In April 2020, Phil Bown stepped into the role of Audit Technical & Quality Improvement Manager within Baker Tilly International. Headquartered in London, he submerged into a serious performance history of the company wide Quality Audit work. On a regular basis, over 130 member firms are invited to the global quality control procedures. A role which Phil intends to carry out in a collaborative manner.
‘I have no interest in telling people off with 20+ so called non-compliant matters. I aim to improve together, so we all get to the next level.’
– Phil Bown, Baker Tilly International
Together with CIO Adam Grainger and Director of Professional Standards Nick Jeffrey, Phil dove into the established Quality Control system. Getting familiar with these procedures made them aware of the intense amount of manual work. ‘London loves spreadsheets’, might be a common saying, but change is coming.
Keep IT simple
Adam, Nick and Phil teamed up with Dutch IT company Agerion IT. They tapped into the experience of Ed Berk and Stefan Frerichs, leading noteworthy international IT projects in the Accountancy field. Together, they set up a clear framework for improvement.
Clear framework for improvement
Whereas the Microsoft Excel sheets have been doing the job, the new Microsoft Power Platform solution can do even better. Agerion IT built a custom QI app for Baker Tilly International. As Arthihan Velauthapillai, one of the Power Platform specialists within Agerion shares with a smile:
‘This app aims for the best collaboration possible within Baker Tilly: convenient use for the member firm as well as the
It was a pleasure to develop such a custom app, helping others to improve their way of working. After thorough tests, we
are rolling it out now.’
– Arthihan Velauthapillai
The Baker Tilly Quality Improvement App
Member firms are gradually invited in the user-friendly app, where they can easily answer the International Standard Quality Control 1 requirements. Per ISQC topic, they can share their actual status or – in case nothing has changed – effortlessly reuse any previously shared answers.
As soon as they submit their answers, the member firm as well as the global office gets a confirmation of their entry. This is where the global office, represented by Phil and his colleague Carla, step in. The system makes it very efficient to add comments and global office reviews.
Arthihan Velauthapillai in Londen, waar het hoofdkantoor van Baker Tilly International gevestigd is.
A summary of the results appears in the global office QI dashboard. This overview, which was previously manually updated in Excel, updates in real-time in Microsoft Power BI and shows the compliancy of member firm per ISQC1 topic. Due to a set of clever variables in
the dataset, a future planning for member firms is calculated.
Efficient future planning tool
All in all, Baker Tilly International went from 3 manually adjusted Excel databases and many emails and phonecalls to a central, user-friendly place for their Quality Control. While saving time and improving overview for the global office, the feedback of the first member firms enrolled in this system is also positive.
The enthusiasm is so significant, that member firms with their own sub-networks start to use the Microsoft Power Platform for more than just the ISQC1. To gather around the words of Phil: ‘Let’s improve together.’