Cloudvara Featured Provider in Accounting Today

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Loyalty wins

Product: Cloudvara

Firm: Daily Balance

Staff users: 6

Start date: 2012

Cost: $49 per user per month, with volume, pre-payment and nonprofit discounts

On the record: President Sydney Highley

Selection: Syd Highley was an early adopter of the concept of hosting accounting software on offsite servers. He had a professional relationship with the founder and president of Cloudvara, James Zachman, since well before Zachman founded Cloudvara in 2012. When Zachman left his previous company, which Highley was using as a cloud-hosting provider, to start his own venture, Highley went with him.

Cloudvara, unlike the previous company Highley used, had all its servers located within the United States. This gave Highley a “warm and fuzzy feeling,” knowing that if any legal, compliance or security issues were to come up, Cloudvara would, in his estimation, be subject to U.S. law. That made Highley feel more secure than having servers located offshore.

Implementation: “I didn’t have to do any of the heavy lifting,” Highley said. “Jim [Zachman] had access to all my data, so he just migrated it over and I just proceeded and carried on. I don’t even remember being down for any period of time.”

Upon the transition, Highley noticed that Cloudvara’s servers were much faster than the previous company’s.

Highlights: Highley noted that Cloudvara’s tech support, which is available 24/7, is very good. He also said that over the many years he’s worked with Cloudvara, he’s never experienced an outage. “If you can imagine all the businesses we deal with, we have responsibilities on a daily basis to our clients, so we can’t afford to be down for even half a day. Up-time with Cloudvara has been almost 100 percent.”

There was a big improvement with service when Cloudvara built a dedicated server for Highley’s practice. This made it possible to customize the server’s resources and capabilities.

Challenges: “The biggest challenges have been in the area of printing,” Highley said. “Years ago, the technology did not exist, to my knowledge, that allowed for a secure printing environment. For instance, I might print out a payroll check for someone who got terminated for my client, and a simple mistake could send it to the wrong client’s printer.” Cloudvara has now implemented a software program that prevents this from happening.

“Other times, we’ve had issues, mainly with QuickBooks software,” Highley added. “There was a time when they changed the format of their W-2 form, for instance, and it wouldn’t print correctly with the numbers showing up in the right boxes. That was a frustrating time period, but we were able to work through it and fix the situation.”

Firm growth: Highley said Cloudvara has been “pivotal, even key” to Daily Balance’s growth. “Cloudvara has competitors in the marketplace that may spend a lot more money in advertising and marketing than it does, but working with Jim, someone I can trust, has provided for a very stress-free relationship. It’s also allowed us to onboard clients very quickly.”

Cloudvara has also enabled Daily Balance’s staff to work almost 100 percent remotely, only coming in during tax season to meet with clients.

“It’s allowed us to deploy our business model and be successful,” Highley concluded.