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How to Provide the Best Remote Collaboration Experience

After more than a year of working with clients online, external audit firms should now begin to embrace the reality that some form of remote collaboration is here to stay. 

Seemingly overnight, the pandemic ushered remote work into our daily lives. Adapting to it was especially challenging for external auditors, whose work is overwhelmingly collaborative and face-to-face. During this crisis year, auditors relied more than ever on digital tools to collaborate effectively, and will more than likely continue to do so.

According to a Statista survey, 88 percent of business owners anticipate adopting remote work arrangements following the pandemic. Similarly, Statistics Canada found that nearly one quarter  of Canadian businesses expect 10 percent or more of their workers to continue working remotely following the pandemic.

Because the quality of collaboration plays such a large role in defining the client experience, external audit firms need to ensure they can build quality collaborative relationships in a remote work environment.

Rethinking relationships

There is a substantive difference in how a relationship is nurtured through a computer screen  and how it is done in person. Without the value-added information that face-to-face interaction imparts – think of the richness of basic nonverbal cues – how can we communicate clearly? And when the shortcomings of some of the more outdated technologies and tools we use further hamper this communication, how do we collaborate effectively?

From sharing proofs and evidence to accessing financials to, ultimately, ensuring a thorough and accurate audit, collaboration is at the heart of the client experience in external auditing. Prioritizing the importance of remote collaboration in this field starts at the top. 

No longer an afterthought, remote collaboration needs to be consistently and proactively encouraged, from the C-suite down, to provide the best client experience. This esprit de corps must be reflected not just in a company’s culture and philosophy, but also in its choice of tools. 

Keeping collaborations efficient and secure

For remote collaboration to flourish, auditing teams need to be armed with the right tools to collaborate more efficiently and more securely. Having them helps lay the foundation of trust so necessary for building and maintaining quality relationships.

For example, easy-to-use cloud solutions like those offered by Caseware are efficient and collaborative by nature. By streamlining communication and information-sharing, teams and clients can work together in real time using the same data. They can create and share data and ideas with anyone at any time, and they can access the data they need when they need it. 

A secure collaboration is one that everyone can trust. By teaming up with strong technology partners like AWS, Caseware offers the proper security certification and infrastructure to give clients the peace of mind that comes with knowing their experience will be a safe one. With the right security measures in place, Caseware offers compliant data handling and ensures your data does not leave the country.

Gaining a competitive advantage

With Caseware, you can work faster and more collaboratively across a seamless, secure cloud-based platform. With a remote solution in place, the travel costs of external auditing will be reduced, so you can also work more cost-efficiently. 

Heading into the remote-work future, companies willing to invest in the right tools to help their audit teams collaborate more efficiently and securely will have a clear edge over those that are simply expecting to go back to the office. Faster, cheaper, and more secure, Caseware’s cloud platform arms you with the competitive advantage you need to stake a claim in the evolving landscape of remote work.

Learn how to prepare your firm for the road ahead. Contact us today.

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