Enabling the Enablers:
Equipping a Network of Remote Working CPAs at Taxfyle

Intro:

A big draw of cloud infrastructure is the ability to spin up deployments with the press of a button, promising firms instant relief from drastic seasonal changes in demand. Businesses appreciate flexibility and predictability with major IT initiatives, and Taxfyle is no exception.

Taxfyle, based in Miami, Florida, offers staffing relief to accounting firms by connecting their workloads to a network of freelance CPAs hosted on their Taxfyle software platform. The on-demand gig workforce of highly trained accounting professionals is especially precious during tax season, when both local CPA firms and the Big Four alike face a spike in demand.

Challenge:

Taxfyle provides the next evolution of a traditional marketplace, and, to truly eliminate the middleman of contractor firms, it needs to be.

It is up to Taxfyle to ensure its professionals are credentialed, authorized, and ready to work. It is Taxfyle who must route each given assignment to the right professional, given the scope and deadline requirements of a particular job. And it is Taxfyle that must be able to quote, instantly, a competitive and clear rate for every assignment; an enormous convenience that circumvents negotiation. Considering that firms often submit thousands of assignments if needed, skill matching and job routing proves to be no simple task for a large agency, much less pure software.

There is also the matter of encryption and security so that an individual consumer (who may also post their tax needs as jobs) and a risk-averse large accounting firm can both feel comfortable sharing sensitive documents and communicating with the on-demand professionals. Taxfyle embraces pairing jobs (and their posters) with individuals to tackle them to enable frictionless collaboration.

But how does Taxfyle ensure that the gig workforce has all the tools for the job? The tax code is complex, and there are several leading tax preparation options used by CPA firms in the industry.  Not all of these tax preparation applications are meant for seamless SaaS delivery; many rely on legacy desktop Windows applications. This creates a tech gap. Asking firms to offer their own software to fill it would hardly be convenient and flexible, so Taxfyle’s challenge is to deliver to their CPAs a secure cloud environment containing the solution their clients require, even if that means deploying and managing legacy Windows apps at scale.

itopia allows us to quickly and simply deploy cloud desktops. This helps us maintain compliance and security while focusing on what we do best.

The Solution and Outcomes:

Taxfyle is all about mobility, ease of use, and location-independence. It would make no sense to find a Windows app delivery solution that is any different.

They knew cloud infrastructure would let them raise servers on-demand to match the server resources their CPAs would need throughout fluctuating seasonal demand. Yet cloud alone was not enough. Even with infinite compute resources, setting up a Windows remote app environment requires great knowledge and management bandwidth in the IT arm and a significant time investment on top of that. For Taxfyle, whose focus on its product is relentless, any engineering lift spent outside of the core product is seen as a distraction.

Taxfyle piloted solutions on other cloud providers, but found its requirements weren’t being met optimally. Then they learned of itopia, the Google Cloud Premier Partner for remote Windows desktops and apps. Taxfyle already trusted Google Cloud with their development and other core workloads, so it was a natural jump.

itopia’s mission is to deliver the Windows apps that CPAs need with a simple, secure and fast platform that sheds complexity and management time.

  • itopia quickly creates a complete domain inside a Google Cloud project. This eliminates the labor required to build and configure an environment manually.
  • itopia facilitates multi-user and one-to-one VM environments. For Taxfyle, whose users require dedicated machines because their software demands it, this flexibility is key. itopia autoscaling builds or destroys VMs when users enter or leave the domain. When used with dedicated VMs, the user count becomes a VM count, taking infrastructure creation totally off Taxfyle’s plate.
  • itopia simplifies creation of custom images in Google Cloud, so when CPAs need to work, they’ll find their software ready to go and any data they need stored in the right place.
  • itopia leverages Google Cloud snapshots, allowing Taxfyle to restore any VMs from a disk in minutes. Because Taxfyle needs to run 24×7, there is no time for outages.

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