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

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
"I focus on what we are calling CAST Highlight, which is our SaaS application portfolio analysis tool. It is an extremely lightweight tool that can integrate with pretty much any build process right now," explained Andrew Siegmund, Application Migration Specialist for CAST, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
As many know, the first generation of Cloud Management Platform (CMP) solutions were designed for managing virtual infrastructure (IaaS) and traditional applications. But that's no longer enough to satisfy evolving and complex business requirements. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, Embotics CTO, explored how next-generation CMPs ensure organizations can manage cloud-native and microservice-based application architectures, while also facilitating agile DevOps methodology. He expla...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
DevOps promotes continuous improvement through a culture of collaboration. But in real terms, how do you: Integrate activities across diverse teams and services? Make objective decisions with system-wide visibility? Use feedback loops to enable learning and improvement? With technology insights and real-world examples, in his general session at @DevOpsSummit, at 21st Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, explored how leading organizations use data-driven DevOps to clos...
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
The dynamic nature of the cloud means that change is a constant when it comes to modern cloud-based infrastructure. Delivering modern applications to end users, therefore, is a constantly shifting challenge. Delivery automation helps IT Ops teams ensure that apps are providing an optimal end user experience over hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud environments, no matter what the current state of the infrastructure is. To employ a delivery automation strategy that reflects your business rules, making r...
The past few years have brought a sea change in the way applications are architected, developed, and consumed—increasing both the complexity of testing and the business impact of software failures. How can software testing professionals keep pace with modern application delivery, given the trends that impact both architectures (cloud, microservices, and APIs) and processes (DevOps, agile, and continuous delivery)? This is where continuous testing comes in. D
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve f...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...