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Working with Xero and Workpapers – taking back control of your compliance

Helping accountancy practices really add value for their clients is what we’re all about at Xero. We’ve even put together our own Practice Studio suite which includes Workpapers, a software package which make your compliance process faster, easier and smarter. And less time spent on process-heavy compliance means more time to collaborate with your clients on important year-end issues.

We caught up recently with Ian Woollard, Director at Pearson Buchholz, to find out how working with Xero and Workpapers has transformed their compliance and quality assurance processes – and allowed them to bring additional value to their client conversations. Ian’s been using Xero since 2010, when clients initially started requesting cloud-based solutions for their accounting needs.

Ian Woollard from Pearson Buchholz

Ian Woollard from Pearson Buchholz

Pulling your data from Xero into Workpapers

Ian’s keen to underline Xero’s ability to produce tailored management accounting reports for clients, as well as the secure nature of Xero’s data – a deciding factor when the firm wanted a system that provided the comfort around data that was needed for their business. But it’s the synergy between Xero and Workpapers that has really made a difference for Pearson Buchholz.

“What Workpapers does is allow us to suck the data we need out of Xero. For us, it’s a great tool and it’s a great time-saver.

Before we used Workpapers we were producing a manual file for each client for review purposes, which was a time-consuming process. What Workpapers allows us to do is stop re-processing the client’s data to create working papers for review processes. That data is already there in Xero and can be pulled across straight into Workpapers.”

Speeding up the review process

This ability to pull the data straight from Xero into Workpapers has revolutionised the review process at Pearson Buchholz, as Ian explains:

“In Workpapers, the reviewing partner can just use the hot link to go into the underlying chart of accounts, go into the underlying data and even go into the underlying invoices, if needed. This means that the review process has become a lot more streamlined and a lot faster.

Our tax team also have access to Workpapers. So this means they can carry out their tax review and their quality assurance review all from the same data.

The reason we’ve chosen Xero as a ‘bureau service’ – meaning we don’t need to prep outside of Xero – is because we can use Xero to speed up the time it takes to review and answer year-end questions: that’s been one of the main benefits for us. The quicker we can speak to the client about any issues the better. So, for us, it’s about making the process faster, meaning we can give advice to the client more quickly.

Providing business advice, not processing data

Using Workpapers has really helped Ian to improve the efficiency of their working papers. And, as he outlines, it’s really turned around the way in which they can provide advice to their clients;

“In the old days we spent most of our time processing data. Now, with Xero and Workpapers, we spend our time analysing the data we already have access to and advising our clients faster and much closer to the year-end. This gives the client more opportunities to do something about any issues that do come up in the review.”

Reducing the time it take to produce working papers for review purposes, and having the data you need continually available through Xero, makes Workpapers an invaluable tool for any practice which wants to take control of compliance. Having the information you need to review, collaborate on and sign-off charts of accounts means more more time to work constructively with your clients and provide the business advice they need.

You can find out more about the benefits of Workpapers on the Xero website.

 

 

Read more about Accountants, Accounting, Workpapers

 

2 comments

Lorraine Terpend
24 March 2014 #

Would it be possible for Not for Profit entities that do their own financial statements and workpapers (manual) to use the workpapers function so that they can be accessed by the Auditor directly. This means we can save money on Accountants fees for processing the year end workpapers and still have an audit done.

John Manktelow
25 March 2014 #

Hi Lorraine,

Xero Workpapers is a separate product (one of a few in our Practice Studio suite) designed for our accountant and bookkeeping partners.

Because of that, it might not be a great fit for your NFP at the moment.

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