Standardisation is obviously not an end in itself—it is a means to an end. One of the end benefits that Business Fitness clients experience as a result of standardisation in their use of electronic workpapers and tax checklists is a dramatic reduction in review times.
In many accounting firms reviews are reviews in name only. In fact, often reviews are more “re-do’s” than reviews. One accounting firm partner put it this way:
“Universities teach accounting students that 50% is a ‘pass’. In the real world, getting 50% of your work wrong for a client is very far from a pass. I am amazed at the standards that accounting graduates think are acceptable. It takes me a long time to drum into them that nothing less than 100% correct is acceptable before a job can go out the door.”
This was expressed by an accounting firm partner who was complaining about the amount of correction and re-work that was required in the reviews he was performing.
Business Fitness clients, on the other hand, commonly report a 50% to 75% reduction in review times after implementing the standardised workpapers and checklists in HowNow.
For example, where reviews were often taking two hours to perform, after standardisation reviews more commonly take 30 minutes to complete. In addition to reducing the amount of work charged to WIP per job, this frees up a lot of partner and manager time for higher value adding work.
One reason for this dramatic reduction in review times is that it’s easier and faster to review jobs when each job is prepared using the same workpapers and checklists. But there is another very important template that has a significant time-saving effect on review times:
The use of self-review checklists by preparers prior to presenting jobs for review
It’s a simple concept and it’s not difficult to implement.
HowNow Accountants includes a final self-review checklist that caters for all types of entities. Each checklist can be customised to cater for:
– Partnerships and Sole Traders
Self-review checklists also benefit your staff because using them provides staff with a self-paced learning process giving them the opportunity to think through and, if necessary, research the issues at hand—all without partner or manager involvement. Everyone wins.
For more information on Business Fitness’s leading templates for Australian accountants, click here.