“We started with a Penneo package of 80000 signatures. Within the first 4 months, that was exhausted. You can see how much we needed a tool like Penneo. Today, at a peak, we have to collect over 60000 signatures each month. So, all the different documents such as annual reports, statements, etc. are now sent for signature through automated custom signing flows. The whole process from collecting data and signatures to sending the Annual Report to the Danish business authorities is now digitized and handled by Penneo.” – Kasper Behrens, CIO and Partner at Beierholm
Beierholm is one of the largest accounting firms in Denmark. Their 1100 employees are passionate about their clients and honestly believe in providing value through fast and efficient problem solving and finding the right solution.
Their vision is clear: to fully understand their clients’ business, tailor solutions to their problems, and provide excellent value. It’s important to them that their clients view them as reliable and involved in their business. Beierholm is also a proud member of RSM International – a worldwide network of independent professional accounting firms and business advisors.
• Tackling the administrative workload and increasing productivity
With every year, the administrative pressure on Beierholm was rising. The lack of digitalization was stagnating their growth since there are only so many hours in a day that you can allocate to printing, signing, scanning, and mailing annual reports. On the other hand, client engagement was also decreasing since a lot of time at yearly meetings was spent on signing documents.
The growing amount of diverse documentation such as NDAs, letters of consent, tax forms, asset purchase agreements, power of attorney agreements, annual reports, letters of engagement, etc., all required a different number of signatures from different people in different departments. The manual handling of documents took up too much time, and employees’ dissatisfaction was rising because of administrative burdens.
• Ensuring data security, compliance, and cost reduction
For Beierholm, data security and GDPR-compliance are of utmost importance. With over 60000 annual reports awaiting signature every year, it was very difficult for Beierholm to ensure that all their clients’ data is securely stored. A potential breach in the company’s sensitive customer database had several costs associated with it, i.e., reputation cost affecting future client relationships, cost of clients moving away from the company, cost of compensation, claims and fines, etc.
Operational costs were not the only ones that needed to be reduced. It takes, on average, 5 litres of water to produce one piece of A4 paper. What is even more shocking is that paper accounts for 50% of the waste businesses create, 25% of landfill waste, and 33% of the municipal waste. With over 60000 printed documents sent for signature each year, the environmental impact of Beierholm was very high.
• Penneo helps Beierholm take the first step towards fully digital accounting
In 2015, Beierholm implemented the Penneo digital signing and data collection solution and joined the other 22 fully digitalized accounting firms, also knows as the top 15% digital pioneers.
Penneo’s easy-to-navigate interface and intuitive design allowed Beierholm to fully adopted the system in under a month. Beierholm and Penneo worked together to create 14 custom signature flows, including email templates and data collection forms. The custom flows helped streamline signature processes and benefited Beierholm, especially regarding the creation, approval flow, and filling of the annual reports.
With Penneo, accountants can now get annual reports signed by uploading them to Penneo and sending them out with the click of a button. The annual reports then each follow the custom flows that have been assigned to them. The signatures are collected in a specific order from all signers (managers, shareholders, and the chairman of the meeting to the auditors). The email templates help accountants customize their messages, which improves customer experience.
On the other hand, data collection forms help accountants gather sensitive information, confirm their clients’ identity, and securely store and/or delete their data. Implementing Penneo helped Beierholm allocate more time to customers rather than to signing documents during annual general meetings.
• Beierholm achieves full compliance and data security with Penneo
With Penneo, Beierholm ensured security and compliance on multiple levels. For Beierholm and many more accounting firms, privacy and security requirements need to be covered so that business can continue as usual. The main accounting regulations that Penneo helped Beierholm comply with are:
• GDPR: The GDPR is the most recent and important EU Regulation on data protection and privacy. Increasing control and transparency, the General Data Protection Regulation aims primarily to protect data privacy. Penneo ensures that all the requirements outlined in the GDPR are met.
• eIDAS: The eIDAS refers to the electronic identification, authentication, and trust services regulation that took effect in July 2016. Its goal is to establish a consistent legal landscape to enable and recognize secure and seamless electronic interactions, identified by all accounting firms, businesses, private and public authorities. Penneo complies with the most demanding eIDAS technical standards for electronic signatures, and Penneo’s digital signature is as legally binding and valid as handwritten one.
To put the immediate results from the implementation of Penneo’s digital signature workflow and automation into perspective, Beierholm started with 80000 signatures, which were exhausted in 4 months only.
- Over 60000 annual reports are now digitally signed.
- Hundreds of work hours are saved every month thanks to digital signature, automation, and digital transaction management.
- The highest form of security and compliance is achieved. Sensitive data is now end-to-end encrypted.
- Beierholm cut down costs on paper, ink, and postage.
- Beierholm allocates more time to its customers.