VGD: Leading the Way in Digital Accountancy in Belgium with Penneo
"We use Penneo for managing the signing processes in our business line accountancy. Before Penneo, we did this in a very old-fashioned way which created a lot of frustrations and was time-consuming. Now we can automate the signing flow and make sure that we collect all the signatures we need. Our clients are also happy to be able to sign digitally using itsme, which is a big step forward."
Charlotte Pille, Partner at VGD
VGD is part of Nexia International, the world’s number nine international network of independent accountants, tax consultants, and auditors.
VGD Belgium has 300 experts ready to provide solutions tailored to their clients’ needs in fields ranging from taxation, accountancy, or corporate finance to HR, IT, subsidies, or estate planning. The company works closely with its clients, helping them to automate processes so they have to spend less time on administrative tasks and have more time for the things that matter to them.
Prior to using Penneo, the accountancy team at VGD sent documents to clients either via postal services or email, and clients would have to print, sign, scan, and send the documents back. This way of doing things was both frustrating and time-consuming. Often, clients would only print the pages that needed to be signed, so VGD found itself having to piece together the missing pages and manually check if all documents were complete.
The signature collection process was not very efficient either, as clients would sometimes forget to sign all documents, especially if they needed to sign in more than one capacity (e.g. as director and shareholder). So, sending and receiving the signed documents was a challenge for VGD, as either signatures were missing or the documents were returned incomplete.
The other side of the challenge relates to client communication. VGD would send out documents for signing but there would rarely be any kind of proactive follow-up. The company had a system in place for adding a checkmark when a document would be returned signed, but VGD realized that the percentage of returned documents was fairly low. So additional follow-up was needed to receive the necessary documents within legal deadlines. This was a manual process, more reactive than proactive, therefore also time-consuming and inefficient.
Overall, the company was not satisfied with the quality of the signature collection process and the document completeness percentage. VGD acknowledged that to reach its ambition of becoming a leading player in digital accountancy in Belgium, it needed to implement more digital tools that would help it both in managing workflows internally and communicating and collaborating with clients externally.
“For me, it’s also about the commercial part, because at VGD we want to be known as one of the leading accounting firms in Belgium which focuses on digital accounting, so having a solution for digital signing and automation is very important for us. With Penneo, we are one step closer to our goal.” - Charlotte Pille, Partner at VGD
Penneo's solution to VGD's challenges
VGD was first introduced to Penneo by a mutual partner, Silverfin. Penneo was a new partner for digital signing solutions in Belgium, and after several discussions both with the team at Penneo and internally, VGD decided to implement our solution.
VGD started by implementing Penneo’s solution for its accountancy services. The company can digitally manage and sign legal documents such as annual shareholders’ meetings, meeting minutes of the board of directors, annual reports, statutory annual accounts, and more.
The company can send such documents for signing digitally via Penneo, and clients no longer have to print and scan documents. Everything can be signed using itsme, which brings an added layer of security and convenience.
Furthermore, the team at VGD no longer has to manually track progress and check when a document has been returned. With Penneo, they get an instant overview of the status of their document transactions from the dashboard. They can see which documents have been opened, are pending, or have been signed. Additionally, clients cannot alter the documents in any way, so there is no longer the risk of missing pages. Our audit log captures all actions and if an attempt has been made to modify a document, VGD will know right away. All this makes it much easier for the accountancy team to monitor progress and follow up with clients who haven’t signed yet.
Clients also get a better experience, as they can sign using itsme, from anywhere, on any device. They now get a modern and much more convenient experience when interacting with the team at VGD.
VGD has successfully implemented the Penneo solution and is looking forward to the busy spring season when most document transactions happen. The company has already received positive feedback both internally and externally.
“There are a lot of options, you can do a lot with Penneo which is very good. We started using Penneo at the end of 2020 and most signings happen in the springtime so I’m looking forward to seeing the solution in action. I’m sure this partnership will help us improve with automation and digital signing. We are a happy customer today." - Charlotte Pille, Partner at VGD
VGD and Penneo are building a strong partnership based on cooperation, open communication, and value creation. With our shared outlook on long-term relationships and mutual interest in using automation to make work smarter, we are continuously collaborating on building an even better solution that everyone can benefit from.
“We really don’t want to be in just a supplier-customer relationship, we are partners with Penneo. Because working together creates good value for both of us and leads to a long-term relationship.” - Charlotte Pille, Partner at VGD
To help deliver an even better solution to VGD, we will continue our collaboration on a partner integration with Silverfin that would enable VGD to automatically send documents from Silverfin to Penneo and reduce the amount of manual work even further.
The Penneo early adopters at VGD are now helping increase awareness in the rest of the company. Recognizing the potential of the solution, VGD is including Penneo in its upcoming e-learning platform to make the Penneo solution more widely available across the team and help employees work more efficiently across business lines, from accountancy to audit, tax, and legal.