Kehoe has about 300 clients. For most of them, he prepares both business and tax returns. While he started working with many of his clients in his Maui office, they’re now spread all over the United States. He also operates a home office in Reno.
For years, Kehoe had an in-office server at his Maui business headquarters. When he started working remotely from his home in Reno, he found it a challenge to maintain and update the Maui server without physically being in the Hawaii office. Updating software remotely was possible, but it slowed the network.
In fact, network performance was a constant issue: “I would log into my computer in Maui and work, which was kind of a pain,” Kehoe says. “It was slow. The Maui server either bogged down to be really slow, froze or shut down altogether.”
Even worse, Maui is prone to frequent power outages. Every time the power went out in Maui and Kehoe was in Reno, he had to call a friend to physically go to his Maui office and reboot the server. Kehoe estimates he had to enlist his friend’s help at least once a month.
Then, an unfortunate incident complicated Kehoe’s maintenance procedure.
“There was only one person I trusted to have a key to the office,” Kehoe says. “She broke both her ankles. My office is upstairs in a building with no elevator.”
With his trusted friend literally unable to maintain his Maui server for him, Kehoe needed a way to work from Reno without worrying about power outages in Hawaii.
Following some guidance from Intuit, Kehoe moved to the Rightworks cloud about a year ago. He now runs Intuit ProSeries and SmartVault document management in a hosted model. Kehoe no longer has to log into his Maui server from Reno—and his clients’ data rests securely in Rightworks data centers.
A ProSeries customer for more than 25 years, Kehoe didn’t even consider another cloud provider after contacts at Intuit suggested Rightworks. Kehoe also uses the Rightworks Secure Workstation managed service to protect his two computers, one in Nevada and the other in Hawaii.
With Rightworks, Kehoe enjoys much faster network access and doesn’t have to worry about maintenance—or power outages in Maui. With Rightworks handling application updates and maintenance, Kehoe says he feels less stressed. He also accomplished a 10-year goal of being able to work fully remotely.
“Having everything in one location is great,” he says. “I have one database for everything. Having everything on a desktop without having to log into a server somewhere is very convenient.”
Running SmartVault and ProSeries in the cloud has also delivered benefits for Kehoe. A customer of both prior to moving to Rightworks, he says the applications work better in the cloud. He can print using SmartVault for clients who like to receive paper documentation, but he has moved most of his clients to a cloud-based portal where he can securely share vital tax information with them.
“I can send out a request to clients to link to SmartVault so they can access documents,” Kehoe says. “Most of my clients have gone remote. I still have my office on Maui. Clients still can walk in and see me, so there are some people who still like the old-fashioned paper.”
Another big advantage of working in the cloud has been the ability to use DocuSign with SmartVault to have clients put signatures on documents—something Kehoe couldn’t do before he signed up for hosting with Rightworks.
“That’s a huge time saver,” he says.
Kehoe cites a lack of stress as one of the biggest benefits of running applications in the cloud, with experts handling security, maintenance and application updates. He also believes that not only has Rightworks cloud hosting paid for itself, but it has also made his firm more profitable.
“I profit by having access to everything quicker and not having computers freezing up or problems with power outages,” he says. “If I were to look at profitability now versus before Rightworks, there’s definitely a big change for the better.”