Suralink Enhances and Simplifies Audit Evidence Collection Process
Overall we've really enjoyed using Suralink and recommend it to all. Support is great too. Easily add licenses as needed.
Gone are the days of having a DRL or PBC that you manage in an Excel spreadsheet over e-mail or in a Dropbox, Box, or Sharepoint. Suralink does it for you with individual line items for each request, easy drag & drop to upload files, easily download all or just new files, track status, assign owners to requests, make requests private, and more. Can be used for any audit or advisory project where you need evidence from the client. Pay per firm user. Storage is unlimited, client engagements are unlimited.
Suralink is still developing new functionality. Just released some new APIs that should help. Security only has 2 levels: Staff or Manager.
Response from Suralink
Thanks for such a great review, Mike! We're glad you're finding value from Suralink. We're also happy to discuss new feature requests anytime. If there's ever anything we can do, please don't hesitate to reach out!
Best PBC Request/File Share Site I Have Used
Exceptional. I've used a few different PBC request/file share sites and none of them have come close
Very simple to use, the client view is just like the audit team view so I can walk them through the site, easy to upload, has almost every feature we were looking for, and they are constantly upgrading based on my feedback
No setup to send automatic status updates to clients throughout an engagement. Must remember to send them manually
Suralink: Wiss/WEST Growth
It works. I do not have experience with other software's so not certain how to compare. It would be great if it could integrate with iChannel
I work for WEST Growth, LLC which is a subsidiary of Wiss and Company, LLP. I do not have any other experience with secure portal except for Suralink so I am not sure how useful my opinion is, however, I have several clients who complain about the UI. Basically, it is not very straightforward/learning curve involved.
Good but Could Use Some Improvements
Completely streamlined audit process
Our organization is extremely complex due to the fact that we have a large number of Legal Entities. The ability to create Audit PBC templates and simply copy those across all our entities in mass has reduced the administrative burden to near-zero time spent by our IT team. The administration is simple enough that our External Auditors own 95% of the process. Prior to adopting Suralink, this process was maintained on SharePoint and was an extremely burdensome process for our organization.
It would be nice to create dynamic PBCs based on a questionnaire. Often times the nature of our legal entities will create additional PBC items. This is ruled base and could be automated, but is manageable to manually track.
We use Suralink daily to send and track audit document requests from clients and it works seamlessly and quickly.
This product is easy to use, timely, and helps immensely in tracking information and client requests.
Often the notification summary in the website gets too overwhelming due to all the info it tracks--a different way to present the summary would be very helpful.
Making everyone's life easier!
It has helped us have greater oversight of audit queries and requests for information and how the client has fulfilled these requests. Organisation and efficiency has greatly improved.
The ease of use, the user-friendly interface which provides just the right amount of information for both us and the client.
If someone else set's up the client then it doesn't seem to appear on my dashboard when i'm invited to it.
Suralink offers structure and a visual representation of the project progress for internal and external users. It allows us to track at any level of granularity depending on the project and the client.
Suralink offers the flexibility needed for any size company to properly customize the product to reflect core processes. The visual representation of the project progress is very appealing to me and my customers.
Depending on how structured the existing process is, it can be a little time consuming to setup the initial templates. But once the templates are configured, it is very quick to spin up a new project.
Great for Audits!
Sometimes the clients are slow in adapting, and still try to email documents. I continually nudge them to use Suralink, and it's working well.
It allows both the clients and the audit team to track the status of the engagement. You can make comments, upload files, and watch as your audit goes from 100% outstanding to 100% complete!
That I cannot delete comments on the engagement once the area is fulfilled.
1. The display is very user friendly and can easily be taught in a quick couple minutes crash course to both clients and coworkers.
2. Everything is instantaneous, just like email, so there is not wait time to obtain files.
3. The tracking mechanisms make it easier to stay on top of multiple engagements simultaneously and give a good picture on the progress of each engagement.
4. Rolling forward engagements from one year to the next is unbelievably simple and quick. Alleviates a lot of stress and time sensitivity in doing so.
5. The "yes delete" feature makes it very hard to accidentally delete requests, files, or engagements without intentionally doing so. Very useful when working with new company staff, as they are not familiar with the software.
1. To my knowledge, there is no way to delete firm provided files if you accidentally upload the wrong file. Instead, you have to delete the request altogether and then create it anew. It would be much easier to simply be able to remove firm provided files.
2. When rolling forward engagements from one year to the next, to my knowledge, there is no easy way to quickly do a find and replace to update years. For example, if we are rolling forward an engagement from 2018 to 2019 and there are 45 requests in the 2018 engagement that say, "as of December 31, 2018", there is no quick and easy way to replace 2018 with 2019. I believe you have to go through and manually change each one.
Suralink is super easy to use and instruct clients on - literally a drag and drop system. It tracks all movements in each request, has notes to go between you and the client, and is fully encrypted. Going from the old sharefile system or email system with excel sheets to this for our PBC list has been a complete game changer!! I have clients in India, a full 12 hour difference, and this has completely changed the communication issues we've had. I can reject an item, put in a comment, and they immediately see that I have done so and correct it. I can't tell you how many clients have commented how much they love it too!
Occasionally, the software goes down, and the software relies on the internet, which can be patchy in spots. Support is always quick to get up and running as soon as possible.
One of the best Provided By Client documentation system
The benefit is that Suralink provides the absolute best environment for users of any technical level to be able to use. As a PBC system, it works well to keep both the client and the users informed when new material is needed or has been uploaded.
Suralink provides a very quick and easy to understand documentation provision system. You setup your users, and can assign clients to those users, along with the applicable information needed for contact points at the client. Not only does the user see what is still needed for the work to be performed, but the client is able to understand completely what is still needed. Reports are made available via email to the client so they can visually see how much data is required. As a provided by client system, it is one of the best.
There needs to be one more level of security to allow users to just be users without having to assign all as manager level, so that client assignments can be more restrictive. Depending on use, you may have to assign users as managers instead of just staff so they can see multiple clients at a time.
The software overall has been useful for organization purposes and tracking requests better. We like that we are able to import and export our client assistance request list which makes it extremely portable and easy to revise, tailor into outstanding items lists, etc. Being able to link files to requests has been helpful because the client does not always name files that are intuitive.
1) Better onboarding for clients specifically in regards to their notifications. We often have to email our clients for them to know that information has been added/changed, etc. within Suralink. Their set-up does not seem to be intuitive.
2) Possible additional use of colors to quickly identify changes or new items to requests, particularly if those requests had been previously marked accepted. (Sometimes our clients inadvertently upload additional information to completed requests.)
3) In relation to #2, the timeline is useful but sometimes overwhelming, particularly on bigger jobs. It would be helpful if we could clear the timeline of processed items to only see new notifications. We realize you can mark them as processed, etc.; however, they still show up and that can be confusing.
My overall experience has been great. The people I have talked with via the live chat support channel have been very responsive and pleasant. They are "real people" - meaning they don't express false empathy by repeating the problem a customer says in their empathetic response. It may not be "false empathy", but this is a very common mode of operation for customer support interaction. Example: I am having problems with XYZ feature. Support response: I'm sorry you are having a problem with XYZ feature... I just want to talk with a real person who is not bound by scripted responses. Suralink support has always been awesome!
This software is very customizable and can easily be adapted for any use.
There have been some features that have not functioned as well as they should. Or rather functions that have not functioned in a way that fits the feature model we use at our company, so I can't say that such features were not as intended by Suralink development. What has come of these instances is that I have passed along things like this to customer support and they have addressed the request in a very responsive manner.
Efficiency and Clarity
I am all in on this app. My clients are appreciating it too.
Efficiency on our side and theirs is up.
I really like the ability to go in, as an audit manager, and get an idea of the status of the audit is. I can see how responsive the client is. I can see how responsive staff is being. This allows me to focus on my attention on the clients that are being responsive. This is very important during busy season. I am constantly in Suralink during busy season, even if staff is doing the interacting with the client.
I am also quickly finding the power of the status reports that are sent out to the client and I am beginning to only send communication to the client through the status report function rather than email from Outlook.
The process of switching from one engagement to another takes one or two steps more than I would like. Maybe having a tool/navigation bar on the side could help.
Intuitive and Customizable
Because our product and process can be a bit complicated or hard to keep in order, Suralink is helpful to compartmentalize different aspects of the process. Marking requests as resolved or rejected is helpful to help our customers focus on the things that are most important.
Suralink is easy to learn; I haven't had any customers who are new to the software need help from me on how to navigate or upload/download documents which is a huge win!
Our product that we provide to customers is totally unique per client, so having a fully customizable interface is required. Suralink allows this to happen quickly and easily with the option of cloning specific requests or engagements, if applicable to make work more efficient.
There are a few buys as far as display that could be improved:
- Comments sometimes post or reload with huge bits of gibberish as part of the text and remain that way indefinitely as far as I can tell. The text will run off the window making the comment much less useful.
- The functionality to mark the notifications as 'read' often doesn't update so it still has the unread icon even after confirming that things have been read multiple times.
The Best Client Portal Option
Client's love how they can pick up with Suralink and use it as one comprehensive list of outstanding items, it has the reports from the PY, a trail of comments discussing items, and has saved time on engagements by streamlining the flow of documents and information. I believe that the benefit is not only a time save for the firm and the client, but preserves a level of mental sanity and improves the quality of the work environment.
Suralink is very easy to navigate even for a first time user. I have never had a client who had a negative experience with Suralink. Every client we have introduced to Suralink enjoys it or loves it. Dragging documents and creating requests are super intuitive. Just drag and drop. It leaves time stamps and allows for comment threads that are super helpful from year to year.
What I like least... If there was a way to scroll over a document and see a preview that would be the only thing I can think of.
I like the software. It does what it is designed to do and I have not experience any functionality issues. It's great for audit.
Suralink is a great way for clients to see an organized needs list of items needed for an audit. It tracks if items have been loaded. It allows you to mark items complete so that know what is open and what is closed. Finally it gives a timeline and history of activity. It is a huge improvement over trying to sort through emails to determine if something was received and what items on the needs list were still outstanding.
There is a learning curve with some client. Some, more traditional clients, still prefer to just use email and then you are using two different organization systems and it reduced the effectiveness of Suralink. That's not the problem of the software but rather people's unwillingness to change. The software Sometime I like to load to use the software to view files rather than move them to a folder and tracks every time you open it. It should track the first time it is opened, and then stop. the other history is not of much value.
Suralink Makes Auditors and Clients Happy
Overall clients are happier using Suralink, and it helps improve the efficiencies of our audits.
My favorite thing about Suralink is that the client and everyone on the engagement team can see exactly what has been provided so far in real time. This significantly cuts down on the thing that clients hate the most, which is when auditors ask for a schedule that they have already provided.
This is not really the software's fault, but new clients are hesitant to change what they've always done with audits. They are scared of change and don't want to spend the time to learn the software, so there is usually some "pushing" that needs to be done to convince a new client to use Suralink.
Absolutely fantastic software.
I love the organization that is brings for all of our files and comments. I also like the instant ability to see comments and items uploaded by a client. It has made so many of my jobs easy and made it much easier to find client files. It is very user friendly which makes it easy when I am training my clients on how to use the software. I like that I can restrict access to certain requests from employees of my clients as well as my clients feel more secure about using the site.
It would be nice if I could assign an entire category or subcategory to people without having to assign the individual requests.
A Great and Versatile Tool for Auditors
An auditor's best friend, it would be hard to go back.
Suralink is a great piece of software. If everyone commits to using it, it allows auditors to be much more efficient and effective on keeping track of PBC lists, and allow clients to see what is open. This holds everyone accountable, and allows for much less back and forth between auditors and their clients. I also appreciate the fact that it is customizable, and the PBC lists can be customized according to the wants and desires on both sides of the table. Honestly, it would be hard to go back to excel based PBC lists.
The only real problem with Suralink is the hesitation with certain clients on using it. It can be intimidating to them, and so, clients will not always take to it's use. There are also some small areas that I would like to be able to further customize, but it's nothing I can't deal with.
A must have for CPA firms
One of the best things about suralink, is it is easy to create a list of items you need, and everyone on your team and on the client side can have access to it. Everyone can see the files uploaded, and you can easily track what you still need, and what has been provided. It's a great way for clients to see their progress, and be able to provide documents electronically. It keeps documents organized, and our clients love it. It's much easier to use then having documents sent via email, and trying to keep track of everything via email.
There are bugs in the software here and there, but for the most part, I've rarely run into issues. Every once a while the service will be down, but it usually is up and running again in about 10 minutes. To be honest, there really isn't anything I don't like about suralink. It is a must have for CPA firms.
Best Way to Collaborate with Your Client
Suralink has been a game changer in the way that we request sensitive tax documents and information from our clients. I have found that Suralink has been received well by clients without much trouble which is a huge plus on our client retention goals. I would certainly recommend this product to other accounting firms searching for a solution.
I would say ease of use is the best feature of this software. Almost all of my clients are able to intuitively use this software. The ability to track outstanding deliverables, provide comments and send sensitive information through the portal makes it invaluable.
I have never seen the "client side" of the product so I don't always feel super confident explaining to my clients how to use the portal from their view. Fortunately, this has not been an issue.
The other item I would really like to see is real time updates through a Microsoft desktop widget or something. The daily email is not enough and having to be in the browser to see updates on all my clients can be a challenge.
Great, but could be amazing
I love it. It could be slightly better, but so can everything else. Every customer that I work with love that it is so much easier than what some of their other audit companies have used.
The ability to organize and manage my audit engagements with each of my customers. It is fairly simple for every company that I have worked with to see what tasks were needed to be completed and what tasks were complete. The tracking feature at the top, the one that displays the percentages, is really useful for keeping the customer focused on completing tasks.
The management side of things. It is difficult to change requirement number, reorganize requirements, format wording in requirement descriptions, and filter requirements based on assigned users. Each of these features would help me customize each project and manage my customers.
The filtering of requirements based on assigned users comment came directly from a customer. They had different users with client accounts in Suralink and the customers project manager wanted to filter requirements based on which employee he was talking to. I realize that this would be helpful to me as well.