Speakers: Philip Mowat, Audit Senior Manager, Johnston Carmichael
Philip Mowat: My name is Philip Mowat and I'm an audit senior manager at Johnston Carmichael. I'm based in the Glasgow office having worked here for 13 years. I look after a wide portfolio of audit clients including small companies and large groups.
Before using Glasscubes, how did you request information from clients?
Philip Mowat: Before using Glasscubes the main method that we used to collect audit information from clients was via email. The main challenge this posed was keeping track of audit information as it came in. Because of the volume of audit information needed and due to file size limits, it often meant that clients would have to send us several emails in order to provide the information in full. This meant keeping track of information could prove to be quite difficult. Also, in many circumstances, there would be multiple members of the client's team sending information, and they would also send it to several members of our team. So it made it quite difficult to track exactly how much audit information had come in, if there was anything still missing. It also meant that sometimes the people who'd received information may not be the right member, of the audit team, so that information had to be passed on. And then if it wasn't passed on correctly sometimes it could mean that information was asked for twice. Obviously we want to just avoid situations we were asking for the same information twice, from clients, and so that's one of the things that Glasscubes really helped with. When using, when using emails as a way to collect audit information, it means there's not really an audit trail there, of when information, who was provided to, when it was provided. There's not a piece of list of a central location where it all comes into. So it means keeping track of that is quite difficult and it makes it quite a time consuming process to try and manage.
Did you have any concerns about moving to a new solution like Glasscubes?
Philip Mowat: I think the main concern about moving to Glasscubes was really just how easy it was going to be to use and how efficient it would be. I know people can be afraid about learning a new system or adopting a new way of working. And there was also kind of question mark about whether or not it prove to be more efficient than say email, which is easy and convenient. I think having used the software I think from our clients using the software as well I think universally everyone would say it's really easy to use. You don't need a lot of training in order to use it it is very user friendly and accessible, and just by trial and error you can work out how it works. It's very easy and quick to upload information. You can drag and drop information straight in. So, I would say those fears didn't really come to pass it's been very easy to use. I think that also one of the main concerns at the outset as well was how secure it was. So people have a certain level of trust in email. So there was question marks at our side and from clients as to how secure it was what kind of level of security, is the data protected but I think you know, we've seen the guidance on that how secure it is I think using passwords, setting up individual accounts at the client side and at JC (Johnston Carmichael) side and having full control over who has access to a Glasscubes workspace has really alleviated those fears and you know people really rely on Glasscubes system now.
Has Glasscubes been useful?
Philip Mowat: I think using Glasscubes has been really beneficial to our firm and to our clients as well. I think through the sheer ease of use, I think it's made the audit process more efficient. I think it's really beneficial to have all our audit information in one, centralised location. I think having that clear trail about when information is requested, and when information was provided really helps the overall project management of a system. I think Glasscubes is an excellent project management tool, it's allowed us to set tasks and deadlines and really get a clear picture at the outset of when we need things to happen in order for the audit to work efficiently from our side and from our clients as well. So I think, it's really helped with the flow of jobs and certainly with the collection of data, I think it's really proven to be invaluable. As I said, it's easy and convenient to use I think the fact you can upload large attachments, has helped with kind of modern audit testing because large data sets and large file sizes can be uploaded to Glasscubes, which we can then interrogate and that's something that just wouldn't be possible over the email. So, overall I think it's been really beneficial and I think Glasscubes has really slotted into our way of working. I think it's now just part of the audit, our clients are comfortable using it, and it's something that everyone enjoys using as well.
Philip Mowat: I'd be very likely to recommend Glasscubes as a project management tool. I think it's really slotted into our audit process and it's been of great benefit to us and to our clients as well I think Glasscubes really acts as a focal point for the audit, helping with the provision of information as well as setting out a clear timeline at the outset. So, yeah, I would really recommend it to people.