Unlocking Value with Microsoft 365
CR Van Wyk (CRVW) Chartered Accountants and Auditors is a dynamic firm, that offers a range of solution-driven accounting, auditing and advisory services to both private and corporate clients. What primarily started as a single firm, has now branched out into a well-esteemed group of companies.
Operating with small to medium-sized markets, CRVW is dedicated to nurturing client relationships and ensuring that each tailored solution, is both cost-effective and innovative. The firm’s extended services include taxation, payroll administration and secretarial services.
Catering for small to medium markets means that CRVW has had to maintain an integrated always-on approach to client service. Taking care of clients also means taking care of the firm, internally, and ensuring effective operations from the inside out.
Seamless communication, automation, data retention and security were amongst the main challenges faced by the accounting services firm.
The following challenges proved frustrating to CRVW:
- Internal communication was primarily driven on email, causing backlogs and limiting overall team collaboration and effective engagement.
- Data security concerns were prevalent, with access to sensitive data and governing resulting in a backlog for IT.
- With the increase of hybrid work, CRVW had no cloud-based centralized platform for employees and clients to join meetings.
- There was no tool that allowed for effective tracking of tasks and assignments. Therefore, limiting project management.
- Manual data retention and storage led to information security risks and long administerial processes.
- No dynamic intranet site that is easily maintained and updated in real- time. Accuracy was therefore a concern.
- A lack of supportive cloud-based platforms that can provide clients with secure access to specific information retained by the business.
- With a lot of time spent on manual tasks, time management became a challenge and led and affected overall productivity.
CRVW’s challenges required a solution that would enable the team to work together to resolve challenges; increasing productivity levels and empowering employees to do more. The Microsoft 365 solution also ensures streamlined employee collaboration and smart cloud services to ensure that work is protected by world-class security.
Being already familiar with the functionalities of Microsoft 365, CRVW resonated more with this solution, and calls it out to be ‘easy to negotiate, cost effective and well supported’.
The solution was also aligned to the business needs, by offering versatility license offerings which can be tailored to suit the requirements for both large and small operations.
Preparing to successfully transition and deploy Microsoft 365, the following steps were taken:
- Onboarding teams with tools, templates and relevant assets. Stakeholders were identified for training and enablement of the system.
- Undertaking business analysis workshops to understand stakeholder requirements and identify key workloads to be prioritized for the migration.
- File migration in terms of installation and setup of third-party migration software and assisting CRVW with the migration of active project files to SharePoint Online.
- System configuration and development
is sent to the client and project team for approval and testing in preparation to deploy.
- In addition to digital enablement of relevant teams, Mint works closely with clients after project deployment to continuously unpack further value for clients.
Red Dot Intranet Solution
CR van Wyk’s Red Dot Intranet is built on Microsoft 365, leveraging SharePoint Online. As a brand-new Intranet, this created an opportunity to offer a wide range of options and tools to surface important content to the business. The Intranet is responsive and renders optimally on any device and delivers dynamic content to users to help drive employee engagement.
Communication sites with information pages have been created to group and highlight different content based on functionality rather than departments. Hub site navigation was implemented allowing easy navigation between the sites and providing a consistent user experience. A clear separation was also created to distinguish between internal communication and social events, e.g., birthdays, celebrations, events, etc.
Policies and Procedures Solution
The Policies and Procedures solution was built using the Microsoft Power Platform and allows CRVW to store, accept and track the acceptance of policies and procedures.
The solution includes a SharePoint Online site where documents are uploaded, classified, and sent for electronic approval. A Power App was built to surface all approved policies and procedures to end-users, allowing them to view and accept the documents from their preferred device. Furthermore, a Power BI report was built to provide CRVW with the necessary insights to track the acceptance of policies and procedures.
Performance Management Solution
The performance management solution is used by CRVW as a way for managers of various
project and portfolios to perform KPI reviews with trainees and clerks, tracking performance against key metrics in order to measure project success. Data is collected through self-reviews and management reviews, enabling managers to track key performance indicators per individual. Performance Management reporting provides valuable insight on how projects are being conducted, empowering managers to find significant paths to increasing efficiency.
A canvas Power App is utilized by managers to evaluate each trainee or clerk once a client project is completed. Managers and trainees and clerks are able to rate themselves against predefined key performance indicators using the applicaiton. All the data captured gets stored within a SharePoint Online list, allowing for history logs to be recorded and easy integration into Power BI for efficient dashboards and reporting.
The report for each trainee can be viewed in Power BI, containing advanced data analytics and insights. The report is used to generate and calculate an average score, based on all completed projects.
Reward Spot Solution
Reward Spot is an employee recognition mobile application, created to enhance and foster a culture of collaboration between CRVW employees. Using the ‘Send a Dot’ app, employees are able to recognize colleagues in their teams or departments against the companies five core values.
Reward Spot was designed using canvas Power Apps and can be accessed from the Intranet, Teams channel or Power App mobile app. Each dot gets stored in a SharePoint Online list with the different metadata captured.
When a user wants to recognize a colleague for their great work, a nomination with a short description can be assigned, complementing one of the five company values. Each user can see all the recognitions across an organization, as well as his/her own. At the end of each year, based on the performance review and accumulated dots, high-performing achievers, can be selected and announced.
The following benefits have been expressed by CRVW, following the effective implementation and integration of Microsoft Power Platform Business Applications and Microsoft 365 technologies:
Being able to work from anywhere
Accessing data from anywhere has enabled CRVW to navigate the stormy waters of lockdown regulations and travel restrictions, to such an extent that these have little impact on the business.
30% Time Savings
Previously overspending time on waiting for information, administerial tasks and staff meetings, CRVW now has more time to execute assignments faster, while increasing billable hours without additional resource costs.
By implementing cloud-based solutions that aid the modern workplace experience, the firm is no longer exposed to hardware failure or downtime that needs to be managed, or inaccessibility of information due to working out of office.
Increased Client Satisfaction
The types and volumes of information CRVW employees can access and share securely on a consistent basis to clients has had a great improvement on internal productivity, ultimately adding to overall client satisfaction.
With an effective transformational roadmap and migration strategy, CRVW was able to pinpoint business priorities and the steps required to successfully accomplish them. The firm has seen a valuable impact, made possible by digital adaptation and the significant transition into the cloud.
Utilizing the Microsoft 365 and Business Applications Power Platform, CRVW has used cloud-based digital transformation as a basis for building competency, excellence, and innovation. Mint Group continually works with clients after project deployment to unpack further value across the Microsoft clouds. In building a cloud roadmap, Mint Group ensures success for our clients, allowing them to digitally transform to bring more value to their clients, employees and broader ecosystems.
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