The Accounts Studio, Australia

Centralized document management improves customer service delivery for busy bookkeeping agency.

“…with more staff and a much larger client base, having the ability to access all our client files at anytime, anywhere, has just been indispensable.”

“To succeed in business you’ve got to be able to differentiate yourself from your competitors. In our industry most of our clients come through word of mouth, so customer service is an important differentiator in which technology plays a key part.”

- Sophie Andrews, Director
The Accounts Studio

Customer

The Accounts Studio, Warriewood, NSW, Australia.
Business Type: Book Keeping Agency

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Challenges

  • Standalone PCs
  • Inefficient methods to access and share files
  • Inadequate data security
  • No back-up solution

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Products

BUFFALO’s LinkStation shared network storage drives are ideal for backing up computers on your network while simultaneously sharing digital assets, multimedia files and documents.

Web access, printer sharing and multi-media streaming capabilities make LinkStation Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices a fitting solution for any small office environment.

With shared network storage capacities of up to 6TB and advanced data protection technologies like RAID, LinkStation is a safe, reliable, and cost-effective shared storage solution.

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Background

Centralized document management, back-up and data security are just as important for SMBs as for large enterprises to future-proof the growth of the business.

Historically, SMBs have shunned away from IT investments, perceiving them as an overhead cost rather than a business improvement investment. To overcome this misconception, SMBs need to look out for technology solutions that provide ROI fast and which are simple to install and use.

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Challenge

When Sophie Andrews opened her book keeping business back in 2005, most of her clients were nearby businesses and she could count the number of staff she had on one finger. Today, The Accounts Studio, which specializes in book keeping for the hospitality trade, employs five staff and has clients from across Australia.

With the expansion of the business, Sophie soon realized that her IT requirements needed to change. While a makeshift system had been set up to enable staff to share files, the system was so painfully slow that few staff utilized it. Instead, client documents were stored locally on disparate desktop and laptop computers. In the event that a client would contact The Accounts Studio and their account manager was not available, the only way to access the required information was to log in to the account manager’s own computer— a slow inefficient process which had an adverse impact on the level of customer service her business was able to provide.

version control was also an issue. With duplicate copies of the same document stored across individual computers, there was never any guarantee that the files on hand were the most recent ones.

Dealing with sensitive financial information of hundreds of other small businesses, Sophie also understood that she needed a better way to ensure the security of these files is well safeguarded. To minimize the impact in the event of hardware failure, she also needed a better way to back them up.

Although it would provide a solution to her concerns, Sophie’s initial perception was that moving from a business built around standalone computing to a centralized server structure was a Iuxury the business could not afford. It also sounded complicated. “I knew that you could get servers for A$5,000 but this was just outside of my budget,” she said.

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Solution

BUFFALO’s LinkStation Pro Duo makes central storage and back up easy for small businesses. Plugged into any network Ethernet port or into the back of a wireless router, the device can be easily set up and accessed by any network computer in an office. Twice as fast as a standard NAS, the LS-WVL/R1 features a high speed 1.6GHz processor for maximum network transfer speeds. With multiple staff accessing large files stored on the device and needing to respond to client enquiries fast, this was an important consideration for The Accounts Studio.

With RAID 1 support, the Buffalo LinkStation Pro Duo makes duplicate copies of stored files on the device’s secondary hard drive, helping to ensure that even if one drive fails, business data is backed up and always safe.

The BUFFALO LinkStation Pro Duo has also allowed Sophie to work remotely using the Web Access feature. Working from home late at night, Web Access gives Sophie the ability to access and update files stored on the NAS from any Internet enabled computer, smart phone or tablet. Using this same feature, she can also give her clients secure access to their own records via a password-protected link. importantly, other confidential files are not compromised as the link connects only to the files that Sophie selects.

Best of all, it is an affordable solution. With prices starting from less than A$500 for 2-bay 2.0 terabyte network attached storage solution, it brings big business-like data management systems within reach of non-technical SMBs.

Commenting on the BUFFALO solution, Sophie says: ‘’18 months ago it wouldn’t have been such a big deal if we didn’t have it, but today with more staff and a much larger client base, having the ability to access all our client files at anytime, anywhere, has just been indispensable.”

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Benefits

Sophie recognized that data storage, data security and speed of access to important documents and client financial records were key to the ongoing success of her business. “To succeed in business you’ve got to be able to differentiate yourself from your competitors. In our industry most of our clients come through word of mouth, so customer service is an important differentiator in which technology plays a key part.”

The BUFFALO LinkStation Pro Duo NAS has helped The Accounts Studio to:
  • Improve customer service through the ability to store large financial files on behalf of its clients more securely while providing quicker access to them.
  • Operate more efficiently and transparently as a result of improved staff management process through centralized work in progress tracking system.
  • Work from remote locations, such as home or while travelling via smart phone, when required with secure password protected remote logins.
  • Minimize security risks and delays in sending large confidential files to clients with the option of accessing them from a smartphone or tablet device.
  • Control who has access to network data by managing different levels of password protected access to centralized files and email.
  • Enjoy increased security and peace of mind knowing that all the data is backed up and secure.

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