The Business Outcomes

  • Robins Accountants has experienced a maximum downtime of two hours per year for the last five years, saving the company an estimated $2.5 million.
  • All of the accountants have a higher utilisation because the system is no longer slow, it is more reliable and they have the flexibility to work remotely.
  • More daily client appointments are able to be made as the IT systems are extremely reliable which in turn makes the business more efficient and profitable.
  • Automated software roll-outs are scheduled for out of hours.  This means no disruption for staff and no downtime for critical applications.
  • Robins Accountants has been able to reduce their annual IT spend and now focus on technologies that provide value-add to their customers.
  • Phone calls no longer drop out and staff are able to work from home easily and securely.  The new phone system has provided added benefits in terms of additional features that has allowed staff to work more efficiently.
  • The key business stakeholders have been able to focus on building the business and look towards improving processes and introducing new technologies as well as value-add services for their customers rather than constantly worrying about IT-related issues and system outages.
  • Robins Accountants staff have been able to adopt new technologies and have been able to differentiate themselves from other accountancy practices in the marketplace.

The Challenges

A system outage during a business meeting changed the focus from how Robins Accountants could help us to how Surety IT could help them.

At the time, on average, Robins Accountants was having at least three hours of downtime a week. This was seriously impacting on profitability and productivity. It was also costing the business an estimated $500k per year in lost revenue.

System outages weren’t the only problems they were facing, others included:

  • slow and unreliable systems which impacted the accountants ability to finish appointments on time and decreased their productivity.
  • staff were unable to access the IT system remotely meaning that they couldn’t work from home if they needed to which meant a loss of
  • old, problematic PCs which frequently crashed during client appointments leading to staff frustration, embarrassment and a loss of confidence in the business.
  • a slow and arduous process for updating software which caused severe disruption during the day, interrupted client appointments and could cause a prolonged systems outage for hours.
  • client phone calls dropping out or experiencing very poor quality during various times of the day, again leading to an impact on staff morale and confidence in the business.
  • failing backups that lead to critical information not being able to retrieved.
  • a large investment in IT support for little benefit.
  • reactive instead of proactive support from their current provider and none of the issues were being resolved.
  • Robins Accountants were not able to deliver the exceptional customer service they wanted to.

Robins Accountants was receiving support from a provider who they selected when Robins employed less than 10 staff. The business had since grown to around 40 employees, with over 30 of them accountants.

The Solution

To address the challenges and issues, we implemented our solutions path, which is a proven process of insight and action: understand, plan, build, maintain, enhance.   

We took a very collaborative and consultative approach and by clearly understanding the issues and challenges that Robins Accountants were facing, we were able to plan and build the right solution for them that delivered the outcomes they needed.  The process also allowed us to explain our approach to Lex and the other key business stakeholders in a way that they understood and could visualise.

The solution we built was tailored specifically for Robins Accountants.  It was secure, reliable, flexible and gave Robins Accountants the ability to differentiate themselves from other accounting practices.

Key aspects were:

  • We provided a tailored strategy and IT road map that detailed agreed upon priorities, budgets, timescales and responsibilities over a 3 year period.
  • A hybrid solution with a mix of in-house and cloud based solutions.
  • Improved security around critical information assets and IT systems.
  • Improved connectivity between sites, allowing users to securely access information easily and in a timely manner.
  • Implemented a VOIP based phone system that provides great quality calls and additional features that the business have utilised.
  • Implemented a backup strategy that fitted with the business requirements and ensured that all critical data was protected.  Regular test restores were also built into the strategy.
  • Provided a tailored support solution that catered for Grove Juice’s unique needs including on-site support twice a week.
  • Fully documented Robins Accountant’s IT infrastructure and made the documentation available for the business.
  • Were/are still the ‘one number to call’ for the business in terms of IT support for third party applications including Handisoft. MYOB, Xero and Quickbooks.
  • Have continued to work in collaboration with Robins Accountant’s stakeholders to re-visit the IT strategy, develop it and further refine it as the business moves forward and continues to evolve and grow.

Not only have Surety IT provided us with an excellent virtual desktop solution that suits our company needs but also provide a first-class, pro-active managed service, which is extremely customer focused.  They have helped us set up new offices and expand without the usual headaches.

They provide me as the business owner with the confidence I need to have in my IT support and technology strategy partner.  I know I can trust them to provide me with the best advice for my business as they have taken the time to understand what the business drivers and critical aspects are.”

Lex Robins, Owner – Robins Accountants


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