A recent acquisition of a company by one of our clients illustrates the problems you can face with old software as well as old hardware. And our onboarding of a new client illustrates the problems that compound each other after neglect and poor shortcuts. Here’s how we tackled them together.
The software issue, which involved an old, old version of QuickBooks, drove home the benefits of keeping applications up to date. Our client, an accounting firm, recently acquired another firm, and we knew the technology had lapsed, and we even developed a budget number to bring it all up to date. Our question was whether to implement our project now or wait until after the upcoming tax season.
Wanting to do it right, we decided to move forward. Based on the problems we encountered, we made the right decision – because it was not a simple file conversion process. The old version of QuickBooks was from 2008; 2019 is the current version. There was an interim version is 2012. As with Microsoft Windows updates, we had to go through numerous updates because each update was built on a previous update.
In addition to the QuickBooks updates, we had to work with various versions of Windows and aged computers that couldn’t run Windows 10 and the current QuickBooks. Complications arose when people didn’t know the administrative emails and passwords required to set codes and perform updates. We tried numerous combinations, but the problem was solved by talking to the owner of the acquired company, who recalled a Hotmail account for QuickBooks. We had to work through additional emails and passwords – and inconsistencies on security questions.
We finally got it all done after several extra hours of time and another access issue. Our client is set for tax season, but we can’t help but wonder about the cost difference between software updates and the time and expense of the extra work.
Similarly, with old and new, we recently added a client who had been disenchanted with the managed services (monthly fee) program of their previous IT provider. We bid against another company that also offered managed services.
We don’t offer managed services because we believe it shortchanges clients. They pay a monthly fee but never know what the provider is doing for them. When we bill for the hours we work, we always provide a detailed description of our services.
We also don’t like to scare new clients into buying and installing new equipment, such as a server, until we take a deep dive into their systems and their needs. The bidder said the client needed a new one ASAP, which was logical because the server was eight years old. But when we talked to people there and learned how they work, they hadn’t been using the server, which had an old firewall that had never been registered. We registered the firewall and upgraded the software, putting off their need for a new server, which they were using to scan files to send to their printer.
Going forward, we’ll show them a different way of doing things without a server, and it should save them several thousand dollars.
We pride ourselves on being trustworthy, and we build our business on that trait. If you know a company or individual who’s looking for a new IT service provider, we hope you’ll refer us. And if you need a look at your systems, you can rely on us for an assessment that will show you the most cost-effective options. Contact us by phone – 973-433-6676 – or email to set up an appointment for you or a referral.