Implementing Best Practice Systems: Does Your Firm Need Attention?

It is simple to understand why an accounting firm should have up-to-date and best practice procedures and templates in place – but what might come as a surprise is that it is also relatively simple to understand how to go about implementing these in your practice.

  • How do you recognise if your firm has a problem?
  • How do you know if your procedures and templates are out-of-date or do not reflect industry best practice?

We suggest that you ask yourself a few simple questions, like those below. We’ve also included the answers that you should have for each question – if your answer is different, it is likely the case that your procedures and templates require immediate attention.

Question: Do all my staff know where to go to find out which tax rates they should be applying on all jobs being completed this year?

Best practice answer: Yes.

Question: Are these up-to-date rates all included in our standard workpapers for this year?

Best practice answer: Yes.

Question: Do junior staff frequently approach more senior staff with questions such as, ‘I have finished task X for client X, what should I do now?’

Best practice answer: No.

Question: Do reviews of jobs frequently reveal errors such as those relating to missing information or out-of-date formulas?

Best practice answer: No.

Question: Are reviewers ever frustrated by reviewing work presented to them in an array of different formats?

Best practice answer: No.

Question: Are they frustrated by the amount of time it takes them to review work?

Best practice answer: No.

Question: Is any team member (or any group of team members) allocated responsibility for regularly ensuring all standard procedures, workpapers and other template documents are up-to-date?

Best practice answer: Yes.

Question: Does this person or group have sufficient time to dedicate to this task?

Best practice answer: Yes.

Question: If your firm has ever been the subject of a quality assurance audit or review by your accounting member body, did that audit or review expose any weaknesses in your internal systems relating to out-of-date procedures, workpapers or other templates?

Best practice answer: No.

Question: Have these weaknesses been addressed?

Best practice answer: Yes.

Question: What would a quality assurance audit or review reveal about your firm’s standard systems, procedures and templates if it were to take place today?

Best practice answer: No issues or areas of concern.

Written by HowNowHQ View all posts by this author →

HowNow is the leading email and workflow management software for accountants across Australia - and now we're available worldwide! Our new cloud software creates a frictionless end-to-end workspace for ultimate client service. We’re not just leaders of smooth business – we’re leaders of the future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.