Improve Workflow and Efficiency when using CCH ProSystem fx Engagement, Engagement CS, or CaseWare
Research has proven the likelihood of a firm using CCH ProSystem fx Engagement, Engagement CS, or CaseWare engagement management software (EMS) increases substantially after the firm reaches $200k in annual revenue1. As firms rise above this level of annual revenue, work and workflow is likely to increase in complexity resulting in workflow and efficiency issues. As these challenges persist, the need for a solution becomes more apparent. This article will shed light on how pairing your preferred EMS with workflow and document management software (DMS) resolves the most common workflow and efficiency challenges.
When DMS and workflow software are paired with your preferred EMS, processes are systemized and standardized. You may see the need to add DMS and workflow software but worry about a number of concerns including increased complexity and cost of adding two new software products to the mix. There are DMS providers (e.g. Doc.It Suite) that pair workflow software with DMS at no additional cost, resulting in a fully integrated DMS and workflow solution. Furthermore, some DMS includes tools commonly relied upon by firms (e.g. PDF Editor, web portals, scan and organize software, etc.), potentially reducing expenses associated with a collection of disparate vendor products.
If you are using engagement software and not subscribing to DMS with fully integrated workflow software, you may relate to these common challenges:
- Gathering documents from disparate sources and getting them into EMS can be cumbersome.
- Adobe PDF Editor, although its features and functions are needed, is expensive.
- Search within a single project or across multiple projects is time-consuming.
- Retention management tools may be lacking, leaving the firm more vulnerable to risk (e.g. legal repercussions in the event of a lawsuit).
- Workflow function is lacking or non-existent (e.g. assignment, progression and due-date tracking for the engagement).
Over the years I have gained insight and experience into these challenges by working in the trenches in hundreds of firms alongside staff members, partners and IT Mangers who use engagement management software. It has been proven and it is possible to eliminate these challenges with the right combination of DMS and workflow software tools.
If you can relate to the most common challenges highlighted in this article and see value in resolving these issues, now is the time to investigate DMS and workflow software. Insist on a solution with these five must-have features:
- Drag-and-drop. Gathering documents and getting them into the engagement software becomes a non-issue if you have the ability to drag-and-drop files. The ability to drag-and-drop searchable files directly from a central collection (e.g. PDF print from a 3rd party software, fax, web portal, etc.) is an efficient way to get documents into the engagement software from multiple sources.
- PDF Editor. If you are using Adobe PDF Editor you can relate to the expense of this disparate yet necessary software. There are viable alternatives. DMS may include a PDF Editor at no added cost. The must-have features for a PDF Editor include 1) accountant-specific tick marks, 2) calculator, and 3) the ability to add signatures. Ideally, the PDF Editor is easy to use with all markup tools located on the main DMS toolbar.
- Batch print tool. The function of a batch print tool is to create a fully-bookmarked searchable PDF file of the engagement. This tool allows you to search within the PDF of a single engagement project and/or across multiple projects and search any financial statement produced from the EMS for a word or phrase (e.g. “construction”). Instantly view a list of every financial statement in your system with that word or phrase in it.
- Retention management tool. When documents are gathered and placed in your system there should be an easy way to assign retention to each engagement project. A retention management tool helps to ensure projects that reach their expiration are removed to insulate the firm from risk associated with storing the data beyond its required retention.
- Workflow software. Firms using EMS use workflow software to manage the assignment, progression of work, and for due-date tracking of any project. This ensures staff workload is optimized, bottlenecks resolved before they become a problem and due dates are met.
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Additional resources for accountants, tax and bookkeeping professionals:
Experience a PDF Editor built for the accounting and tax profession.
Learn how workflow software works in an accounting and tax firm.
Watch how a digital archive works; note the retention, security and delivery aspects