How Hosted VDI Helps Accounting Firms Manage Their Work Remotely –

How Hosted VDI Helps Accounting Firms Manage Their Work Remotely -

Working remotely and VDI is here to stay. This article details how hosted VDI helps accounting firms manage their work remotely. Thanks to a robust poll-worker recruitment push, several key cities have more poll workers than they need for Nov. 3. But the work isn’t over. Spectrum Labs Closes $10M Series A, Accelerating Its Work to Help Consumer Brands Fight Toxic Behavior Online Two Republican-led Senate committees issued a report Wednesday alleging that the work Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s son did in Ukraine constituted a conflict of interest. Date: 2020-09-21 21:47:28Here are 3 work-from-home jobs paying over $100 per day. Go to for video notes, related content, tips, and helpful resources mentioned. ——————————- MY OTHER CHANNEL: Justin Bryant Marketing – ——————————- YOUTUBE TOOLS I USE: Tubebuddy –

What if you could access your work data even when you’re not in the office? Hosted Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is the solution you and your firm or organization need. Here we will discuss how hosted VDI helps accounting firms manage their work remotely.

Have you ever wasted hours stuck in traffic while commuting to the office? If yes, you must realize how frustrating and annoying it can be. It decreases your motivation to work as you have to compensate for it by working late. In addition to this, your personal and family time gets negatively impacted. 

VDI is the technology that enables you to create virtual office desktops on the cloud, with all your apps installed (just as they are in your office system). 

So why wait to reach the office to start your work when you can easily access your desktop from any part of the world?

Many businesses have adopted this technology and are benefitting from it. Accounting firms have also realized its potential and are now moving their desktop environment to the cloud so that their employees can work remotely, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before we understand how hosted VDI helps accounting firms manage their work remotely, let’s first understand the technology. 

Employees can access their work PC by accessing it from the device of their choice. They login the virtual desktops through their credentials and the screen of the virtual machine is transferred to the device they’re using. 

They’ll feel as if they’re sitting in the office and using their work PC. Instead, they’re remotely controlling a virtual desktop with the help of the keyboard and mouse.

VDI is a technology that lets you create a virtual desktop environment on secure cloud servers. These machines allow users to access their data remotely. Hosted VDI is a service offered by third-party vendors, where they provide you with virtual desktops as per demand. 

For instance, it takes a lot of time to configure and maintain multiple desktop PCs for the entire accounting firm. With hosted VDI, the firm is released from this tedious task, and the service providers take the responsibility of configuring and maintaining the virtual desktops. 

Financial or accounting firms do not wish to invest in IT infrastructure if their employees are working remotely. They need an infrastructure that supports fast growth and unpredictable times. Also, they need to concentrate on their business operations rather than spending time on managing their employees. 

With hosted VDI, employees use their devices (with the implementation of BYOD) rather than using company-owned devices – they can access the company data through their credentials. Here are some aspects that make hosted VDI the right choice for accounting firms to manage their work remotely.

The first thing that comes to mind after hearing ‘remote work’ is ‘data security’. And, for accounting firms, data security has always been a primary concern. For accounting firms to manage data security (along with managing their remote employees) is a tedious and expensive task. It also deviates them from their core business operations.

Reputed VDI hosting providers offer enterprise-level data security by constantly monitoring the data with the help of the latest firewalls and antivirus. So, the users are technically accessing a secure and protected system, even with their personal devices. 

To ensure complete data safety, the VDI can be configured to restrict the transfer of any data to and from the devices used by the employees. All these ensure that even while your employees are working remotely, your data is in safe hands.

Employee productivity is an essential pillar behind any accounting firm’s success. Remote access to official data offered by hosted VDI significantly enhances the productivity of employees. 

Moreover, the time that they used to spend on traffic can be utilized for productive official and personal tasks. Some other factors that contribute to increased employee productivity are:

  • Employees feel that they’re trusted by the employer which boosts their morale
  • Employees feel more accountable for their tasks
  • Workers can work with more focus without in-office distractions 
  • The flexible working environment makes workers more comfortable and productive while working.

All these factors contribute to increased employee productivity and making employees more focused and accountable for their tasks.

 A common problem for accounting firms with remote employees is technical support. Without hosted VDI and with every employee working on their own device (and these devices run on different operating systems), support issues take longer to get resolved. 

This is because the support team has to gather tons of information about the device and its configuration before solving the problem. 

However, hosted VDI speeds up this process as the IT team has all the information available with them. Thus, if the employees face connectivity or login issues, the service provider’s support team looks into the matter and offers a lightning-fast solution. 

The device of the employee still plays a role in this, but it becomes significantly less important than before.

No one wants to work all day, and with the flexibility offered by hosted VDI, definitely not. Employees desire for a comfortable and flexible working environment so that they can balance their personal and professional lives. Hosted VDI is the technology for remote workers to maintain the perfect work-life balance. 

For instance, accountants do not need to worry about client meetings or calling the IT guy to get an issue fixed. Also, hosted VDI doesn’t mean slow file transfers (the employees will not be spending hours sharing data with each other). 

Even though the user is accessing the data remotely, the file access is local to the LAN. Employees do not need a VPN to transfer files; the virtual desktop sits within the LAN so that the users can enjoy the same fast file transfer. 

These benefits also mean less physical and mental stress, which is a must for proper work-life balance.

Hosted VDI offers multiple benefits to accounting firms and their remote employees. 

The ability to enhance productivity while working remotely is one of them. People can access their work data from the device of their choice and do not need to worry about configuring or maintaining their virtual desktops. 

Hosted VDI also acts as the perfect technology for a stable balance between personal and 

professional lives while working with the desired flexibility. VDI hosting is transforming what people think about virtual desktops by giving them a more mobile and secure solution.

For more articles detailing trending topics in accounting, business, and finance, check out this section of our site.

Sharad Acharya is a technical content writer at Ace Cloud Hosting, a renowned accounting, and business application hosting provider. When not writing about the latest developments in cloud, VDI, and cybersecurity, he loves to watch movies and ride bikes. You can follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Author: by Sharad Acharya

Not old enough to vote, but old enough to help: How teens are helping to avert an election crisis

Not old enough to vote, but old enough to help: How teens are helping to avert an election crisis

WASHINGTON — Like thousands of other teenagers, Abhinand Keshamouni’s introduction to working the polls came from watching “The Daily Show.”

Host Trevor Noah ends each episode with a pitch for Power the Polls, a national recruitment network working to ensure there are enough poll workers on Election Day. The message resonated with Keshamouni, a 17-year-old senior from Canton, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit.

He signed up first for the Michigan state primary in August. And he will be back at a polling site Nov. 3, when he will take off a day from his high school that’s conducting classes online. Keshamouni will be among more 1 million poll workers braving a pandemic to ensure people can vote – and he got four of his buddies to do the same.

“I thought it was a really good way to help our democracy, especially because I can’t vote right now,” Keshamouni said, adding that he also got a little pressure from his parents, Indian immigrants who will be voting in their first presidential election. “My entire family can vote except for me, so they were like, ‘Go work the polls!’ “

Facing a drastic shortage of poll workers in November because of the coronavirus pandemic, an army of voting rights groups and other organizations this summer waged the most robust poll-worker recruitment campaign in modern election history. It has included high-profile allies, from Noah to NBA star LeBron James, whose recently formed More Than a Vote organization has worked to increase poll workers in predominantly Black districts. Companies like Starbucks, Warby Parker and Target are paying their employees who take a day off to work the polls.

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Senior citizens historically make up the bulk of the workforce at polling sites but hundreds opted out this year because they’re the most vulnerable to coronavirus. For months, voting rights advocates feared cities might not have the manpower to keep all in-person polling sites open – particularly in battleground states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan that could decide the presidential election.

But now election officials in cities such as Milwaukee, Detroit, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Houston aren’t just confident they will be able to keep an expanded number of polling sites open. Fueled in part by a willingness of people in their 20s and 30s to step up, some cities said they have thousands more applications than they need. 

“We have way more than we can even use right now,” said Richard Barron, Fulton County director of registration and elections in Atlanta, which has added 91 new polling locations since the state’s June primary. Fulton County has nearly 7,000 applications for 2,900 poll-worker positions. “We’re in very good shape. A lot of people saw what happened in June and they decided they needed to get involved.”

Barron said that includes many poll workers in their late teens and early 20s, pointing to one early voting site during the state’s August’s primary runoff that was staffed by six people under 25 years old. 

“We’ve never had that before,” he said.

In some states, poll workers can be as young as 16 years old. Election officials hope the young recruits return for future elections, making it their new civic tradition and creating a “new generation of poll workers.”

Prompting much of the activism: the scenes of hours-long lines of voters during state primaries early on in the pandemic. Among the longest lines were in Milwaukee, where only five of 180 polling locations opened for Wisconsin’s April primary, and Atlanta, where voters – some who did not receive absentee ballots in the mail – packed the limited number of polling sites open during its June primary.

“We were really the poster-child across the country for what it looks like not to have enough poll workers,” said Claire Woodall-Vogg, executive director of the Milwaukee Election Commission. “The only good thing to come out of that is that our voters really had a visual of what a poll-worker shortage looks like. Ever since April 7, we’ve had hundreds and hundreds of people applying to be an election worker.”

Although an unprecedented number of Americans are expected to vote by mail in November, voting rights advocates have pushed for all in-person voting sites to remain open to avoid voter suppression, particularly in communities of color that are often the most likely to see polling locations closed and consolidated. 

To recruit younger poll workers, Milwaukee partnered with the local Service Employees International Union, which represents restaurant workers and others in the service industry who tend to be young. 

The Metro Atlanta Chamber launched an initiative to recruit “young, tech-savvy Georgians” in the region while the state of Georgia teamed with the ACLU. Drawing more attention, Atlanta’s State Farm Arena, home to the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks and the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream, is one of several arenas and NFL stadiums nationally that will be used as voting sites.

In Houston, the Harris County Clerk’s Office has a young clerks program in which more than 4,500 high school students in the Houston area will work polls in November. Texas law allows two excused absences a year for election work. The students are among the 25,000 poll-worker applications received this year in Houston – far more than is needed to fill a record 11,000 positions. The city anticipates having 808 voting sites this year, around 60 more than 2016.

“There’s still more work to do, but we are in really good shape,” Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins said. “We’re going to have more election workers than ever before – as many as 11,000 – but so far there’s been an outpouring of enthusiasm of folks wanting to be election workers. Certainly, there are many more young people and middle-aged folks who have applied than ever before.”

Hollins said fewer senior poll workers backed out in Houston than expected, which combined with the thousands of more applicants, led to the large surplus.

Election officials are optimistic in Detroit, where widespread problems from the state’s August primary led Michigan Secretary of State Joceyln Benson, a Democrat, to help oversee the November election. Her office recruited 20,000 poll workers for the state, and with efforts ongoing, they believe there will be plenty to cover Detroit’s 6,000 election workers – one-third of whom are needed to count absentee ballots.

“It’s looking very, very promising,” Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey said.

In Philadelphia, another city that will closely watched in the race between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden, election officials said they’ve filled 5,660 of the city’s 8,515 poll worker positions – far ahead of the typical pace after receiving “thousands” of applications. The response has been so great they’ve been unable to contact everyone who has inquired. 

“Our poll-working endeavors have been largely focused on the millennials, trying to get them involved in the democratic process,” said Nakea Hurdle, chief deputy for Philadelphia City Commissioner Omar Sabir, who is overseeing the recruitment efforts. “We’ve seen an overwhelmingly large response.”

Part of attracting more poll workers in some cities during a pandemic is increasing pay. Houston is paying poll workers, including the 4,500 high school students, $17 an hour. Milwaukee, thanks to a grant from the Center for Tech and Civic Life, added an additional $100 daily stipend on top of its normal $130 daily pay. Fulton County, Georgia has $150 in “hazard pay” on top of flat rates that range between $175 and $275 based on responsibilities.  Philadelphia pays at least $200. 

The Center for Tech and Civic Life received a $250 million donation from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg to provide grants to cities to support the staffing and training of poll workers.

The flood of applicants doesn’t mean the work is done – recruitment efforts will continue up to the election – nor does it mean that Election Day will take place without problems, long lines or fewer in-person polling sites.

Some cities and states have already cut voting sites. Maryland, for example, will have 80% fewer polling locations in November, opting to instead adopt a limited number of “voting centers,” because of a sharp a decrease in people willing to be poll workers.

More:Maryland plans to open fewer polling places. What does that mean for rural voters?

Complicating the outlook, some cities have prepared for a higher-than-usual 20% drop-off rate when it comes to showing up for work assignments because of the pandemic. 

An analysis from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Democracy Works in August found more than 1.1 million poll workers are needed for the Nov. 3 election. Typically, more than half are over the age of 60 years old. Researchers projected a shortage of more than 465,000 poll workers. Although that figure has been cut dramatically, a gap still remains.

Power the Polls, which formed in June to help recruit low-risk and diverse poll workers, surpassed its goal of signing up 250,000 people and is now nearing 500,000. But not all applicants will find available positions, making it complicated to say how many poll workers are still needed nationally.

More than 100,000 people alone signed up during the first three days of September, coinciding with National Poll Worker Recruitment Day. The nonprofit connects the applicants with local jurisdictions. The goal is to create a “bench” of prospective poll workers who can fill in as needs arise and avoid any voting sites shutting down.

“We’re really trying to emphasize young folks as sort of the next generation of poll workers,” said Scott Duncombe, co-director of Power the Polls. “Not only are they less at risk for the disease, they’re a little more tech-savvy. A lot of times, we’ve seen election technology causing lines and issues. Additionally, young folks tend to be a little more representative.”

He called the threat of a shortage a real “crisis” – but “not one that we can’t solve together.”

Power the Poll’s partners include Alpha Phi Alpha, the country’s oldest historically African American fraternity that has recruited members to work polls. The group has also tapped into the Million Mask Challenge to help provide protective equipment at polling sites.

“It’s certainly been a huge challenge. We’ve never had to vote in a pandemic,” Duncombe said. “What really makes me hopeful is that it seems that a lot of folks really are stepping up. It seems like people are recognizing in many ways the need to serve. Young folks in particularly are stepping up and recognizing that you gotta do something.”

Nathaniel Persily, a law professor from Stanford University, helped launch the Healthy Elections Project with MIT in April to help local election officials ensure a smooth election during the pandemic. The project is working with two groups, Campus Compact and the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition, to recruit college undergraduate and graduate students to work polls.

“While at the beginning of the summer, I was concerned about their ability to recruit poll workers, I think they’re in much better position now than they were then,” he said, referring to cities like Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Detroit. He said the “baptism by fire” from the primary elections sounded the alarm early enough.

But before the election, the Healthy Elections Project is urging states to adopt an online poll-worker dashboard like Ohio has that shows needs on a county-by-county basis. Persily said one of the problems with national efforts to recruit poll workers is not knowing where exactly help is needed.

“Naturally the poll-worker recruitment efforts are focusing on the battleground states and the biggest cities within them, but we don’t really know who’s doing well and who’s not.”

Despite the strong recruitment, voting-rights advocates said they are continuing to monitor communities with large Black and Latino populations, which have historically experienced a disproportionate share of poll closures. A 2019 report from the Leadership Conference Education Fund found 868 polling place closures from 2012 and 2018 in areas previously identified as Section 5 jurisdictions under the Voting Rights Act.

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“The closing of polling places has been a problem long before COVID,” said Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, “and now COVID and the impact on poll workers have made that an even dire situation.

“What’s interesting right now is that there’s so much energy right now to engage and show up for our democracy at a time when it is getting battered by the president and the administration,” she said. “I think there are a lot of folks who want to be ‘democracy workers.’”

Megan Lewis, co-founder and executive director of the Voting Rights Lab, which is working to ensure voter accessibility, noted that African Americans vote by mail at lower rates than other voters. She said that makes it more important to ensure in-person polling sites remain open in neighborhoods with large Black populations. 

“We’ve seen in study after study, even in prior elections, that if you close polling places you will have a disproportionate impact on voters of color,” Lewis said.

“Vigilance is key,” she said, but added she’s optimistic “the combination of efforts” will allow the November election to run smoother than the primaries.

That optimism is thanks to people like Valerie Ogamba, a 31-year-old sales worker, avid volunteer and budding law school student from Dublin, California, in the Bay Area.

As Ogamba was checking on the status of mail-voting for herself, she saw an online link to volunteer as a poll worker. She signed up to work four days of early voting in Alameda County. It will be the first time she’s worked as a poll worker.

“As an African American woman, I just really wanted to put an emphasis on my volunteering and making sure I was all hands-on deck,” Ogamba said. “I’m really thrilled. With how important this election, I just can’t wait to be at the voting polls.”

Detroit Free Press staff writer Dave Boucher contributed to this report. Reach Joey Garrison on Twitter @joeygarrison.


Spectrum Labs Closes $10M Series A, Accelerating Its Work to Help Consumer Brands Fight Toxic Behavior Online

Spectrum Labs Closes $10M Series A, Accelerating Its Work to Help Consumer Brands Fight Toxic Behavior Online

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GOP-led Senate committees: Hunter Biden work in Ukraine a conflict of interest, impact 'unclear'

GOP-led Senate committees: Hunter Biden work in Ukraine a conflict of interest, impact ‘unclear’

WASHINGTON – Two Republican-led Senate committees issued a politically charged report Wednesday alleging that the work Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s son did in Ukraine constituted a conflict of interest for the Obama administration at a time when Biden was engaged in Ukraine policy as vice president.

But the report said it was ultimately “unclear” what impact Hunter Biden’s position on the board of a Ukrainian gas company had on Obama administration policy with regard to Ukraine. And it offered no evidence to support one of President Donald Trump’s more incendiary allegations – that Joe Biden pressured Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor as a way to protect his son.

Biden’s campaign immediately panned the report, released six weeks before the election, as an effort by an ally of Trump to damage his election opponent.

Trump has repeatedly drawn attention to Hunter Biden’s work in Ukraine even as his own administration has warned of a concerted Russian effort to denigrate Joe Biden and asserted that a Ukrainian lawmaker who is involved in spreading anti-Biden claims is an “active Russian agent.”

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, whose Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee is one of the two panels that released the 87-page report, had acknowledged in interviews his goal of making the document public before the election, telling The Associated Press last month that the “American people deserve the truth” about his probe.

The investigation produced stark political divisions, with Democrats accusing Johnson of a politically motivated initiative at a time when they said the Homeland Security Committee should be focused on the coronavirus pandemic response and other, less partisan issues. Even before the report was released, the Biden campaign issued a detailed statement aiming to rebut point-by-point allegations that it said had long been debunked by media organizations as well as by U.S. and Ukrainian officials.

The Senate report examines Hunter Biden’s dealings in Ukraine, where he held a paid seat on the board of gas company Burisma, and alleges that work posed a conflict of interest because Biden was vice president at the time and dealing with Ukraine policy.

It references a 2016 email from George Kent, the former acting deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, that described the presence of Hunter Biden on the Burisma board as “very awkward for all U.S. officials pushing an anticorruption agenda in Ukraine.” Kent testified about his concerns during the impeachment proceedings against Trump last year.

Another State Department official, Amos Hochstein, is described in the report as having raised concerns directly to Biden because he was concerned that Russians were using his son’s role with the company to sow disinformation.

The report says that even though State Department officials regarded the head of the company, Mykola Zlokevsky, as corrupt, Biden did not confront him.

“What the Chairmen discovered during the course of this investigation is that the Obama administration knew that Hunter Biden’s position on Burisma’s board was problematic and did interfere in the efficient execution of policy with respect to Ukraine,” the report says.

“Moreover, this investigation has illustrated the extent to which officials within the Obama administration ignored the glaring warning signs when the vice president’s son joined the board of a company owned by a corrupt Ukrainian oligarch,” it adds.

Even so, the Republican senators acknowledge that the extent to which Hunter Biden’s role on the board affected Ukraine policy is “unclear,” and the report does not describe how, if at all, specific policy decisions were influenced by Biden’s position.

Notably, the report makes limited mention of the claim by Trump and some supporters that Biden pressured Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, as a way to stymie an investigation into Burisma’s owner. The allegations were central to the impeachment case against Trump after he asked Ukraine’s president in a telephone call last year to investigate the Bidens.

The report includes only six references, including in footnotes, to Shokin and does not expose new information about any role Biden may have had in his ouster.

The Biden campaign pointed to news reports and public statements showing there was no active investigation into Burisma at the time of Shokin’s ouster in 2016, and that the firing of Shokin was broadly sought by U.S. and European officials and reflected the official Obama administration policy.

There is no evidence of wrongdoing by the Bidens, and Hunter Biden has denied using his influence with his father to aid Burisma. But Republicans who came to Trump’s defense in this year’s impeachment trial asked for further investigations of his activities. Johnson, a close ally of Trump, took the lead.

“As the coronavirus death toll climbs and Wisconsinites struggle with joblessness, Ron Johnson has wasted months diverting the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee away from any oversight of the catastrophically botched federal response to the pandemic, a threat Sen. Johnson has dismissed by saying that ‘death is an unavoidable part of life,’” Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement.


3 Work-From-Home Jobs Paying Over $100 per Day 2020

3 Work-From-Home Jobs Paying Over $100 per Day 2020

Date: 2020-09-21 21:47:28

Here are 3 work-from-home jobs paying over $100 per day. Go to for video notes, related content, tips, and helpful resources mentioned.

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How Hosted VDI Helps Accounting Firms Manage Their Work Remotely -

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