2 min read
Digitalisation & remote work
Audit & Assurance successfully transforms amid COVID-19
- While working remotely has been part of the Deloitte culture for some time, it was not common practice within Audit & Assurance as the practitioners’ presence was needed at our clients.
Having started in early 2020 to roll out technology and training its teams to move into an extensive remote work approach, Audit & Assurance was able to switch 100 percent to working from home as of the lockdown in mid-March. Accelerating digitalisation in the ways of working internally and with clients, setting up a taskforce, and introducing an elaborate communication plan helped ensure a smooth and successful transition.
“We launched several initiatives to ensure that the sudden switch to remote working went smoothly for our people, who due to our profession mostly worked at our clients. Our goal was to help them stay connected and informed, while enhancing their way of working with each other and our clients. We continue to optimise the use of the digital tools available to us, ready to take on any challenges we may face, successfully.”
Very quickly the teams increased their use of Deloitte Connect, Zoom, Teams, Digital Signature, etc. to maintain their close relationships with their clients and to be able to serve them efficiently and effectively. The use of automated analytical and audit tools like Spotlight and DFact was also intensified. An increased level of digitalisation both at the client and at Deloitte meant that they improved efficiency and planning. Going digital was always the plan, but COVID-19 accelerated the process.
Face-to face meetings were replaced by digital meetings which makes it challenging to gain insights from personal reactions. However, the teams quickly adapted to the new ways of working together, without ever compromising the level of service or audit quality.
One of the main challenges Audit & Assurance faced was how to embed this new way of working in their culture. A taskforce was set up to monitor the COVID-19 situation, follow up on safety procedures and decide on exceptions according to client needs, etc. The Talent team and the partner group also launched the ‘Let’s Connect’ communications plan to help the members of each team to stay connected with each other, as well as the other teams in Audit & Assurance.
Let’s Connect includes 30-minute team update calls, weekly coaching conversations, regular all practice calls, virtual drinks, and more. The Talent team is also available on daily timeslots for a call with anyone who finds it hard to balance their work and family, and advises coaches on how to assist their coachees. Let’s Connect ensures that best practices are shared, everyone is informed, and the Audit & Assurance team spirit is kept alive.
Since the start of the pandemic impacting Belgium, Audit & Assurance proactively sought to lead the way and be more cost and time efficient. Lessons are being learned throughout this evolving situation, improving the ways of working and connecting, today and tomorrow.