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In our previous articles, we wrote about the strengths and opportunities regarding two of our Audit Department’s strategic objectives; employee motivation and customer service. The focus of this article will be our final objective, namely efficiency. We strive to live by the following: employee motivation + efficiency = customer service.

Our philosophy is thus that efficiency should be the backbone of providing excellent customer service, and keeping employees motivated at the same time. Efficiency should be a significant focus and tone of top management, setting the direction for the company to follow and grow.

The following are areas we have identified as strengths and current opportunities when we look at efficiency;

STRENGTHS

Comprehensive training programme – Monthly audit forums and training provided for the entire department. Feedback on the review of audit work for the past month is compiled by managers and presented to the department, together with training, practice updates and other quality control updates. This creates synergy across teams and ensures the quality of work performed.

Project reflection – Reflecting on projects after the completion thereof, determining where aspects of the engagement could be approached differently in the following year to be more efficient and more accommodating to the client’s needs.

Cross-departmental synergies – ASL provides a diverse range of professional services designed to help our clients free up on the administration burden and assist them to grow their businesses. Our firm is divided in various departments in line with the types of services provided. Where clients make use of these or some of the services available, efficiency is increased due to the easy access to readily available information for their intended use.

OPPORTUNITIES:

Continuously improving on systems and procedures – There will always be room for improvement, and at ASL we are constantly looking for ways to do things more efficiently, streamline processes and opportunities where we can save time. An effective quality control system is an extremely important aspect of the above, and one which we will never neglect in an effort of being more efficient.

Cost-effective services – By improving efficiency, opportunity is created to provide more valuable and efficient services to our clients, at the same time at a more competitive rate.

Trainee motivation, incentive and evaluations – Trainees are the ones faced with most of the daily audit work and challenges during the process. Therefore, creating an environment for them to share experiences, tips and guidance on what works is crucial. Efficiency is driven through proper incentive, creating a platform for the share of ideas and employee involvement in changing of systems and procedures – creating buy-in in the process and improving moral. Additionally, trainees are generally fresh out of university and more tech savvy, which creates tremendous opportunity to play to their strengths.

There is much more to do, and many more opportunities to explore. What can we be sure of is that, as a department we continue to grow and constantly strive to raise the bar.