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How the Best Engagement Platform Supercharges The Entire Firm, not ‘Just’ The Audit Team

24th May 2024
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Suralink provides professional services firms with a single, secure platform to collaborate with clients, exchange documents at scale, and track the progress of engagements. 

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Even in this digital age, it’s surprisingly easy for company departments to remain siloed from one another. With this setup, teams often develop their own ecosystems and run their own systems independently of one another. Effective teams can arise from this setup, of course, but the business’s systems end up a bit fragmented.

However, this notion that teams can only have so much interconnectivity and common systems is a misconception, especially when it comes to a firm’s audit, tax, and advisory departments. It’s key for the auditing team to use a streamlined, centralised platform for PBC requests and client engagements, and though you might think such a platform is relevant only to that team, those exact capabilities are relevant to tax and advisory teams, too! Here’s how:

Streamlining Tax and Advisory Journeys

A centralised platform that can house documents in one place, include every stakeholder simultaneously, and allow them to track and update file statuses in real time is as imperative to tax and advisory teams as to the audit department. Dynamic request list and template rollover capabilities are particularly powerful here—tax professionals can leverage them to update financial and other document statuses in real-time while also expediting engagements during the busy season by simply re-leveraging templates from last year.

“It really boils down to having a simple list of things the client needs to provide in one place—instead of in a bunch of emails that are hard to find,” said Jon Luedders, a tax manager at JDS Professional Group.

Meanwhile, advisory departments can turn these features into a single conversation that all stakeholders can read and comment on in real time, eliminating the fragmented communication that arises so often during advisory engagements. Rolling templates over similarly saves time that otherwise would’ve been spent generating new ones for advisory clients.

Many Approvals, One Workflow

One of the dangers that audit, tax, and advisory departments all risk with their respective engagements is a disconnected approval process. It’s not uncommon for firms with these teams to manually reach out to stakeholders one-on-one, then forget to update everyone else on where documents are in the engagement process. It’s human to err, but these sorts of mistakes can logjam any audit, tax, or advisory engagement and force both professionals and clients to sink more time into verification.

With a streamlined request list and management platform, though, this problem is a thing of the past. Just as such platforms allow every stakeholder to communicate in one place, so too do they allow those stakeholders and professionals to sign off on files and signal where they are in the process. This centralised verification creates a single engagement timeline and workflow that everyone has a holistic, 360-view of, further saving time and immunising teams from the pitfalls of a more disparate process.

We’ve decreased the document management aspect of our audit process by 50%, and more in some cases,” said Jeff Solis, Partner at UHY.

Bringing It All Together

The value of an expedient and all-in-one-place platform goes far beyond its usefulness to individual teams. Tax, advisory, and audit departments can also utilise that one and same platform to communicate with each other as much as they do their clients.

The benefit here is considerable: when multiple teams are able to rely on one platform, they eliminate the tech sprawl that can keep an organisation from accomplishing its top-level experience goals, revenue guideposts, and from wasting a lot of time and effort. Consolidating technology helps firms save money while also creating a meaningfully improved interaction for both professionals and clients.

What we’ve found is that a lot of clients really like having a tool like Suralink to manage the process,” said Ty Holman, Partner at Haynie & Co. “They like the idea of having something more streamlined.”

Interested in learning more about how multiple teams can use a single platform to achieve that and other forms of success? Click here to get in touch with an expert at Suralink, the leader in PBC request list and engagement management software, to see what our platform will do for you!

 

Author: The Suralink Team