Automation and integration can help improve a firm’s processes in a number of areas. A digital tax workflow that pulls scanned data into a tax return and allows clients to submit information as well as sign documents electronically can help a firm move more returns through the tax department during tax season. A firm management system that links documents to projects and sends project information to the billing system can significantly free up all levels of staff, both professional and administrative. And an Integrated Audit Approach can help audit teams perform higher-quality audits with less strain on staff in the field.
One firm that has implemented Wolters Kluwer’s Integrated Audit Approach shared their thoughts on the benefits of integration and automation in the audit process. Vavrinek, Trine, Day &Co., LLP achieved a 50 to 80 percent time savings in the planning process for each and every audit. Quality Control Associate Nannette Casady explains some of the benefits:
- Standardization – Multi-office firms often struggle with creating workflow that are standardized across all offices. Standardization increases efficiency by allowing staff from other offices to jump in to work where they are needed, and it also helps partners to know that everyone is following the same procedure.
“With CCH ProSystem fx Knowledge Coach, we have a place where everything goes and everyone can access at any time. It provides a standardized process and structure across all of our offices.”
- Efficiency – Time is money, so any time saved helps the firm’s profitability by freeing up staff to do more work or more valuable work. In addition, staff will appreciate cutting out repetitive or redundant work.
“With this in place, our auditors already start 50 to 80 percent through their planning process. That’s an enormous time savings for our firm.”
- Peer Reviews – With increased scrutiny on audit quality, firms need to do all they can to ensure they pass peer review. Processes that used to pass peer review may not continue to do so in the future.
“We’ve actually gotten compliments on our audits during peer reviews.”
- Quality – Firms need to look for ways to improve their audit workflows without adding a lot of time and effort to the process. It’s important to improve quality without over-auditing.
“The Integrated Audit Approach requires you to follow the standards, so you’re not over-auditing. You are actually doing your audit based on the risk, not checklists, and everything is clearly documented.”
- Mobility – Flexibility about where the work is done has become important for staff as well as clients. Your audit staff wants to be able to complete work in the field or from home, and your clients want more responsive client service, any time of day.
“If you’re able to work from home, you’re saving the client money – and you’re saving the firm money.”
To see how Vavrinek, Trine, Day & Co., LLP is benefiting from Wolters Kluwer’s Integrated Audit Approach, watch the video below, or read the case study.