Audit firm goes paperless in under a week

Paperless Office
Chartered Accountants have responded swiftly and nimbly to the COVID-19 pandemic. Whanganui’s Silks Audit shows how a negative situation can be turned into a positive.

Going paperless was a dream for Whanganui’s Silks Audit. Little did the partners know they’d make the transformation in less than seven days.

Talia Anderson-Town CA

The COVID-19 lockdown was the catalyst to migrate the business from paper-based audit files to digital.

It’s a permanent change, says Silks Audit auditor Talia Anderson-Town CA that has transformed the business.

“Last year we were investigating going paperless,” she says. But the project had gone off the boil thanks to the lack of time and concerns about staff buy in.

When Silks’ partners realised they had just two days to move the work of 24 people to home offices, the lack of printers and consumables forced their hand.

Anderson-Town and fellow partner Cameron Town CA got to work assessing digital solutions to replace the need to courier physical files between homes.

By the end of the week they had trialled Adobe Acrobat DC Pro successfully, bought licences, and run a Zoom training session for staff members.;

Last year we were investigating going paperless. But the project had gone off the boil thanks to the lack of time and concerns about staff buy in. – Talia Anderson-Town CA

“We have 300 pages on an audit file,” she says. “With Adobe Pro staff can go into the file, reorganise it, edit it, review it online, save it and sign it (digitally). The most important thing is we have the ability to work remotely.”

The licences for the software cost A$22.99 a month per staff member, but that will pay for itself and more, she says.

Staff buy in was almost instant, says Anderson-Town, something that may not have happened in normal circumstances. What’s more, many of the staff members love their improved work/life balance.

The partners have clocked an increase in staff productivity and they have begun to wonder if plans for physical expansion of the office after lockdown can be shelved.

The number one take out for Silks Audit is how a negative situation can be turned positive. “Our staff are in high spirits and feeling good about working productively and having a secure future,” says Anderson-Town.


This article was first published by CA ANZ on 1/05/2020. You can read the original version here.