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In today’s episode of ‘From the eLearning Trenches,’ we asked one of our learners, a manager in an accounting firm, to consider any steps relating to compliance management that could be eliminated by technology or better managed through effective delegation. List these steps and develop some actions to achieve results

Learner Reflection

I already look out for efficiencies on how we can make the client information more accessible to us.

For example, I recently had a client who already has a trust with few investment properties including commercial properties from which they operate their business from. I identified that it would be cheaper for us to pay for a MYOB subscription and get bank feeds and process the data file and allocate transactions every quarter (when we prepare the BASs) then asking the client to provide all of the information to us each quarter.

We cover the cost of the monthly MYOB subscription and reconcile their accounts, however, due to the efficiencies gained through this process we actually process the job without any write offs and recover our MYOB fees paid as well.

This client bought another few properties in another trust (which we established) and I applied the same method, asking the client to open up a new bank account for this entity and to deposit all the rental income into it and pay all of the loan repayments out of this account as well. I then created a new MYOB file and asked to have bank feeds for the main bank account as well as the mortgage accounts.

I even went a step further and asked their real estate agent to include me in every email that they send to the client in regard to the monthly reports. This really cuts down on gathering any info from the client at the end of the year. We clear up queries each quarter and therefore we are ready to do their compliance for these entities as soon as we complete their June BAS.

With this same client I also got my graduate accountant to be the point of contact for requesting the information for the BAS, or in this case, the queries we have in order to reconcile the file each quarter. She cc’s me in the email so that I have an overview and the client will always reply to all and that way I know exactly what is happening and can get onto any issues straight away (so far so good, we haven’t had any issues so far).

Feedback from our experts

The manager provides a great example of the value of using technology to streamline the process of collecting and reconciling data. Also, communication is delegated and streamlined to create a ‘team’ approach to management of the client. Clearly, this is beneficial to the client and the firm.

This all makes sense, however often managers are so busy churning through the work that they don’t take the time to consider what actions can  be taken to improve the flow of information and communication. In this case, the manager took the initiative and set up the system to collect and process data. They didn’t need to ‘get the client across the line.’ The client clearly sees the benefit once the new system is in place.

What actions can you take now to improve the way that compliance workflow is managed in your firm? The best place to start is to map the flow of work including roles and responsibilities, then look for ways that steps can be streamlined or eliminated with technology or delegation.

Key take-away

Make the time to analysis the flow of work to identify ways to streamline the collection and analysis of data. Delegate and share information to improve communication with clients.

This assessment task and response is taken from the Proactive Manager eLearning Course. Click here to explore this course

Also, take a look at the Responsible Workflow Manager eLearning Course.

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