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How centralising audit engagements supercharges their potential, profitability, and meaning

The term ‘client engagement’ resonates with audit, tax, advisory, internal audit, and security consulting professionals, to name but a few industries. In its simplest form, an engagement consists of a client providing a professional with the documents necessary to complete an audit, and achieve a security certification or some other high-end goal. The two parties then process information and review files as necessary to achieve said goal.

Though the engagement process is essential for clients who wish to achieve successful audits, complete tax seasons and more, it has traditionally been fraught with flaws and drawbacks that go back decades, if not centuries. For many years, professionals and the clients they serve have relied on a disparate series of portals, documents, email platforms, and more to complete an engagement. This approach might not seem so perilous at first glance, but take a closer look and you’ll see staggering potential for missed verifications, erroneous file updates, and fragmented communications. Indeed, it’s not uncommon for file verification and management to become its own second job on top of everything else involved with the engagement.

A new way of doing things

Though this setup described above has been the norm for a long time, it doesn’t have to be. Suralink, the world leader in request list and audit management software, was founded in 2014 to address the fragmented engagement paradigm head-on. Suralink’s technology replaces that nest of files, portals, and emails with a single, streamlined platform that can store an unlimited amount of any files and file types in one place.

Though consolidated file sharing is a powerful benefit in and of itself, Suralink elevates this centralisation with the ability to dynamically manage request lists – meaning that every request is in one place, updated in real time, and accessible by every stakeholder. Additionally, professionals can preserve the templates used in previous engagements, saving them time when they next serve that client.

Many approvals, one timeline

Suralink’s technology consolidates communication as much as it does files and documents. Its platform does away with the multi-portal approval processes of years past by putting all approvals, comments, and status updates in one place. It displays who has approved what and when, stakeholder comments, and more on every file. This dramatically simplifies the approval and verification process by centralising the conversation, not ‘just’ the files and documents.

This approach also simplifies professionals’ and clients’ engagement timeline. Defragmenting documents and communication naturally means defragmenting the engagement’s greater schedule. The common theme with this and the status features is to prevent what delays – or worse, derails – so many engagements across countless industries: failing to stay on the same page.

The profound end result

Suralink’s technology and software features are powerful on their own, but they’re far greater than the sum of their parts. Document validation and consolidated communications are features – the ultimate benefit is much more profound.

With Suralink, professionals and their clients can save a tremendous amount of time on their engagements – we’ve seen some firms cut their engagement time by as much as 50%. This consolidated approach also saves firms and their clients considerable money and effort.

The end result of this saved time and resources? A greatly and meaningfully improved engagement experience for auditors, tax professionals, and others, as well as their clientele. The 360-view of our platform results in a holistic experience for every stakeholder in the engagement, while also strengthening a company’s bottom line and providing more bandwidth with which to create that interaction for even more businesses.

29 March 2024