CASE STUDY - McParland Williams

CASE STUDY - McParland Williams

Accounting for every eventuality with Cloud Direct

McParland Williams is a professional firm of accountants based in Merseyside offering a wide range of services on all aspects of personal and business finance. The company provides accountancy, tax planning and investment management as well as other financial services, including pensions and commercial finance.

The practice was established in May 2000 and today serves a wide range of clients in differing sectors, including the construction industry, retailers, manufacturers, professional services and the service sector.

Sophisticated systems

Steve Pickering is the Practice Manager at McParland Williams, “We are a very busy accountancy practice and rely on sophisticated systems and software to carry out much of our day to day work.

This results in the accumulation of a large number of working files and client data, which are required to be maintained for our everyday activities. Such information is critical to the business, so from the outset we set up a backup routine using an in-house tape system. Over time this proved to be a bit of a hit and miss process, and on occasions was indicating a full backup had been carried out when no data had actually been saved at all!

The end result was a complete lack of trust in the system and an urgent need to find a suitable, reliable backup system for our computer systems.”

On-site or remote

Steve revealed, “We looked carefully at the market and considered a number of possible solutions. The key decision was whether we should back up on site, or have a remote facility. In the end the remote option won the battle, as it made total sense to have a system backup that was held remotely from the business premises in case of significant or totally unpredictable problems, such as fire, flood or even terrorist events.

Simple installation

Steve said, “We chose Cloud Direct to provide the service using their award- winning LiveVault® Server Backup, an online backup solution for small-medium sized companies that require continuous automated protection, off-site storage and the rapid recovery of critical server data. The installation of the service on to our server was remarkably easy, and handled online by Cloud Direct technicians. We didn’t need to make any changes in the way we work. Backups happen automatically, which is superb as it gives you absolute peace of mind that your business is safe, regardless of what may happen.

Seven years of data

Steve revealed, “It is a very comprehensive service. LiveVault virtually eliminates the risk of any data loss on our company servers by automatically backing up throughout the day, and sending our data to secure offsite storage vaults.

From an accounting point of view it is ideal, as it also enables the retention of long-term backup files for up to seven years. This is essential for our clients, as HMRC can demand sight of records up to seven years old.

Steve admitted, “I have to be honest and say that our selection of Cloud Direct as our backup technology partner was achieved more by luck than judgement, but I can now say that it has proven to be one of the best technology investment decisions we have ever made.”

The right decision

Steve went on to say, “Our investment paid off last year when we had a major technical issue with our server. Following some work that was carried out on our server, we lost connection to all our SQL Server databases, and were left without access to a lot of our client files. We tried restoring the data, but our computer system had been damaged beyond repair.

We contacted Cloud Direct to see if anything could be done to help us in the short term, and technical support specialist, Will Rowley picked up the call on a Saturday. Will explored a number of possibilities, which proved to be impractical, and after working solidly for eight or nine hours was able to set up a server login and get the SQL databases up and running ready for the new week ahead.

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