Focus on Efficiency

The Three “C’s”

Over the past few months firms have adjusted to a new way of doing business.  With offices closed, we have learned to remotely interact with clients, engage our staff and manage the firm.  However, many firms have struggled to maintain efficiency as they implement these changes.  In a recent article titled Unbelievable Realizations – Busy Season Tips, Cathy Rowe puts a focus on efficiency and ways to enhance realization. She encourages firms to focus on the ‘Three C’s’ of culture, computers and competency to maximize efficiency.  This blog digs a little deeper into each of those areas and offers practical tips that firms can implement.

Culture

To start, currently the firm’s culture may be in a state of flux.  While many firms had remote work options, none of them were as widespread as they are now.  Furthermore, this is unlikely to change in the future.  Therefore, it’s important to have remote work policies in place concerning availability, firm property and protecting client information.  Doing so helps us effectively manage deadlines, supervise staff and collaborate with clients in this new environment.  Fact is, one part of the culture that cannot change is the focus on serving clients.  Because, now more than ever, clients are looking for our steady hand to guide them through this environment.  Again emphasizing the need to focus on efficiency.

Computers

Also, by now most firms have adjusted to using a web meeting tool.  So, now may be the perfect time to consider implementing cloud-based tools.  Such tools can ensure a remote workforce remains productive and client data is secure.  For example, the CCH AxcessTM suite offers a complete set of cloud-based tools for tax preparation, compliance, workflow management and auditing.  Additionally, the latest offering in the suite is CCH AxcessTM Knowledge Coach.  That module provides auditors anytime, anywhere access to an award winning set of tools designed to ensure compliance and maximize efficiency.  Still another opportunity for auditors right now is finding ways to incorporate data analytics into their procedures. And, TeamMate™ Analytics works with Excel to allow auditors to analyze large populations of data and perform complex tests quickly. All examples of a focus on efficiency.

Competency

Further, staying current with all the changes happening requires a commitment to competency.  So, look for ways to get updates on everything from professional standards to managing workflow. For example, Audit Talks Podcasts provide that kind of insight and thought leadership. Also, CCH Learning and Development Academy – School of Audit provides a way to implement a standardized levels based learning solution.  School of Audit courses provide a hands-on approach to learning by combining audit theory with software tools used in daily work. Thus, ensuring a consistent learning approach as staff progress in their careers. Even more focus on efficiency.

Maximize Efficiency

In conclusion, there is no magic bullet to increase efficiency.  First, a firm must:

  • One, build a culture that challenges the status quo
  • Two, leverage technology
  • Three, and invest in its professional

When a firm provides that right culture, Wolters Kluwer stands ready to assist with the needed technology and learning for success.   

AUTHOR

Patrick Tokarski

All stories by: Patrick Tokarski