How an audit firm adapted Beeye in close cooperation with the publisher to meet its planning needs.
PKF Luxembourg and its network
PKF Luxembourg is an audit and consulting firm created in 2018 on the basis of existing firms. Today, it has national and international clients, 25 employees and four partners. Among the latter, Rita Rakib is particularly in charge of planning. She set up Beeye on 1 January 2022.
PKF Luxembourg is part of the PKF network, which has 220 members in 150 countries. The network has laid down common rules, especially in terms of audit guidelines. Each country remains free to equip itself as it wishes, but the network does everything it can to promote exchanges at different levels. Thus, starting in France, the use of Beeye has been extended to Luxembourg, but also to Tahiti, New Caledonia, and others to come.
Key objectives: Manage juniors, plan better and faster
The quality of the people who work for an audit firm is the key to its value. But in Luxembourg, as elsewhere, talent is scarce, while turnover tends to pick up, especially among junior employees. There was no question of waiting for a replica of the Big Quit (48 million American employees packed their bags in 2021, and in March 2022 no fewer than 4.5 million resignations were tendered -- a record): it was crucial to set new rules for the functioning of teams.
“We need to protect the junior employees in particular," explains Rita Rakib. “They can quickly find themselves torn between the direct demands of different managers. Especially if they are very good! However, when faced with a superior, a young graduate will find it difficult to judge what he or she is entitled to refuse... without damaging either the client or his or her career. How to prioritize? The result is additional stress, and sometimes overwork, which is detrimental to well-being. We wanted to improve this situation and to do so we needed an intelligent planning tool.”
Finally, Rita Rakib also wanted to limit the amount of time she spent on organizing and allocating tasks.
The choice of Beeye, the upshot of shared experience
"Generally speaking, we believe that you have to have real conversations to get the best results.” The PKF International network encourages the sharing of experience, for example at global and regional meetings. Methods, training, management, human resources and, of course, each other's work tools are discussed. "It was at one of these conferences that PKF Luxembourg discovered Beeye, via a presentation made by a French partner of PKF Arsilon.”
“We then contacted him to find out more, especially about the product's potential to be adapted to our specific needs, and finally Beeye presented its solution to us. The decision was made very quickly: on January 1st of this year, we implemented Beeye throughout the firm.”
A powerful but flexible tool
The Beeye solution was attractive because of the range of its capabilities. At issue, however, was whether it was adaptable.
Adaptation to the audit activity first: There is of course a proximity of professions, but in terms of work organization, an audit firm has quite different needs from those of public accounting:
- Most of the accounting tasks can be planned around deadlines - closings, VAT, returns, etc. Unless regulations change, these obligations are constant from one year to the next. This type of planning and its staffing are managed very well by Beeye.
- For an audit firm, things are different. Listed companies are planned as a priority; they must file their accounts before 30 April without fail. Subsidiary companies have to provide their parent companies with information by the end of February to allow for timely consolidation. And voluntary audits can be carried out... at any time!
Adaptation to the partners as well: each of them must be able to follow the distribution of work and the time spent on assignments in their own way and at their own pace. It was therefore necessary to be able to adapt the reporting easily to their specific uses and needs.
In both cases, "we were able to appreciate the flexibility of the tool, well supported by a team that listens".
A real co-creation dynamic
After she had talked to the other partners of the firm, Rita Rakib shared the outcome with the Beeye team, and the project manager who is her interface. "I met with her, we displayed the Beeye screens of PKF Luxembourg; we were able to discuss all the points, and obtain the necessary information.” After two remote meetings, Beeye presented its proposals for improvement.
"Co-creation is not possible with all publishers. For many, the reflex would be 'take it or leave it'! With Beeye, we were able to create a nomenclature adapted to audit work", she concludes.
What has already changed
- Substantial time savings: "Before Beeye, planning could be complicated, and discussions could last a long time. Now there is still a weekly planning meeting, but it is much more efficient. Half an hour is usually enough to agree on the next fortnight. We project Beeye on the screen and, as the interface immediately highlights the planning conflicts, we can concentrate on these contentious cases. I myself estimate that, overall, I only spend two hours a week on planning.”
- The employees enter their time: "They have attended the training courses organized by the publisher and internally. Of course, there may have been some reluctance at first! For the time being, we remind them of this every Monday, but we have noticed that they quickly get used to it.”
- The managers are disciplining themselves. It is no longer possible to give work to an employee "under the radar": anything that has not been planned in Beeye will not be passed on, or will have to be added at the weekly meeting. In exchange, managers and partners receive reports that are much better adapted to their needs.
- The schedule is becoming a management tool. "With Beeye, by entering the hourly costs and the amounts of the assignments, we can immediately see what is profitable and what is less so. All these indicators are useful to everyone when it comes to performing their tasks.
The next steps
The flexibility of the tool can also be seen in the fact that it is being expanded as new functions are implemented. The next steps in the use of Beeye already planned by the firm include:
- Leave management: 'transparency leads to self-discipline. When everyone is scheduled, who will go on holiday during the audit period from January to May?
- The use of feedback, to react, for example, with an additional invoice.
- Monitoring cases with an international dimension, as in group consolidations, for instance.
What I like about Beeye
- The solution is ever so flexible with regard to the different trades (audit, EC, etc.)
- Important time saving for the planner/staff
- Automated, personalized reports for managers and partners
- The individual and collective accountability it develops
- A solution that enables you to move forward in stages
- The quality of the cooperation with the publisher