Candor slashes turnaround time with e-signatures on client tax returns

Fast 5 minute turnaround time achieved with Client Portal e-signatures

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Candor, Galway based Chartered Accountants - company logo
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"Now we can send a tax return off to a client and get it back from them on the same day within 5 minutes."

George Taylor
Practice Manager
  • 5 minute turnaround time with Client Portal e-signatures
  • 10 filing cabinets eliminated
  • 2 new desk areas made available

Galway based accountants take next step in paperless office evolution

Candor are chartered accountants based in Galway, Ireland, and have a strong company philosophy of giving superior service through being transparent and trustworthy.  

The firm had an increasing need for more floor space to cater for their document storage. George Taylor, practice manager at Candor, oversees the day-to-day processes, IT systems and covers regulatory compliance.  With a strong environmental conscience, George knew it was time for an intuitive document management solution to reduce their storage footprint.

Ever increasing storage of documents

Candor’s main objectives when considering how to manage their document database and archives were:

  • Reduce their ever-increasing store of documents
  • Become more environmentally friendly
  • Reduce costs
  • Increase floor space

Although they had processes in place for managing this, George found they weren’t sophisticated enough for their needs. Candor had a big backlog of archived files, with a very basic system in place. The CRM system that the firm used was a jack of all trades but didn’t specialise in any one thing.

"Our current system allowed for document scanning, but it’s quite limited and we have been using it for the last 10 years on and off. It was nowhere near where we wanted it to be."

- George Taylor, Practice Manager, Candor

In early 2015 it was decided that it was time for a change. George wanted to progress the paperless aspect of the office, clear floor space and get rid of some of the filing cabinets.

George explains the firm had been looking around the market for a solution, but nothing had caught their eye, so they enlisted the help of their IT manager for a suggestion who recommended Fergal from Enterprise Imaging Systems. Fergal is a reseller of Virtual Cabinet which specialises in document management for accountants.

"After seeing Virtual Cabinet we didn’t look at too many other solutions to be honest. We liked what we saw and went with it."

- George Taylor, Practice Manager, Candor

Saying goodbye to 10 huge filing cabinets

After the initial introductions made by Fergal of Enterprise Imaging Systems, the decision was made to move forward with Virtual Cabinet. A Virtual Cabinet consultant travelled to Galway to implement the system and carry out the training.

"He was really good I have to say. He did some tweaking of the system to customise it for us. It all went pretty smoothly. He did things like when you’re indexing from emails it autofills the description from the subject line. He did a few bits like that and it just seemed to be quite customisable."

- George Taylor, Practice Manager, Candor

George decided the system would be rolled out across the whole firm in all departments. He explains that the training was carried out in 2 groups to enable to the users to focus on the functionalities that would be most suitable.

"He did a separate training session for me and Declan (one of the partners) as the VC champions. Then did another training session for the rest of the team. He could then tailor the training sessions."

- George Taylor, Practice Manager, Candor

Since implementation of Virtual Cabinet, Candor have successfully met their objectives.

"We have got rid of ten 4 foot wide filing cabinets. Which has meant we could expand our canteen, and it opened space for2 new desk areas."

- George Taylor, Practice Manager, Candor

Candor is also significantly cutting down on paper use and clearing up floor space to accommodate new staff.  The back log of archived files has finally been cleared with everything scanned into Virtual Cabinet.

Turnaround time slashed on tax returns with e-signatures

The system has shown improvements that have surpassed the original objectives and have turned out to create huge time savings and have created new company goals. A huge improvement has been seen with the use of electronic signatures in the Virtual Cabinet Portal, which has been a big hit with everybody.

"The biggest saving is getting it out to a client and getting it back again instantaneously. You’re not waiting on snail mail, so you’d be saving 3 or 4 days at least per return. Most clients will be turning up on the 31st of October with their tax returns and we’ll be saying we need a signature. But now we can send it off and get it back from them on the same day within 5 minutes."

- George Taylor, Practice Manager, Candor

With the rapid adoption of the portal, George has set a goal to try and get 50% of all the tax returns signed by VC within the next year.

George also notes that the strong search tools have transformed working habits, where previously staff would still be spending time searching for the physical document, they can now search within Virtual Cabinet. 

"We like the search functionality available to search the entire database. Or part of the database where they have been indexed and the system picks out the keywords. It makes finding documents easier. In the last 6 months everyone’s getting better usage out of it and doing even more with content searching."

- George Taylor, Practice Manager, Candor

Although there were challenges with adopting a new system, the team at Virtual Cabinet have been there at every step of the way to help. Another positive is that the largest efficiency gains with Virtual Cabinet have come to fruition in the last 6 months.

"Virtual Cabinet has been a very positive add-on to our practice software. I’m definitely delighted with it, and there’s no going back in my mind."

- George Taylor, Practice Manager, Candor