Case Study: Bateman MacKay LLP

How a CPA used the cloud and expert IT managed services to quadruple its size and customer base

What the client said 

“Our growth is of course driven by hard work and our team’s reputation and capability, but we also owe a great debt to the flexibility and reliability of our infrastructure. Calligo has been a fundamental building block in our success over the years.”

Vinay Khosla, Tax Partner at Bateman MacKay

 

 

 100%
cloud reliance

 

 

 1 of the first 
cloud deployments of Taxprep in Canada

 4x
headcount growth

 

 

 1 of the first 
cloud deployments of CaseWare in Canada

 4x
customer growth

 

 

 Zero 
downtime cloud migration

 35+ 
years old

 

 2
overwhelmed on-premise servers

 

 1
under-qualified outsourced break-fix engineer

 

 1
new office opened

 

 Industry
Chartered Professional Accountancy (CPA)

 

 Location
Ontario, Canada

The client

 

Bateman MacKay LLP is a renowned 35+ year old full-service mid-market Chartered Public Accounting firm based in Burlington, Ontario. It supports local and international clients, from start-ups to mature businesses, with tax, accounting and business advisory services.

 

In 2009, Vinay Khosla acquired Bateman MacKay. He had noticed an opportunity to rapidly grow a small business of eight well-regarded and highly-skilled CPAs and business advisors.

 

One of the first changes was to introduce more reviews and on-site audits. This inherently entailed more remote working, which in turn put pressure on the business’ manual, paper-based processes. In response, an upgraded, more functional version of CaseWare was installed directly onto Bateman MacKay’s two on-premise servers. This would then be accessed by the team both within and outside the office via VDI.

 

But with more remote working, the servers could not keep up, and nor could Bateman Mackay’s one-person service provider operating on a break-fix model. The final straw came when Bateman MacKay opened a second office. This new team used VDI daily to access the servers in the Burlington office, on top of the pre-existing teams trying to remote in from client sites. The on-premise infrastructure was utterly overwhelmed.

Calligo services in summary

 

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Managed Cloud Services

”When a transformer in our area was hit by lightning, cutting power for miles around, we were able to simply send our teams home where they could continue serving our clients, with practically no interruption. Many of our competitors could not, and their clients were impacted.”

 

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IT Managed Services

”The ultimate goal was to become more productive and accelerate our growth. That is exactly what working with Calligo has achieved. Our entire suite of tools is maintained to ensure its consistent availability, giving us capabilities that put us beyond many of our competitors.”

 

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Service 1: Managed Cloud Services

 

Khosla’s ambition was to move fully to the cloud and enable true remote working, with all applications reliably accessible from anywhere – especially now that Bateman MacKay had created established revenue streams that relied on client-site engagement.

 

Unfortunately, Bateman MacKay discovered that only some of the applications most commonly used by the business could be put into the cloud. CPA-specific tools such as Taxprep and CaseWare were not yet cloud-ready, jeopardising the remote working and productivity vision.

 

Industry-leading managed cloud services

Calligo, however, was able to solve the issue. Unlike other service providers who had to rely on general availability of new releases, the Calligo team had such a strong relationship with the software vendors serving the CPA industry that they were able to work with them proactively to modify the technology to make it function on a cloud platform. Because of Calligo’s involvement, Bateman MacKay would be one of Canada’s first cloud deployments of both Taxprep and CaseWare.

 

Seamless migration process

The migration period was one of the most sensitive times of the project. Bateman Mackay wanted to become totally cloud-dependent, but the risk of this was that any downtime would threaten productivity, billing, and if long-term, could affect ongoing client relationships. To mitigate the danger, Calligo ran a one-week concurrent test, where all applications were mirrored in the cloud and on-premise. A small number of bugs were quickly ironed out, and the full switch was successfully made, resulting in a zero-downtime cloud migration.

 

300% growth in customer base

There is a clear causal link between Bateman MacKay’s transition to the cloud and its subsequent growth. From being restricted by the inadequacy of the previous environment, Bateman MacKay is now using innovative technology approaches to lead the way in productivity and capability, supported by Calligo. As a result, the company has grown quickly in recent years, quadrupling its customer base, and at the same time growing in headcount from 10 people across the two sites during its on-premise days, to now approximately 40.

 

 

Service 2: IT Managed Services 

 

Calligo also provides comprehensive proactive IT managed services, including network monitoring, vendor liaison, security, back-ups, software patching, strategic IT guidance and consultancy, plus a 24×7 helpdesk for user troubleshooting and more complex issues. Bateman MacKay’s teams are now regularly operating from client sites or from remote locations, with no disruption to access or productivity, and providing identically expert services to clients regardless of location.

 

A cybersecurity scare, and response

Khosla himself, along with some of his colleagues, had been targeted with sophisticated phishing attacks, where emails purportedly from the exact email addresses of three of his competitors had sent them “proposals” to open. These were, in reality, dangerous malware or ransomware files that would have paralysed the business. Some of the clients of these competitors had received the same emails and been deceived and suffered heavily as a result. 

 

Because of the managed IT security services and cybersecurity awareness training that Calligo had provided Bateman Mackay over the years as part of the IT managed services, these attempts were not successful, but it made Khosla wary.

 

Alongside a review of the ongoing programme of network monitoring and user training, Calligo performed a thorough vulnerability assessment, and identified key additional measures to put in place, one of which was a total restriction on attachments from external sources, relying instead on an online file-sharing system integrated with the email client.

 

What the client said

“At first sight, a restriction on email attachments appeared to be an unrealistic barrier to working practices. But we have noticed that our clients instead appreciate how we are protecting our network, and by extension their data and privacy, from external threats. By working closely with Calligo we have turned a potential threat into an opportunity to increase our professional standing with our clients.”

Vinay Khosla, Tax Partner at Bateman MacKay

 

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More about the services in this case study

 

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Managed Cloud Services

Ensure the continuous availability, security and data privacy protection of your data with high performance managed cloud infrastructure 

 

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IT Managed Services

Keep your teams productive and boost profitability with a proactive, strategic and tailored managed IT service

 

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