Rödl & Partner is an international consulting firm providing accounting, auditing, tax advisory, and legal services in 111 offices worldwide. Uku was first introduced to the team in November 2018.
How did the introduction of Uku go, and what were the challenges and lessons learned? Mart Nõmper, sworn auditor of Rödl & Partner Estonia, shares his recent experience and thoughts.
What does Rödl & Partner do on a daily basis, and what is your role in the company?
Rödl & Partner does everything related to accounting, payroll, taxation, and reporting to the state, owners, managers, and other information users on behalf of its customers. My role is to manage the activities of Rödl & Partner, and I have particular responsibility for accounting and auditing services.
Why did you start looking for a new way to manage your work instead of your current solution?
We had long been looking for a solution that would help us get things done in a timely manner.
What was needed was a system that would not only remind you of tomorrow's due date but would also allow you to measure the time it would take to complete tasks, identify bottlenecks, overloads, and underloads, and so on, everything in order for us to make the right management decisions.
Has Uku replaced a similar tool in use, or was it your first time trying something like this with the whole team?
Before Uku, we didn't have any similar tools; we had Excel and time-consuming manual systems. Why so? Because we hadn't found any products like Uku yet!
Certainly, we are not familiar with every solution in the world, nor do we want to be, because it is important for us to take into account the specific needs of our company.
What have been the biggest changes in work organisation since the introduction of Uku?
We think the same things should be done the same way throughout, and with the help of Uku, we have taken the next step to make work organisation more homogeneous. However, we will only taste its fruits later, for example during the holiday season, when it is especially important to work in a way that is customary for the customer, as replacement is very difficult otherwise.
We now also have fewer Excel spreadsheets, and information is more operational and systematic.
While using Uku, have you ever encountered positive surprises you never thought of before?
The most positive surprise has been that we have been able to contribute to Uku's development, and that has led to creation of real solutions in the software.
What have been the biggest challenges in implementing Uku?
In order for the software to be of assistance, you need to add some wisdom in the form of data.
Although we did the maximum amount of data entry in cooperation with the Uku team, we also had to look at each customer separately for a while because each of them has their own nuances. At the same time, accountants had a lot of ongoing work and duties, and finding the time for the extra tasks was quite a challenge. But this effort needs to be made - so the software will be of benefit later.
Using Uku is very intuitive, and everyone can do it. However, introducing a new thing requires a little effort and getting out of your comfort and safety zone. To make it as easy as possible, we started with a pilot group, conducted relevant training sessions, explained the background of taking the step, tried to engage everyone, get feedback, and so on.
The great thing about the Uku team was that they listened, understood, and contributed to the solutions as much as possible because putting large systems to work requires good collaboration!
What would you recommend to other companies facing the same challenges as you before using Uku?
Be sure to try Uku, because even if for some unexplained reason it turns out that Uku doesn't fit, preparing to roll it out will help you think through and organise the processes within the company - so it is a win-win situation.
Excel is fine, but no Excel is even better! That is, interfacing with other systems should be automatic, which helps reduce unnecessary manual labor. And Uku allows this.
Ask the Uku team for help with loading the existing data program, rather than typing in information (customers, contacts, names, tasks, time, etc.).
Thank you, Mart - we are glad you are with us! Good luck with using Uku!