Eliminate Bottlenecks in Your Engagements with Cloud Audit & Assurance Software

Eliminate Bottlenecks in Your Engagements with Cloud Audit & Assurance Software

Learn how cloud-based audit and accounting software can boost your business productivity, streamline your workflow and reduce bottlenecks.

In the words of self-improvement guru and author Paul J. Meyer, “productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” This statement holds true at the core of everything we do as individuals in our private lives and even truer as audit and accounting professionals.

We often equate being saddled with tons of work and not having enough hours in the day as a litmus test for busyness. But shouldn’t the focus be on being productive, instead of busy?

Today’s business environment is dynamic and ever-evolving and time is a prized asset for accounting and assurance professionals. Daily, practitioners spend endless work hours performing tedious and repetitive tasks that are increasingly onerous and of low value to their clients. 

What if there was a systematic and structured way to streamline and optimize the way practitioners conduct their engagements and free up their precious time for higher-value opportunities?

In this article, we will discuss what bottlenecks are and how they can be removed to improve engagement workflows, productivity and overall performance for increased efficiency. 

Automating data acquisition

Why it’s crucial to identify and eliminate bottlenecks in your engagements

In today’s competitive market, it is essential for practitioners to identify and tackle bottlenecks in their engagement workflow. Bottlenecks can be identified by observing the amount of time and effort being spent on a particular task or process. When these bottlenecks are identified, it is important to take steps to reduce or eliminate them in order to boost productivity and efficiency. 

Data acquisition remains a top bottleneck for accounting and assurance professionals.  The difficulty in obtaining, accessing and compiling a client’s financial data in a format that can be consumed by a firm’s engagement audit software can be very arduous. The level of repetitive client interaction to get the correct data is often time-consuming and error-prone. 

Fortunately, there is value to be gained from data — you just need the right approach to identify where it lives and understand how to access it. An easy fix to this problem will be to integrate an intelligent, cloud-based engagement management solution that eliminates errors and automates repetitive and time-consuming tasks. 

The cloud-based solution is able to intelligently obtain, test, manage and consolidate large data sets with tools that are seamless to use and integrate. Teams can choose to sample a selection of the data with the aid of smart files and populate worksheets, checklists and letters in a guided workflow. The availability of a central document and data repository, where all documents can be stored and easily accessed in a timely manner, helps practitioners make decisions quicker, address compliance, improve productivity — and drive growth to their firm.

Now more than ever, firms are realizing the valuable insights and opportunities that are inherent in having a single source of data and the ease of being able to map the data in an automated way for increased visibility into all aspects of the engagement process.

Engagement progress tracking

Choosing the right software to eliminate bottlenecks in your engagements

Consider the case of a senior engagement manager or partner of a mid-sized firm who, during busy season, has numerous client engagements to cater to and staff accountants to oversee and coordinate. Often, the manager will end up being overwhelmed in performing the tedious and repetitive tasks of trying to keep track of every change that has been made in each of the engagement letters for accountants, leading to endless work hours. 

The lack of smart template solutions, along with the duplication of processes that are part of manual solutions, will impede the productivity of the manager in effectively managing the team and clients. In this scenario, there are no effective or frictionless ways of getting engagement updates in real time.

By removing manual, time-consuming routine tasks from workloads, assurance and accounting professionals can reclaim those hours and use them for greater-value activities, such as advisory services. This is the promise an intelligent cloud-based engagement solution provides with embedded reviewer capabilities that allow practitioners to see changes to in progress and completed areas in the engagement that may be unexpected and to provide review comments to staff right on the affected area. It also reveals if a non-optimal response has been selected for each procedure, such that every engagement workflow is seamless and completed with precision.

The engagement solution allows staff to identify financial risks, detect anomalies, ensure compliance with regulations, generate comprehensive reports efficiently , allowing organizations to make informed decisions quickly. Now you can complete your tests with ease, perform your assurance engagements in a fraction of the time and easily analyze your clients’ data and compare against data sources and transactions — anytime, anywhere.

By reducing manual effort in the process of ensuring accuracy in their clients’ financial records, firms can free up time to focus on tasks that add the most value. This will help create the time and capacity needed to focus on building rewarding relationships with current and potential clients that need these services and assist them as they strive to reach their ultimate strategic goals.

Caseware’s OnPoint Audit & Assurance Suite is a secure, cloud-based engagement management solution that streamlines client collaboration, automates data acquisition, performs testing of general and sub-ledger activity, and includes standardized engagement templates. It features integrated smart methodology and expert-drafted content, providing the latest guidance and professional standards. The OnPoint Suite offers a collaborative workflow, improved accuracy, and increased efficiency that saves you time in every engagement.

Discover how you can make your practice more efficient with an intelligent, cloud-based solution like Caseware’s OnPoint Audit & Assurance Suite.