Creaseys is a modern and forward-thinking accountancy firm based in Tunbridge Wells Kent that services a broad range of businesses across the south-east of England. For nearly 150 years it has been providing businesses and individuals with accountancy, tax and business advice.
The firm had made the strategic decision to go as paperless as possible and initially started with its client correspondence files. In 2008, as part of this process, Creaseys decided to adopt software from CaseWare, one of the world’s leading providers of accounting and audit software.
Less Paper, More Productivity
Creaseys’ audit partner Rob Blundell says: “We started using CaseWare in 2010 and we had already become paperless for the client files. The next stage in our evolution was to become paperless in accounts preparation and audit and adopting CaseWare’s software was a fundamental part of this transformation.
“We wanted to become paperless both because of the efficiency gains, but also this was clearly the way the market was moving. For instance, we were already doing much of the work on laptops and then simply print out a paper version at the end. Besides cutting out this unnecessary element, an automated system brings further and very substantial benefits around audit quality and better identifying and managing risk.”
A Competitive Advantage
Over the course of a two-year migration process, Creaseys moved all its clients from paper and Excel to CaseWare. Because its accounting software is connected to the audit package, once the data is imported there is no need for any re-keying nor printing out of paper.
“This has allowed a complete transformation of the way we work for the benefit of both Creaseys and our clients.” Rob Blundell says: “From the clients’ perspective, they see us using laptops not big paper files. When I am in a meeting discussing their issues, I access CaseWare from my iPad and get the answer immediately, rather than thumbing through a great big paper folder. It very much reflects the way we want to be seen as a modern and forward thinking firm, and using robust and modern IT is part and parcel of this.
Accurate & Efficient
“From our perspective, and putting aside the very substantial savings from ending all the printing and paper, we have realised substantial efficiency benefits, especially on the audit and also on the preparation of the accounts. The audit benefits particularly come through CaseWare’s ability to speed up identifying the areas of risk and at the outset shaping the audit from the start.
“For instance, it saves substantial amounts of time through enabling us, with appropriate checks, to roll forward the audit approach each year rather than starting from scratch each time.”
“While it is hard to be accurate about the efficiency savings because during this period there have simultaneously been plenty of audit changes, they could easily be in the region of 10-20% of time, that’s a significant impact on our recovery rates and this makes us more competitive”
“The introduction of IXBRL Tagging was a good example of the benefits from CaseWare when HMRC introduced this standard for the electronic submission of accounts.
“The CaseWare team were way ahead of the curve in putting in a programme to enable an easy tagging system. They created a very efficient way of doing what could easily have been a very techie and laborious job and using CaseWare for this certainly saved a huge amount of time.”
“I would particularly say that CaseWare’s support team is very strong and contains a great combination of both IT and good accountants. They are always at the forefront when it comes to dealing with updates to meet important changes and has always been ready for the next big change.
“I know there is a lot of new product development going on at CaseWare. This constant innovation is very reassuring and being involved with product development has made us feel very much in partnership with them”.
“When we first introduced CaseWare software, our implementation was led by a super user group which worked closely with them to iron out challenges before they became problems. I know anecdotally that some veteran accountants elsewhere find it very hard to embrace going paperless and want the paper backup. At Creaseys, our team very strongly embraced the new way of doing it, with CaseWare providing great support to enable this to happen.
“From an auditing perspective, there is no going back to paper and Excel. We would never go back. We are members of the Prime Global international network. Almost all firms within this are paperless and they have seen a massive benefit themselves to the change."