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MyWorkpapers Case Study – Haines Watts Worcester

Haines Watts Worcester is one of more than 60 Haines Watts offices across the UK

Haines Watts Worcester is one of more than 60 Haines Watts offices across the UK, offering general practice accountancy, tax and audit services to businesses from sole-traders to multi-million-pound turnover companies and individuals in the Worcester area.

In recent years, the practice has enjoyed sustained growth through a series of local acquisition.

Several years ago, a change of direction led it to transfer its Audit clients to Haines Watts Birmingham. Haines Watts Birmingham then serviced these clients for a number of years.

Haines Watts Worcester then resumed Audit work when an acquisition brought a new Audit Partner into the practice. The Worcester office brought back clients that had been transferred to the Birmingham office some time previously.

The files passed back from Haines Watts Birmingham were in MyWorkpapers, which the Birmingham office had been using for some time.

Around this time, Tim Pearce became Haines Watts Worcester’s Managing Partner, having joined the firm through a merger with the accountancy firm he founded.

When Tim joined the business, he was keen to move towards paperless working and to ensure that it was up-to-speed with the technology available.

The combination of Tim’s digital ambitions and the return of Audit files in MyWorkpapers made the practice’s adoption of MyWorkpapers for Audit work in 2019 a natural step forward.

The Audit team was quickly impressed by MyWorkpapers and its ability to rationalise and streamline workflow.

James Howard, a Partner at Haines Watts Worcester who was heavily involved in bringing MyWorkpapers to the practice, said: “MyWorkpapers was very easy indeed to implement for our Audit work and we were able to use it off-the-shelf.

“Any resistance to change from the team quickly dissolved as they found MyWorkpapers was making their lives much easier.

“Everything is standardised with the same information in the same places in each file, making it very easy to find information and navigate around a file you might not have worked on previously.

“The Audit team can simply scan documents into MyWorkpapers when they are out on a site visit.”

Following the success of the roll-out of MyWorkpapers for the Audit team, Haines Watts Worcester decided to begin using MyWorkpapers for year-end work 12 months later.

The roll-out of MyWorkpapers for year-end coincided with the first Coronavirus lockdown and the Government’s work from home guidance.

Another year later and Haines Watts Worcester is reaping the benefits, which have been magnified by the move to working from home.

“MyWorkpapers was very straightforward to implement and we had lots of help from their team in making the transition,” said James.

“That included enabling us to create our own year-end template, which we were able to put in place from day one of using MyWorkpapers for year-end.

“Having MyWorkpapers in place through lockdown has been fantastic. It enables the team to communicate when files are ready for partner review and enables us as partners to manage workflow very easily. Everyone can see at a glance what needs doing.

“We expect to see MyWorkpapers come into its own for our year-end work in the coming months now that we have almost completed a full year. The time savings that MyWorkpapers offers should really become clear.”

With the firm continuing to grow through acquisitions, James says that the standardisation that MyWorkpapers brings with it makes it much easier to integrate new people into the team who have joined through acquisitions.

“Everything is standardised with MyWorkpapers and done in the same way. This allows us to overcome the risk of having the same tasks completed in several different ways by members of the team who have joined us as the result of different acquisitions.”

James says that by having implemented MyWorkpapers for Audit and Year-End, Haines Watts Worcester is now 95 per cent of the way to becoming a paperless practice – putting it on the cusp of achieving Tim Pearce’s ambition.

He added: “MyWorkpapers has been instrumental in moving the practice forwards in terms of quality, collaboration and efficiency. It has enabled us to standardise, streamline and share processes very easily.”

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