Provided By Client (PBC) is a core part of accounting and audit engagements that require clients to provide a range of documents, such as general ledgers, contracts, bank statements, invoices and receipts, to complete jobs.
Whether this is for payroll, VAT, annual accounts, corporation tax filings or audits, accounting professionals require timely and complete access to relevant documentation.
While most firms currently leverage PBC processes, many practices could benefit from greater optimisation of efficiencies. Frustratingly, many firms still use paper audit trails and have to physically inspect files or ask for documents to be scanned. Sourcing requests piecemeal and manually via email or various repositories can create decentralised or siloed systems which can hinder collaboration and progress.
Using Circit’s PBC Client Collaboration has many benefits, including opportunities for better client collaboration, streamlined processes, high data security and unparalleled visibility on the status of audit assignments.
Superior Client Collaboration
PBC Client Collaboration moves PBC away from email and onto a centralised platform where all requests and communications can be managed from a single location.
Clients using Circit’s Client Collaboration platform can upload documents and respond to requests within the platform. This makes it easier for clients and accountants to collaborate as communications and documents are stored centrally rather than being sent via ad-hoc emails.
Requests can be selected from default queries or created for reuse by accountants and auditors. New queries can be added through the platform, with the ability to upload CSV files for lists created from scratch.
You may choose to set up PBC lists based on specific clients or by the type of job. For example, you can create a PBC request template for payroll engagements that asks for new joiner forms, leavers documentation, and changes to pension schemes. This ensures consistency and replicability of processes which makes it easier when new hires or trainees come on board. These queries can also be edited in bulk by senior management if there are specific nuances for individual clients.
Onboarding for clients is made easy by the ability to send clients branded emails and instructional videos explaining how the platform works.
Circit’s PBC Client Collaboration generates significant time savings.
Clear visibility on the status of every document requested will minimise the need to send chaser messages for outstanding files. Queries and tasks are clearly assigned to members of the client and accountant teams. When queries have been answered, they can be moved to a submitted section for accountant review and it’s easy for both parties to see what is outstanding.
Additionally, request lists can be rolled forward to be reused. This can be useful for year-end work, such as annual accounts and audits, where the request list is likely to be similar year on year. Centralised communications and documents also save time on job completions as accounting team members have access to everything in one place, reducing the need to search for information.
This saved time leads to faster completion of jobs and more profitable assignments due to reducing the overhead cost of servicing clients.
Unfortunately, email phishing attacks have been on the rise, particularly since the pandemic, with individuals being tricked into sharing confidential data that criminals can use for fraudulent purposes.
With Circit, firms can move away from email, with all communications and transfers of documents taking place safely within the platform.
Data is fully encrypted with world-class encryption and key management techniques, with the platform being ISO 27001 certified, the gold standard for international security standards.
This gives accountants and clients complete confidence that they can share sensitive data, such as personal details of employees, bank account information and supplier invoices. Queries can also be locked to specific members of the client team to restrict access to sensitive data.
Keeping on top of the status of jobs is challenging at the best of times, and missing a deadline can have negative implications for clients and accountants.
The new VAT penalty regime, introduced in January this year, is a points-based system and consistent late filings and payments can result in significant fines. It’s therefore more important than ever to have visibility of jobs, so they are completed on time and to maintain strong client relationships.
With PBC Client Collaboration, you can get instant visibility across your client portfolio on the status and progress of client jobs. This will highlight where requests for documents and data (by types, including confirmation requests and letters of authority) need to be escalated and makes resourcing of engagements more manageable. For example, a job with an impending deadline and a last-minute submission of supporting documents may require a few team members to be allocated to the assignment at short notice. In these instances, outstanding requests can be reassigned to these staff members.
Requests can also be filtered across various views, including by submitted, complete and overdue.
See PBC Client Collaboration in action
These are just a few examples of how PBC Client Collaboration can enhance and streamline client engagements securely.
To learn more about what it can do for your firm, set up a demo.