by Randi Kranzler, amelio, by HKMP Technologies
A recent trend in business process management involves generating, routing and automating documents. Automating document generation allows you to convert the existing types of documents your firm frequently uses into automated forms. When combined with business process management, automating document generation and routing can provide your firm with greater consistency, save a significant amount of time, and reduce risk.
Engagement Letters: The First Step in Document Automation
Consider an audit engagement letter. An audit workflow typically involves obtaining a signed engagement letter as one of the earliest steps in the project. What usually happens is the engagement team receives the client information and gets to work, assuming the signed engagement letter will come in before fieldwork is complete. This strategy backfires when the firm realizes they’ve delivered the client’s financial statements but they don’t have a signed engagement letter on file.
That scenario might not be a huge risk if the audit is for a recurring client with whom you have an excellent relationship – a quick reminder will usually convince the client to sign the letter. However, the fact remains that an engagement letter is your contract. It’s how your firm manages client expectations, pricing, the scope of work and liability.