Russell Brennan Keane (RBK) is one of Ireland’s leading business advisory and accountancy firms. For more than 50 years, RBK has succeeded because of its commitment to and relationships with, its clients. By providing high quality accountancy services, coupled with a deep understanding of modern, efficient business methods, the firm has helped its clients to remain competitive and successful. When the firm sought to consolidate its accounts production and audit software, one solution met its demanding requirements – Caseware.
An Integrated Solution
The firm had been using software from Sage but it offered only Accounts Production functionality, requiring RBK to use a separate system for its audit business. “It grew increasingly inefficient to maintain two systems containing client data,” recalls Cathal Melia, Director of Client Services for RBK. “Ultimately, we wanted to go to a completely paperless audit process and so we required an integrated solution that would support both aspects of our business. We also needed to be sure that the solution would keep pace with changing legislation. The company reviewed a number of alternative solutions before selecting the Caseware Accounts Production and Paperless Audit solution.”
“We felt Caseware was ahead of the competitors in terms of functionality and support,” says Melia. RBK chose to handle its own data migration process using the tools with the software. “The implementation went smoothly,” reports Melia. “Caseware’s consultants provided us with excellent training and support throughout the process.”
Efficiency Boost Across the Firm
The most significant benefit RBK is reaping as a result of the switch to Caseware is increased efficiency across the organisation. Even client-provided documents can be scanned, filed and indexed in the software. “We now have all of our client data in one place. We can associate Microsoft® Word® and Excel ® files and other client documents with our file entries rather than storing these items separately,” says Melia. “There is very good integration between the applications. Caseware is far more than just an accounts management system; we can use it to produce an entire electronic working papers file.”
Quality and Accuracy Ensured
The overall quality of the financial statements RBK produces has increased. “We have even greater confidence in the integrity and accuracy of the documents we produce,” Melia says. “Caseware incorporates numerous validation checks. It provides a secure, controlled environment and we can be confident we are working with current rules and regulations.” The validation checks not only improve overall accuracy but save RBK’s staff many hours of time. “Before, we would have to manually check each number on a primary statement to ensure that it was supported by data in the notes section,” explains Melia. “Caseware performs that check automatically and warns us if the balance sheet number does not equal the notes. This delivers a great deal of confidence, control and time savings.” Melia adds, “Caseware Audit is based on the Mercia methodology, the technical standard of our industry, so we can be confident that the software will remain up-to-date and we will remain technically compliant.”
An International Advantage
RBK feels that Caseware is giving the firm a competitive advantage when it competes for business in an increasingly global economy. “Caseware is in such prevalent use that many of our clients or their subsidiaries use the product themselves,” notes Melia. “That makes it much easier for auditors to share information and gives our firm an advantage as we seek international assignments.”
The firm operates out of three regional offices and finds that Caseware promotes greater consistency across the locations. “There is greater standardisation now that we are all using the same toolset,” says Melia. “Caseware facilitates off-site collaboration and review. Previously, we could not work on a client’s account unless we physically brought all the files with us. Now, we simply sign out the file in the software and have all the information we need. Even better, others can work on the file as well and our changes and updates to the file are synchronised when we check it back in.”
While Melia explains that it is difficult to make a direct link between cost savings and the software change, he is unequivocal in asserting that Caseware is enabling RBK staff to spend more time on billable tasks and less on administrative tasks.
“The integration between Caseware Accounts Production and Audit functions removes many manual routine tasks, freeing our staff to engage in more productive, profitable work.”