BUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN IN PRACTICE?
By Rhys Madoc, CEO, UHY International
Naturally, clients expect the best possible service from providers like UHY member firms. An important way we meet that expectation is through seamless and instinctive collaboration, within our teams, offices and the network as a whole.
It is no surprise, then, that working together is one of the four pillars of our network strategy. We know that when we collaborate we bring together a wide pool of knowledge and experience for the benefit of our clients.
Working together makes us better auditors, tax experts and business advisors. It means we can look at a client’s problem from multiple angles and bring in additional expertise to offer a second opinion or confirm a conclusion. When clients want cross-border services, working together means collaborating to give them the best local knowledge and on-the-ground expertise, helping them achieve their international ambitions.
It is known that collaboration is central to a successful business. Studies, such as that by Forbes have shown that teams which work together are more productive and innovative than teams which do not. But for a global professional services network like UHY, collaboration takes several forms, which in turn come together to form one seamless and joined up service.
Internal network collaboration
We collaborate as a network to share best practice, the latest research and new knowledge garnered from unique or complex client projects.
We do that through our internal publications, a calendar of regional and global meetings and our network intranet, which is a comprehensive repository of articles, case studies, best-practice templates and training resources.
We encourage all our member firm offices to engage in continued discussion about our strategic direction and how it can better serve clients.
This ongoing conversation feeds into an annual calendar of training and development opportunities.
Collaboration on client projects
Clients expect us to collaborate internally and with their own teams - and sometimes with third parties too - for the best possible outcome. We want clients to see us as an extension of their own team.
Internally, collaboration happens when UHY individual experts and functional teams across different disciplines work together to provide a holistic service. These specialists might be in the same office, in cross-functional client service teams, or they might be on the other side of the world. In UHY we quickly know who to call in any one of our offices and any member firm can tap into the wider knowledge of the network to help them better meet client challenges.
Client stories in our bi-annual UHY Global magazine detail the ways in which our member firms come together to help clients, often on cross-border projects. Clients regularly ask for our help when auditing or opening overseas offices and subsidiaries, and acquiring foreign businesses. We offer a breadth of knowledge and experience across industries and sectors by harnessing the collective power of our network and tailoring it to each client’s needs.
While collaboration often happens naturally, we also put processes in place to identify the opportunities to serve clients better. To that end, every UHY member firm has an International Contact Partner whose role it is to answer queries from international colleagues and clients alike, and oversee the progress of collaborative cross-border projects. Our Referrals Partners endeavour to ensure that cross-border work and enquiries received from - and outsourced to - other member firms, are effectively managed.
In other words, collaboration is built into our systems and processes. The result we strive to achieve, for clients, is a comprehensive and seamless service and solution, whether their project involves one UHY member firm or ten.
Map graphic and client story collage ©UHY International
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