Streamlining client service and promoting sustainability.

RSM Australia improves collaboration with global clients using Adobe Acrobat Sign integrated with iManage.

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Established

1922

Employees: 1,800

https://www.rsm.global/australia/

70K

Documents processed in a year

Products:

Adobe Acrobat Sign
Adobe Acrobat

Objectives

Move to fully digital workflows by 2024

Integrate PDF and e-signature solutions with existing iManage document management solution

Handle high volumes of key business and financial documents

Achieve greater document security with best-of-breed solutions

Results

Completed 6,000 e-signature transactions within 30 days of implementing new workflow

Receive signed documents from clients in one to two days

On track to process 70,000+ documents in a year

Enabled easier signing processes on mobile devices

Forecasting a digital future

As a global leader in audit, tax and consulting services, RSM Australia helps large corporations and small businesses alike grow their businesses. With expertise in everything from taxes to compliance, solvency issues and even climate change, RSM Australia teams work across accounting disciplines to make complex financial processes easier for their clients.

While the firm - which evolved from a husband-and-wife team to a nationwide accounting firm with roughly 1,800 employees - originally relied on paper for most client services, its evolution into an international expert in professional services required a paperless approach. Just as the company’s elite business and financial advisors counsel clients on best practices in accounting, RSM Australia wanted to bring the same best-in-class mindset to its everyday operations with the goal of going completely digital by 2024.

One of the first steps in its digital journey was implementing iManage, a cloud-based document management platform. Using iManage, teams across RSM Australia can easily store and organise their documents in a central, streamlined location. With iManage supporting more digital workflows, the team needed flexible PDF creation and e-signature applications that integrate effectively with iManage and can scale to support increasing client demands.

“Within only 30 days of moving to Acrobat Sign across our divisions, we were able to process 6,000 e-signature transactions, with no additional operating costs.”

Mike Peters

Information Manager, RSM Australia

Switching to best-of-breed document and e-signature solutions

RSM Australia’s previous PDF tool did not integrate well with iManage, causing data issues that equated to lost billable hours. The company often works with government agencies and legal documents, so a highly secure PDF solution was essential. The search for a replacement that integrated with iManage led them to Adobe, the originator of the PDF and Adobe Acrobat.

The move to Adobe Acrobat aligned well with the CIO’s push to work with best-of-breed technology. After standardising on Acrobat, RSM Australia decided to switch from DocuSign for e-signatures to Adobe Acrobat Sign. As part of the Acrobat Sign purchase, the RSM team had access to Adobe Professional Services to assist with the roll-out and deployment of their Acrobat Sign solution and use cases. In addition to Acrobat Sign being more cost effective, the Adobe Professional Services team assisted with API integration, employee onboarding and back-end configuration to make the transition seamless.

iManage is the hub of RSM Australia’s operations, housing approximately 22 million documents and utilising nearly 20 terabytes of data, with those numbers only expected to increase. To create its round-trip document workflow, the firm took advantage of Zylpha’s Adobe Acrobat Sign integration that enables people to send documents for signature without leaving iManage. This reduces turnaround time and creates a more secure audit trail that tracks documents through the signing process, including who signed them, building compliance into digital workflows.

“Once we saw how well Adobe Acrobat Sign integrates with iManage, the decision to migrate was easy. Within only 30 days of moving to Acrobat Sign across our divisions, we were able to process 6,000 e-signature transactions, with no additional operating costs,” says Mike Peters, Information Manager for RSM Australia. “Now, thanks to Acrobat Sign, we’re on track to process upwards of 70,000 business documents each year.”

Creating a high value, transparent digital workflow

The integration between iManage and Acrobat Sign helps employees work quickly and efficiently to gather the signatures needed on documents including engagement letters, financial statements, tax returns, corporate documents, audit reports and forensic-related documents. Instead of sending these documents out one at a time, the team can use Acrobat Sign to consolidate forms into complete packages for signature.

A team member can select any file type stored in iManage - including commonly used Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations and Word documents, as well as PDFs - and right click them to display the Acrobat Sign option.

After they choose that option, they’re automatically redirected to Acrobat Sign, where they can set up signature and field boxes, fill in recipient information, add messages and set reminders or expiry dates before sending the documents for signature. When signed documents are returned, they’re automatically stored in the iManage folder from which they originated, where team members can pull them as needed.

Through the Acrobat Sign and iManage integration, the RSM Australia team now has a more transparent workflow: team members receive notifications about key moments in the signing process, as well as real-time updates throughout the end-to-end signing and approvals. In addition, staff working with legal documents or documents to be used as evidence in court cases benefit from native integrations between Acrobat Sign and Acrobat to create legally compliant and more secure signed PDFs.

“Our clients appreciate how easy it is to collaborate with us using Adobe Acrobat Sign, with e-signature turnaround times averaging just one or two days. Each signed document that comes back to us means we can close business faster, take on more, work and drive higher revenue.”

Mike Peters

Information Manager, RSM Australia

Supporting external and internal e-signatures

With teams supporting clients worldwide, scalability and convenience are an essential component of the RSM Australia team’s e-signature workflow. Liquid Mode in Acrobat Sign makes signing and returning PDFs even easier for clients by enhancing how documents display based on the recipient’s device. The enhanced readability lets people on mobile phones scroll through documents without having to pinch and zoom, collapse sections as they go and easily sign when ready.

“Our clients appreciate how easy it is to collaborate with us using Adobe Acrobat Sign, with e-signature turnaround times averaging just one or two days,” says Peters. “Each signed document that comes back to us means we can close business faster, take on more, work and drive higher revenue.”

All employees have access to Acrobat and Acrobat Sign, enabling them to easily work anywhere - maximising efficiency during peak times like tax season, audit work or end of fiscal years. RSM Australia is moving toward a future where all documents, including internal forms such as employee contracts sent by the HR team, as well as copies of policies and procedures that all employees need to sign, go through Acrobat Sign and are stored in iManage.

Going green with every document

To evolve from a small business to a large consultancy and accounting firm trusted around the world, RSM Australia has learnt to lead on key issues like sustainability. The firm’s desire for a full digital transformation was driven in part by its commitment to conservation, evident in the presence of its Climate Change and Sustainability business unit. Digital document workflows are helping RSM Australia reduce its paper usage at a large scale, supporting a greener future one transaction at a time.

“The same sense of stewardship that inspires us to help develop our clients’ business and finances shapes how we see our place in the world as an organisation,” says Peters. “Implementing iManage and integrating Adobe Acrobat and Acrobat Sign across almost all areas of our business empowers us to live our values with every document, every day.”

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