Early adopters reap the rewards
by Rachel Sanders, Duncan & Toplis
Duncan & Toplis has always understood the importance of technology and sought to have innovation at the forefront of our growth strategy.
Being a mid-tier practice servicing owner managed businesses across the Midlands, we don’t have the resources of ‘Big Four’ firms to make major investments in technology, but when we were introduced to the Inflo solution in 2016 we understood that this could be a gamechanger for us.
We realised early on that due to being cloud-based, and accessible through the ‘as a service model’, Inflo was within our means and could make a big difference to the quality of our audits.
When we implemented Inflo we were perhaps too eager to explore the many capabilities of the software and the opportunities it gave us. There is a variety of modules included and we immediately tried to implement them all – this proved to be a bit overwhelming!
So, we broke it down and focused on the modules we thought our clients would like to work with the most. We handpicked the most suitable clients and forward thinking team members to be involved in the implementation process and built up our knowledge of the solution from there.
The first module we concentrated on was the transaction testing module, and this was an easy one for all parties to see benefits from.
The insights gathered and included in our client audit findings reports gave strong evidence of Inflo’s capabilities and gave us the confidence to continue with the adoption.
Initially we had two teams and two managers using the digital auditing solution, but now – five years later – we use it across our entire audit team.
Today, our clients are wanting more than a compliance service, and we have the tools we need to be able to provide that for them.
Our relationships with clients are now more collaborative and we are able to deliver more for them and drill down into high interest areas. The data volumes we are seeing across our client businesses can be a real challenge for auditing, and the digital solution is able to digest and cope with that increase. Inflo has helped us develop in terms of giving our clients better insights.
We have been able to make changes to our audit clearance meetings and now use Inflo visuals in our presentations to make them more dynamic and better illustrate our findings.
We are also able to benchmark client data against others in their industry in a feedback loop they find extremely valuable.
During the lockdowns we ran a webinar for our clients on digital auditing and this was extremely well attended, demonstrating the high level of engagement on the client side.
Team member engagement
The move to a digital audience has also had an impact on our team members. We have always been a place that has wanted to retain talent and one of our key strategies is to be a firm where talent belongs.
Our team members find more enjoyment in their work with the digital solution removing many of the more trivial tasks, so our team can get excited about analysing the data, and delivering the subsequent insights.
Inflo is now being used in accounting exams and when we talk to graduates we are often asked when will they be able to work with the solution and what projects can they expect to be working on.
Many other firms have introduced digital auditing in recent years, and the pandemic accelerated this adoption, but our point of difference remains. As an early adopter of this technology, we have become something of a centre of excellence for its use, and we’ve been able to embed the use of the technology within our audit methodology and our culture.
About the author
As an Associate at Duncan & Toplis, Rachel manages audit clients across the East Midlands leading one of our assurance hubs.
Rachel has experience across a variety of sectors including financial services, manufacturing and property as well as specialist experience with Solicitors’ Accounts Rules. More recently, Rachel has been supporting Duncan & Toplis’ Head of Assurance to implement Inflo for all audits. She has helped to shape internal processes and best practice policies for the software throughout the business.
Want to hear more
Then join her for Inflo’s Future Firm Series Part 3: How to maximise collaboration through hybrid and remote working. With post-pandemic hybrid working models set to stay, in this session you’ll learn how to shift your business model to conduct more collaborative audits that benefit both you and your clients.