Hitting Your Stride on Recurring Audits

Identifying repetitive steps is a start

You know your longer tenured clients quite well.  As a matter of fact, you likely have these clients penciled in on a calendar for routine chats and meetings. For some, you can choreograph each of their client actions. So why is it that some firms find themselves rebuilding new sets of workpapers for recurring client returns and audits? The reason is obvious. Firms facing this dilemma are not fully maximizing current time saving technology.

The move to eliminate needless steps

Take the example of the multi office firm of Vavrinek, Trine, Day & Co.,LLP, of Rancho Cucamonga, CA.  Prior to upgrading their audit technology, this 230 employee business had many audit work processes on their “improvement” wish list. Their ultimate goal with regard to audit clients, was to find a way to streamline the process of organizing, analyzing, and assessing client data, so as to free staff for deeper audit analysis. Their expectations were not only met, but exceeded when the firm embraced the Wolters Kluwer Knowledge Based Audit (KBA) Methodology combined with implementation of the Integrated Audit Approach solutions. This marriage of methodology and technology was exceptionally effective in eliminating hours of repetitive tasks from each audit job. But that’s not the complete story, as the firm took proactive steps to ensure even more benefits from their investment.

Moving slow to move fast

While the move that Vavrinek, Trine, Day & Co.,LLP made to improve audit processes was highly successful, the firm realized that they would have to put the proper work in on year one to yield sustained results in year two and beyond. What did this work involve?  It involved immersion into audit tool product training from those that know the technology best, the product vendor. Marilyn Brindle, QC Partner states, “Implement your audit strategy with a plan to get training and to have a team walk you through the use of the products.” In particular, the benefit of having Wolters Kluwer trainers walk staff through the use of the CCH® ProSystem fx® Knowledge Coach, made all the difference in the world. Even more extensively, staff had the added benefit of turning to the CCH® Learning and Development Academy — School of Audit. This training resource covered not only optimum use of the audit solutions, but also best practices for maximizing each solution in concert with their entire technology suite.

Smoother recurring jobs now

As a result of the first year investment made in product and work step training, Vavrinek, Trine, Day & Co.,LLP now eliminate many repetitive processes at the front end of yearly audits and return work.  Nannette Casady, QC Manager, explains the simplicity with which recurring audit clients are now handled. “You have to do the work the first year setting everything up, but you really see a lot of benefits the next year when you roll things forward. It does all the work for you. You just open it and you may see maybe two new things you need to do.” She continues, “If you’re a large firm or even a small firm, that’s money saved.”  She goes on to elaborate that time invested in the first year with setup support and training creates a recurring yearly ROI. “Any time you have change, it’s going to be an investment, but by the second year, we had all our in-charges and managers really saying, ‘OK, we absolutely love this!

The takeaway

You can be successful with your audit work, or you can be hyper successful with your audit work. Firms adamant about squeezing every ounce of productivity out of their recurring jobs can do so by implementing their audit plans with thorough training. Taking advantage of discipline specific product training makes subsequent client work that much easier. To learn more about how to maximize new and recurring audit jobs, read our case study  Vavrinek, Trine, Day & Co., LLP See Audits Differently with Wolters Kluwer’s Integrated Audit Approach.

AUTHOR

Brandon Sims

All stories by: Brandon Sims