Information Technology Department

It's all about you, and how we can serve you better!

At Cook & Co. we believe the continuous improvement of the processes and systems that support our mission are crucial to our success. We've been reasonably successful by any standard and have utilized our technology resources to assist business clients in developing and furthering their own business interests. With such a "seasonal business", we are forced to actively seek ways to increase efficiency in order to realize the greatest output in a ten week period each year. Good examples are our secure online appointment scheduler, client portal and financial calculators.
website design and hosting

We created and host this website.

We can do the same for your business. We operate information technology systems and tools that manage millions in tax dollars.
Cook & Co. I.T. Department

How does a small firm in Arab, Alabama excel at secure technology so well?

We've been securing client data since 1957. It's just become a part of who and what we are. Security and technology are never an afterthought in our endeavors. It's always at the forefront.
data security with biometrics

BARA.NET and the Secure Environment

Employees enter the building through a biometric system which allows access only during strict business hour schedules. Computer workstations are controlled and monitored on our private network. Multiple layers of security are in place with both hardware and software firewalls to protect all traffic on our internal private network.
rack of servers

Our Public Facing Network at Cook & Co. Tax Advisors

We have three racks of web servers that host websites for us and many of our business clients, nonprofits and member organizations. These public facing servers are segregated from our internal network, protected by multiple protocols and are virtualized, which means they are disposable. They could be wiped out and recreated almost immediately.
data security lock

Greg is his own Internal Private Network Administrator

From 1982 or 1983 up until 2006 we were a Novell shop, we utilized only Novell servers in our internal network. From May 2006 through August 2008 we phased out the Novell servers and transitioned entirely to Microsoft. A retired top NASA security expert assisted us with the transition and I will never forget his comment to me, "Greg, I just don't see any way a snake can get in this building."
Greg's Podcast

Greg's Podcast

If reading about taxes seems like too much to endure, try listening to my Tax Podcast. If listening to tax related stuff can be fun, I will make it fun. But keep in mind, this podcast is meant to be more helpful than entertaining. If you have an Amazon device, such as an Echo, Echo Dot, or Echo Show, just say "Alexa, play Cook and Company Tax Advisors' Podcast."
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Knowledge, technology and resources working for you!
Multi-Media

Publishing Videos

February 18, 2021
Greg Cook

Back in 2008, I developed an interest in publishing videos. I quickly realized that because the tax laws change every year, the videos would have a shelf-life of 12 months or less. The thought of having a massive library of outdated material after a few years was frightening. In addition to the likely short lifespan issue, delivery method choices became really involved and time consuming.

As time went by, I lost interest. Well, it's 2021 and videos are as popular as ever. It's apparent that some people prefer that method of acquiring information over reading or just listening to a podcast. A lot has changed since that time 13 years ago and I am revisiting the decision to utilize video or not.

Youtube, Vimeo or Self-hosted


Those seem to be the three choices I've narrowed delivery method down to. I am currently testing a mix in order to determine the pros and cons of each. Compare and contrast the speed and presentation of this Youtube video with this Vimeo video. The obvious difference is the fact that my paid Vimeo account does not have ads and I can turn off the different videos that might be displayed at the end.

After recently sharing a Vimeo video on my home page, I noticed that the load time of my page suffered. After turning my attention to creating a super fast page to embed the video on, I realized that streaming video, whether it's hosted on one of my servers or another platform, is easier today than 13 years ago.

Our collection of videos at Cook & Co. Tax Advisors

So, in the coming days you may see new content published to the multimedia section of the website. One production aspect I'm looking at is the possiblity of generating the podcast audio and video seamlessly and without duplicate effort.

The last thing I want to do, is reinvent the wheel. My goal is simple; get my message to my audience in the format they want and will use.

Embedding the media here on my website rather than sending visitors to a video host's website is really important. And in the process of designing a very fast loading webpage for the video embed, I gained some valuable knowledge that can be applied to the rest of my website. as time permits.