RSM Canada is a leading provider of audit, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market. The firm is the Canadian member firm of RSM International, a global network of independent audit, tax, and consulting firms.
RSM Canada uses Huddle to collaborate on a broad range of internal projects, client engagements and initiatives with other RSM member firms.
Matt Stone, Manager, Capital Markets and M&A Advisory, RSM Canada
Whether it’s a consulting or M&A engagement with a client, or a cross-border project with another member of the RSM network, for RSM Canada secure document sharing and collaboration are ongoing and unavoidable requirements.
Recognizing the importance of providing a simple and secure solution for working together on documents with clients, RSM Canada concluded that inadequate digital engagement tools were hampering their client experience, while also eroding profitability: “Our client engagements routinely involve gathering, sharing and collaborating on highly sensitive documents. Before selecting Huddle, we had a number of in-house tools that were overly complex, expensive and didn’t provide the quality of client experience we were looking for,” explained Matt Stone, a Manager in RSM Canada’s Capital Markets and M&A Advisory division. “Often we would resort to sending and requesting documents in zip files via email. Sharing information securely without clogging up the client’s and our own team’s inboxes was an ongoing challenge”.
Matt went on to explain that RSM were sometimes instructed to use the client’s own solution. “Using the client’s solution removed our ability to control the engagement experience, compromised our ability to manage access to sensitive information, and limited our insight into the status of each engagement.”
When RSM turned to Huddle they found a solution that was well-aligned with their client experience goals, while also allowing them to evolve their business processes to realize efficiency gains. “When we requested information from our clients via email, we would have to manually review, file and check each document off our request list, which was very time consuming,” explained Matt, “Now they can upload documents straight into the correct folder in Huddle, and we get to see when they uploaded the file.”
“Timing is very important to our work, so being able to see when the most recent version of a document has been uploaded is a huge benefit. For many of the transactions we work on, mission critical information is being shared. All of our engagements have deadlines, for example completing due diligence, financing or analysis. With Huddle, as soon as client documents are available we can prepare our analysis and make sure that the client has access to it.”
Huddle’s Workspace and permissions models have helped to streamline RSM’s ways of working, particularly when it comes to initializing new engagements, or introducing new client contacts into an existing engagement: “Setting up a new Client Portal, Workspace or Deal Room is very straightforward, and Huddle saves a lot of time when adding new people on the client side – it takes about 30 seconds to add someone to a Huddle Workspace, and they can start reviewing existing information and providing new documents immediately. If I was doing that via email I would have to share all the information directly with that individual, which includes collating the relevant files, zipping them up into batches, and then being very careful that I am sending the right information to the right client contact. I was wasting time on admin tasks that could be spent on more valuable activities like reviewing submitted materials and developing analysis.”
Another area of RSM Canada’s business that has benefited enormously from adopting Huddle is their IT function. “We use Huddle for all our major IT projects, from office moves through to collaboration with other regions on infrastructure projects,” explained Kawayne Morgan, IT Co-ordinator. “Effective co-ordination is an important factor in the successful delivery of our projects. Huddle’s task tracking capabilities mean that everyone knows their responsibilities, and the latest project status is always immediately available.”
Kawayne Morgan, IT Co-ordinator, RSM Canada
RSM Canada’s IT team often receive requests for large volumes of extremely sensitive data, which requires careful handling. “The sheer amount of data and the sensitive nature of its contents means email just isn’t an option. We had previously used a well-known file sharing tool, but we had some serious security concerns with that solution. Huddle’s government grade security credentials are a big plus and we can share information with total confidence. The Workspace and user permissions model make access control simple and the audit trail means we can always see who has access to what information.”
Aside from using Huddle to support IT projects, Kawayne also provides user support for Huddle across RSM Canada’s business, setting up new users, providing training materials and handling and support requests. “Since we adopted Huddle we have seen an 80% reduction in support ticket volume over the previous solution, so Huddle is the only collaboration and file sharing tool we recommend.”
Above all, Huddle has delivered significant value into RSM Canada’s client engagements, transforming the client experience and delivering operational efficiencies. Each Huddle Workspace is tailored to the requirements of the engagement, and joint RSM / client branding provides a personalized feel that builds trust, while the common working environment increases transparency. Matt also highlighted that positive feedback from RSM Canada’s clients has reinforced the importance of using Huddle on every engagement.
Aside from the improved client experience, Huddle has helped RSM realize demonstrable time savings, allowing Matt and his team to focus more of their efforts on billable activities. “Huddle saves me at least 8 hours per engagement just on sending and receiving documents.” Matt now ensures that Huddle is used on every client engagement: “For any client engagements we work on, Huddle is mission critical.”
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