• Accounting
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  • Intapp Collaboration & Content

Intapp Collaboration & Content: How a firm collaboration tool enhances modern accounting work

  • Brendan Ridge

    Global Vice President, Practice Group Lead for Collaboration

Many accounting firms are still supporting hybrid schedules and distributed workforces. To enable modern ways of working, firms require digital firm collaboration tools that can provide a more tailored, user-friendly experience.

Leading firms are improving accounting firm collaboration by implementing or expanding their use of advanced firm collaboration tools— especially Microsoft Teams. To extend Teams’ functionality, leading firms are also investing in Intapp Collaboration & Content, an industry-specific suite of tools that tailors the Microsoft 365 experience to the specific ways your firm works each day,

Intapp Collaboration & Content helps accounting firms deliver intelligent client-centric collaboration, seamless content governance, and innovative client experiences by combining the power of Intapp and Microsoft 365. Learn how Armstrong Watson enhanced its performance with Intapp Collaboration & Content, and discover how a firm collaboration tool can support your own accounting firm’s needs.

Streamlining document management

Among the most challenging tasks for accounting firms is managing the sheer volume of shared documents related to an engagement. Intapp Collaboration & Content helps both accounting professionals and IT teams streamline their respective document management processes.

Intapp Collaboration & Content leverages the power of Microsoft Teams to create an engagement-centric workspace aligned with the way accounting firms work. With Intapp Collaboration & Content, your IT team can set up a digital headquarters so that all documents and other information related to a particular engagement are accessible directly through a team.

Your firm professionals won’t have to navigate Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, Outlook, and other firm systems to track down shared documents and other information. Instead, they can simply access a fully organized workspace — and gain more time to focus on delivering their best work to clients.

IT teams also often face challenges related to document management. For example, once they set up a firm’s Microsoft 365 workspace with Teams, they’re responsible for ensuring that fee earners and other professionals have the right permissions to the right documents. They’re also responsible for ensuring that those documents and other confidential client information are in an access-controlled workspace.

With the automatic provisioning that Intapp Collaboration & Content offers, your IT team can set up rules to automatically create Microsoft Teams that are only accessible to the necessary stakeholders. This ensures a safe, secure environment for sensitive data. 

Intapp Collaboration & Content also enables secure co-authoring with internal and external collaborators. The firm collaboration tool integrates with your firm’s existing accounting software systems — such as your document management system (DMS) — so your teams can easily access documents in a secure, centralized location. As a result, fee earners save valuable time and increase their available billable hours.

The documents your users need will always be at their fingertips — and thanks to real-time collaboration, they can always be sure that they’re working on the most recent version of a document. Your IT team can also set up rules and classifications so that documents can be securely archived or deleted when an engagement is completed.

By streamlining your professionals’ efforts, your firm can help them accelerate their response times and improve collective firm intelligence.

Improving engagement and collaboration

op 30 U.K. accounting firm Armstrong Watson is realizing the benefits Intapp Collaboration & Content following its own implementation of the suite. The firm began its migration to Microsoft 365 in 2020, then soon realized it would be challenging to integrate Teams with their existing DMS.

“Accessing some of the new [Microsoft Teams] functionality, including co-authoring support, would have meant a significant integration burden,” explained Toby Woodhead, Head of Technology at Armstrong Watson.

After researching third-party software solutions, firm leaders selected Intapp Collaboration & Content to enhance Microsoft Teams’ functionality. Armstrong Watson was particularly counting on the firm collaboration tool to help eliminate pain points around document management and external collaboration.

To improve efficiency across its teams, Armstrong Watson uses Intapp Collaboration & Content to:

  • Connect people — The firm can meet and collaborate virtually within a dedicated, access-controlled workspace from the instant an engagement is opened
  • Connect processes — Armstrong Watson’s professionals now have a unified view of their engagements from wherever they’re working
  • Connect data — The firm can connect and sync its disparate content sources and reduce the risk of information leakage with centrally enforced security policies

With Intapp Collaboration & Content, Armstrong Watson’s professionals can now easily locate and access the information they need within one place. Users can filter their role-specific dashboards by clients, engagements, and collaboration spaces. They can also link to existing firm accounting software, allowing users to collaborate effectively without having to switch applications.

Maintaining data security

As Armstrong Watson shifted to using Microsoft Teams as its centralized firm collaboration tool, firm leaders wanted to ensure that they could maintain control for privacy, visibility, and access. One of their goals when selecting Intapp Collaboration & Content was to prevent any inadvertent or unauthorized sharing of sensitive data.

Intapp Collaboration & Content provides guardrails to support information governance and security policies regarding an engagement’s documentation and data. For example, Intapp Collaboration & Content lets firms restrict access to specific teams, limiting visibility and participation to only the practitioners working on that engagement.

Intapp Collaboration & Content also lets users create new teams and group channels, as well as automate and manage the lifecycle of those teams. And when a practitioner stops working on an engagement — or leaves the firm — Intapp Collaboration & Content’s guardrails will prevent them from accessing any associated documentation or data. You can apply those guardrails to external collaborators, too, so your practitioners can safely and securely co-author in real time with outside clients.

Learn more about how Armstrong Watson was able to centralize information, improve efficiency, and promote easier access and management of data.