Digital transformation is no longer a buzzword.
Firms have come to realize that cloud-enabled, paperless audit software is crucial for ensuring business continuity, recruiting and retaining talent, improving communication with clients, and driving growth.
Paperless audit software not only benefits firms but also reduces paper usage, management, and storage, which is excellent news for the environment. As we approach Earth Day, firms can take their commitment to digital transformation and corporate political responsibility further by exploring ways to save the planet while serving their clients.
Environmental, Social, and Governance
In November 2021, the International Financial Standards Board announced the formation of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB). Its creation offered auditors a standard way to provide guidance around procedures and reporting around environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues.
Sustainability is no longer an optional add-on for firms, but rather a business and market imperative across many industries.
Large firms that serve corporate clients must recognize that ESG considerations are crucial, even in the absence of a mandatory ESG disclosure regime. Without transparency and accountability around ESG reporting, firms are exposed to significant financial, operational, and reputational risks.
Invest in paperless audit software
Cloud-enabled technology plays a critical role in promoting sustainability within firms, as it enables them to reduce their environmental impact, improve efficiency, and minimize paper usage. Consequently, ESG considerations take on even greater importance when using such technology, as firms can leverage its benefits to enhance their sustainability efforts.
Additionally, cloud-enabled, paperless audit software enables firms to:
- Recruit and retain talent by reducing the amount of time staff wastes on manual data entry and freeing up senior staff for strategic, revenue generating work.
- Increase efficiency via automation of manual tasks, which also relieves staffing pressure.
- Add additional revenue streams, such as advisory opportunities.
- Better serve clients by collecting sensitive documents via a secure online portal, reducing risk for the firm and offering convenience for clients.
- Reduce paper consumption, management, and storage — saving cost, energy, and the environment.
- Work from anywhere, collaborate with colleagues in real time, and securely access your audit data.
Pitching paperless audit software to clients
Going paperless is an easy way for firms to reduce their environmental impact while improving communication with clients. In fact, firms might find that their clients have been waiting to take this step for a while.
Medical practices have successfully embraced paperless technology for ease of access, data security, transparent communication, and convenience. When implementing patient health portals, doctors built in time at the end of each appointment to educate their patients about the upcoming change.
Those conversations might sound like: “We know it’s difficult for you to schedule appointments with us during work hours, so we’ve created a secure place on our website where you can see all of your health information, make appointments, view test results, and refill your prescriptions.”
By presenting the change in the proper context of client care, the change feels much less arbitrary, confusing, or inconvenient.
Likewise, tax and accounting firms can take a cue from medical practices when implementing paperless audit software. Explaining the benefits of a secure, online portal where clients can securely access their documents and information at any time can go a long way in easing any concerns they may have about the transition.
Ultimately, going paperless is a small step that can have a big impact on delivering quality client service, improving your firm’s bottom line, and making sustainability a core value of your business.
CPA or earth warrior — Why not both?
By embracing cloud-enabled technology and going paperless, firms can significantly reduce their environmental footprint while improving their operational efficiency and client experience.
Additionally, sustainable practices can enhance a company’s reputation and attract environmentally conscious clients and employees. The benefits of going paperless are not limited to the firm alone but extend to the wider community, making it a win-win solution for all stakeholders.
Switching to paperless audit software is a smart and strategic move for firms that want to stay ahead of the curve and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and client service excellence.