Two Vital Ingredients to Maximize Audit Productivity

Awareness of Technology is the Beginning

We’ve all experienced it before. Perhaps it was a tutorial from a tech guru at the local home electronics store. Maybe it was your daughter, who showed you how to use a phone app to save hours of time. Regardless of how these episodes play out, they often result in what we call “a-ha” moments. These moments occur when the stars align and you not only own a great technology tool, but you take time to own the knowledge to fully utilize it. Fortunately, more and more audit teams are benefiting from this powerful dynamic, to the joy of their clients and staff.

Knowledge Really is Power

There’s nothing more wasteful than investing in a cutting edge technology only to use 50% of its capabilities.  Newly introduced engagement and analytic technology has moved mountains in manual steps within audit jobs. Without a doubt, the primary functions of these tools are impressive, but ignoring their lesser known ancillary benefits can deny you additional efficiency gains. The best way to avoid this problem is by investing in general audit training for the entire staff. In addition, technology training in relation to the tools used to perform an audit is equally important.

The Power of Two

To exemplify the powerful combination of audit technology and training, you need not go any further than PriceKubecka, PLLC.  This growing accounting firm, based in Dallas, TX, followed the track of many firms up to a point, but in recent years have taken their audit practice to a new level, surpassing many competitors. Founding member of the firm, Brian S. Price, explained the paradigm shift.

Improving on What Works

Before 2011, PriceKubecka, PLLC , had already built a respectable audit presence, but desired to squeeze out more profit margin and time savings with each of their jobs. Having already benefited from using CCH® ProSystem fx® Engagement to streamline data management, they sought to implement a workflow solution that would not only integrate with the engagement piece, but would help produce audit work faster. Enter CCH® ProSystem fx® Knowledge Coach.

With Knowledge Coach, a powerful component of the Wolters Kluwer Integrated Audit Approach, the firm was able to quickly minimize time spent managing workpapers, checklists, and administrative work. Better yet, because this insightful tool helped identify the true areas of audit risk, staff was spared from over auditing areas of minimal risk. Price explains, “The payoffs have been huge. We’re talking months of time saved.” He continues, “On the financial statements alone, saving two hours apiece quickly adds up across 130 of them.”

Maximizing Tool Effectiveness Through Training

For many firms simply on-boarding new and effective technology would be the end of the story. However, PriceKubecka leadership took an extra step to push their productivity into overdrive. Through enrolling all staff members in Wolters Kluwer’s School of Audit course training, even the most senior members of the firm were able to learn audit tips and tricks that made incredible differences in their day to day work. On the opposite side of the spectrum, newer staff members were able to become more effective in their duties faster.

Price sums it up nicely, “We learned so many things, such as how to set up binder templates effectively so that our audits are much more streamlined. In fact, we came up with about 23 ideas that we implemented immediately to fully utilize the software. CCH® ProSystem fx® Knowledge Coach is so powerful, with so many capabilities that can do so much for you, that our decision to invest in the continuing education through Wolters Kluwer’s School of Audit was a wise one.”

Go to School on New Technology

In summary, while the best audit technology can take your firm to new heights, it can only go so far. And consequently, to make the most of these best tools, the human element must carry its weight also. This means maintaining a constant appetite for learning and adopting best practices.

To read the full story of how PriceKubecka PLLC merged best technology with superior training download the case study here.

AUTHOR

Brandon Sims

All stories by: Brandon Sims