season, when a deluge of work makes it clear to tax professionals how their technology is failing them.
Looking for an answer and taking a chance
With the firm’s multi-site offices using ProSeries®, Aamir needed a way to get his work done without time lags or connectivity issues. Even though the firm used a Microsoft Azure cloud server that worked well for QuickBooks and several other accounting and tax applications, the capability was just too slow to handle the speed required for ProSeries. Taking a leap of faith during the busiest time of the year – and when the firm thought returns were due by April 15 – the firm migrated to Hosting for ProSeries.
Before making the change, Aamir said employees had to wait close to half an hour just to launch an application on the previous server, a time lag that could not be tolerated during busy season, let alone any other time of the year.
“Performance was a big problem, and we had no idea why it was so slow,” he says. “Many employees suffered long lag times to switch screens and weren’t able to e-file. There were issues every day, and I was on a hot seat while handling the situation. Time was ticking with no productivity, and I was spending most of my time tweaking the application to get it to run smoothly.”
As problems with speed and accessibility continued, Aamir researched alternative hosting platforms and solutions. “There was nothing available to meet my expectations,” he says. “A few hosting companies tried their best by widening the platform and applying their own solution to it, but that failed.”
Aamir says Ram Associates was “spending excessively” on Azure – some $6,500 a month. That’s when he and the firm decided to migrate to a new hosting platform.
Hosting for ProSeries came to the rescue.
“Eventually, we approached Intuit® and Right Networks and found out they had a precise hosting solution for ProSeries,” says Aamir. “After walking through a demo, I saw the benefits of a specific platform offered and supported by Intuit.”
Aamir reports that onboarding with Intuit was super fast, and setting up everything was easy. “Even the application installation from the back-end portal was easy,” he said.
“It took just a day to arrange and migrate data, and by early March, we were ready to go. We want to recommend people use Hosting for ProSeries because you don’t have to spend money on your own cloud server and workflow is seamless.”
Happier staff – just in time
As performance went up, so did staff spirits. Ram Associates’ employees across the world connected their tax software files through Hosting for ProSeries. The staff was very happy, says Aamir, because performance was instantly optimized, escalations declined, and lag time disappeared.
“There’s no problem with the application! That’s why the performance is optimized, and to add to the benefits, there were no compatibility issues or crashes. Intuit has done its research to develop a hosting service that truly works.”
A few weeks after Aamir got Hosting for ProSeries up and running, something else happened to impact the busy season: COVID-19.
But, says Aamir, thanks to Hosting for ProSeries, the staff was able to transition to working from home without missing a beat.
“As the pandemic closed in around the world, the staff were able to easily transition to work from home,” he says. “They were able to have the same level of connectivity as they were used to at office, and could still get work done faster and more efficiently. “As long as they had fast internet bandwidth, no one felt any difference than working in the office.
Eyes ahead to future challenges
Ram Associates looks forward to annual enhancements and additions to ProSeries, and is confident that Hosting for ProSeries won’t be affected, no matter what kinds of features are added.
“I really recommend Hosting for ProSeries – I give it five stars!”
More about Hosting for ProSeries and Lacerte®
With Hosting for ProSeries and Lacerte offered by Intuit in partnership with Right Networks, anyone in a firm can collaborate and work from the same data at the same time through multi-user access, bringing together ProSeries or Lacerte, QuickBooks® Online, and other critical business applications in the same cloud environment. Hosting also includes unlimited tax data storage, with no additional installations, servers, maintenance, or backups. Personalized training helps professionals get started.