Enabling the Enablers: Equipping a Network of Remote-Working CPAs at Taxfyle
Taxfyle, based in Miami, Florida, offers staffing relief to accounting firms by allowing them to shift workloads as needed to a network of freelance CPAs hosted on their Taxfyle software platform. The on-demand workforce of accounting professionals is especially precious during tax season, when every CPA and tax preparation firm faces a massive spike in demand.
Traditional solutions are to keep an oversized roster of full-time staff during the less busy season or to hire temporary workers. The former is inefficient by default, and the latter, though more in-tune to the nature of tax season, requires an upfront cost in both time and money to onboard workers. And even beyond the cost, it requires estimating just how many more professionals will be needed.
Taxfyle’s solution is to use technology as a secure, simple medium to deliver exactly the workforce capacity that a firm needs, on demand. But what requirements are implicit with providing a “secure” and “simple” platform?
Taxfyle provides the next evolution of a traditional marketplace – one that eliminates the middleman of contractor firms. This means Taxfyle must ensure its professionals are credentialed, authorized, and ready to work. Taxfyle must route each assignment to the right professional. And Taxfyle must be able to quote instantly a competitive rate for every assignment. Considering that firms often submit thousands of assignments, skill matching and job routing is no simple task.
There is also the matter of encryption and security so an individual consumer and a risk-averse large accounting firm can both feel comfortable sharing sensitive documents and communicating with on-demand professionals. Taxfyle embraces pairing jobs with individuals to enable frictionless collaboration.
But how does Taxfyle ensure that the gig workforce has all the tools for the job? Tax code is complex, and there are several leading tax preparation options used by CPA firms in the industry. Not all tax preparation apps are meant for seamless SaaS delivery; many rely on legacy desktop Windows applications, creating a tech gap. Asking its client firms to offer their own software to fill that gap would hardly be convenient and flexible, so Taxfyle’s challenge is to deliver to their CPAs a secure cloud environment with the solution their clients require, even if that means deploying and managing legacy Windows apps at scale.
itopia allows Taxfyle to quickly and simply deploy cloud desktops, maintaining compliance and security while Taxfyle focuses on what it does best.
Taxfyle is all about mobility, ease of use, and location-independence. They knew cloud infrastructure would let them raise servers on-demand to match the resources their CPAs would need with 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 plus a significant time investment. For Taxfyle, any engineering lift spent outside of the core product is a distraction.
Taxfyle piloted solutions on other cloud providers, but found its requirements weren’t being optimally met. 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 itopia was a natural choice.
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. To enable this, itopia quickly creates a complete domain inside a Google Cloud project. This eliminates the labor required to build and configure an environment manually.
itopia then facilitates multi-user and one-to-one VM environments. For Taxfyle, whose users require dedicated machines, 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.
itopia and Google Cloud enabled Taxfyle to quickly create and easily manage a secure environment where their customers and clients could connect and collaborate using legacy Windows tax software.