Does Client Collaboration Make or Break an Audit?

Client collaboration is key

Does client collaboration make or break an audit? Yes! That is what more and more CPA firms are saying. The key to a successful audit starts with good client collaboration.

One of the first things you need to do before planning your engagement is gather various documentation from your client. This is your first opportunity to collaborate with them, so you want to get off to a good start.

Current state of affairs

So what is your current process for obtaining the various documentation needed? How do you request that information today? How many of these pain points are you experiencing?

  • Receiving the wrong documents or partial information
  • Nagging your clients to send back all of the information timely
  • Delaying the field work because the information is still outstanding
  • Locating and organizing the documents that came in over a period of time and were received from various channels, such as: portals, emails, hard copies
  • Ensuring data is secure in transmission

As you can see, multiple things can go wrong right off the bat. Fact is that many firms experience all, or most, of those pain points. What can you do about it though? No one wants to start the audit off with delays, or nag their clients for needed information.

Namely, a good collaboration tool will help you avoid these pitfalls. A good client collaboration tool will also free you up to provide more value added services for your client.

Enter Engagement Organizer

In light of that, last year Wolters Kluwer introduced a cloud-based tool to promote good client collaboration. Engagement Organizer is that tool. A feature within CCH ProSystem fx Engagement, some firms started with an early release of the feature in November. That timeline allowed them to use the tool during busy season. What they reported regarding the ease of use for both them and their clients was this. Engagement Organizer saves CPAs time, headaches, and tense relations during a busy time of the year. Here are a few direct quotes from a few firms that participated in that early release program.

  • I am extremely impressed with the Engagement Organizer. I have found it to be a valuable tool and we believe it has enhanced our efficiency.” –William Matheney, Partner, Matheney Stees & Associates PC
  • We really like the concept of Engagement Organizer. Our firm has had a need for something of this sort for a long time. So, thank you. I like the product. Keep up the good creative work.” –Steven Rawlins, Managing Partner, Masters Smith & Wisby PA
  • I really like the new Engagement Organizer. Thank for developing such a useful product.” –Chad Hess, CPA, Senior Auditor, Abdo Eick & Meyers LLP

Client collaboration at its best

Engagement Organizer is a tool that allows you to request documents, attach files or templates, and add notes to ask questions or give instructions. It uses an automated email system. Then, with a simple click of the button, you or your client can send updates back and forth as often as needed. Documents are stored in a secure portal in one central place. Automatic email reminders go out to your client if information requested is still outstanding before the requested due date. This takes the burden off you in managing this effort.

Additionally, Engagement just won a GOLD Stevie Award for “Best New Product of the Year – Software – Integration Solution”. This award submission focused specifically on the client collaboration integration of Engagement Organizer and CCH Audit Accelerator within the Engagement solution.

Ultimately, don’t you want to promote client readiness and good client collaboration? Then be sure to leverage the Engagement Organizer feature, available with the 2018 release of CCH ProSystem fx Engagement. There is no additional cost for this integrated feature, although it does require CCH Client Axcess Portal for the document storage.

Engagement is a critical piece of Wolters Kluwer’s Integrated Audit Approach. This approach includes CCH Audit Accelerator, CCH ProSystem fx Engagement, TeamMate Analytics and CCH Accounting Research Manager, and CCH ProSystem fx Knowledge Coach. Learn more about the Integrated Audit Approach and the value its solutions offer your firm.

In the meantime, hear what Krueger & Associates has to say about Engagement Organizer. Watch the video today!

AUTHOR

Joel Ortner

All stories by: Joel Ortner