Richard Place Dobson

Discover all the benefits this firm has enjoyed from paperless audit, including speed, efficiency and saving much-needed office space.

Based in Crawley, West Sussex, Richard Place Dobson offers a full range of accounting and taxation services to businesses and individuals, and a number of specialist and added value services.

The firm has four directors and 26 other team members, 20 of whom perform audit work. They currently have 75 audit clients, which includes 33 charities, one of the firm’s specialist areas.

We’ve been using CCH Audit Automation for around five and a half years. The single biggest reason for moving to a computerised audit system was our desire to reduce the amount of paper we had to handle and file. Quite simply, we were running out of space within the office. Although we did consider off-site storage, we quickly realised that this would be no more than a sticking plaster; it wasn’t the real solution to our problem.

The real solution lay in putting technology to work and moving towards a less paper-centric way of working. We looked at several computerised audit systems that the team in the office had used in the past, but none of them appeared to be as flexible or as easy to use as CCH Audit Automation. Implementation went smoothly and most people adapted to the software very quickly.

There are so many advantages to paperless auditing so it’s not just office space that we’ve saved. First impressions count and turning up at a client’s office with a laptop looks so much more professional than staggering in with an armful of cardboard boxes and over-stuffed lever arch files! It’s more pleasant for the team, too. When we’re out on an external audit it’s great to be able to scan documents straight into CCH Audit Automation and it means that we can never lose or miss-file a document.

There have been other benefits, too. The software has made the preparation, completion and review of audit and accounts files much more straightforward. Software also encourages standardised work practices. Rather than having to make a special effort and constantly remind people, these fall into place across the firm quite naturally as people use the system. It all contributes to promoting a professional image for the practice.

The update to the Clarified ISA version of the software was seamless and did not give rise to any issues. Meeting the requirements of the new ISAs has meant spending a little more time on some of our procedures but it’s not a significant increase and, in any case, it’s not due to the CCH Audit Automation software itself.

Certainly, no one here would want to go back to doing the job by hand, sorting through papers, repeatedly heading up, printing, filing… No, we’re very happy that we’ve automated the process, and we’re very happy to be using CCH Audit Automation.

Maurice Frost
Head of Audit and Assurance Services

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