Flying high in the cloud
The technology driving Praxity’s award-winning approach to accounting
Great teamwork and personalised service lie behind Praxity’s success as the world’s largest alliance for independent accounting and consulting firms. Now the Alliance’s multi-award-winning collaborative approach is even stronger, thanks to the use of Huddle for improved collaboration and knowledge sharing between teams, partners and clients. Huddle provides a highly-effective way for teams to come together and share and work on files in the cloud – the term used for remote servers held in data centres around the world, and the software and databases that run on them. The Huddle portal allows accounting professionals, including remote workers, to share information, collaborate on files, and manage tasks and approvals quickly and securely with colleagues, partners and clients anywhere in the world. Huddle’s rollout across the Alliance means Praxity participant firms in 110 countries can work together more efficiently to solve clients’ complex business challenges. It provides a vital resource for both office-based and remote workers. Participant firms and their clients are enjoying significant benefits, enhancing the Alliance’s reputation for global collaboration and slick delivery.
“It has helped reduce the time it takes to collaborate with clients and colleagues around the globe.”
Jason Drake, Partner and International Practice Leader at Praxity participant firm Plante Moran, says: “Huddle has helped simplify much of the complexity on cross-border projects. It has helped reduce the time it takes to collaborate with clients and colleagues around the globe.” Commenting on the key strengths of the platform, Jason adds: “What I like most is that is it a secure solution that is easy to use, easy to navigate, and can be used on iPhone, iPad or laptop.”
What makes Praxity special is the way participant firms work seamlessly together while retaining their independence. While each firm has separate business strategies, branding, and operations, they come together to pool expertise in specialist, multi-disciplinary teams to solve clients’ specific business challenges. Before Huddle, some firms had their own share site solution but there were challenges with multi-firm engagements. When firms were working together on an engagement, having separate share sites between each one was administratively difficult and confusing for clients. Getting approval for using other firm’s tools could be logistically challenging. Moreover, some smaller firms may not have had a solution that would work for larger scale projects.
Collaborating more efficiently
Huddle was rolled out across the Alliance to make multi-firm, cross-team collaboration simple. It works by creating a secure place in the cloud where teams, and even clients, can come to access and work on their documents collaboratively. This means that every team member - including remote workers and those in different jurisdictions - can work together more efficiently on a single platform. Huddle gives both large and small firms an option for a cross-team platform with the functionality needed for larger engagements. It is simple to use, intuitive for international teams, and firms enjoy having one platform to track tasks and upload files. The portal’s group access rights make managing client and engagement team access easy. Clients now only have one platform to access. Therefore, training time is faster and deliverables are more likely to get to the right person and on time.
Better for teams, better for clients
Since implementing Huddle, teams have found organizing and implementing engagements to be much easier. Getting the client set-up on one platform has helped reduce overall hours and improved the client experience. Access management is easy to utilize to ensure information is safe and restricted to the proper individuals. Deadlines are more likely to be met because of the task management features that helps communicate and remind team members and clients of upcoming due dates. Overall, the quality of engagements has improved as all firms on the engagement have the same great tool functionality. Praxity is also using Huddle to improve efficiencies within the organisation itself. For example, the Alliance’s working groups, which include representatives from participant firms, use it to share files on their projects and track tasks and due dates. Internally, teams use it to monitor tasks, give status updates, and share project files. The platform is helpful for tracking approvals and monitoring versions and edits to internal documents. The dashboard feature is useful for tracking file updates and upcoming deadlines across different working groups and member firm projects. Praxity has always been strong on teamwork and personalised support. Now it’s that much stronger, making collaboration easier for employees, teams, firms, and above all, clients.