Accounting firm Factor1 streamlines processes and saves costs with Docusign

  • $25K

    In operating costs saved per year
  • 2,000

    Hours saved per year— equivalent to one full time employee

Factor1 is an Australian public practice accounting and advisory firm, servicing family businesses with a keen focus on their clients' needs for bookkeeping, tax and super guidance, and business management advice.  

Founded in 2015, the firm has since expanded from its two founders to a team of 48 professionals across multiple offices in Australia and the Philippines. With growth squarely on the agenda, the firm has developed its client base substantially – now servicing customers with revenues between $500k and $25 million.  

However, as Factor1’s client base and workload grew, it became clear that the manual, paper-based way of processing tax returns was driving up operating costs and becoming a time sink for staff. 

The team quickly realised that there had to be a more efficient, affordable way to scale their operations and meet growing client demand.  

After assessing their options, Factor1 engaged Docusign to help streamline its document workflow with Docusign eSignature and SMS Delivery– resulting in incredible cost and time efficiencies across the entire business. 

Digitising tax time for accountants 

Factor1 sends and receives roughly 5,000 tax documents every year, across clients of all sizes. Before implementing Docusign this required around 2,000 hours of staff time and attention to physically print, sign, bind, and mail each document— equivalent to around one full time employee each year.

On top of that, Factor1 was finding some clients would take weeks (and sometimes even months) to return their signed documents. The backlog of outstanding documents meant Factor1 staff were investing time in calling and emailing clients to ease the bottleneck and keep the tax process moving.   

What’s more, the cost of this manual paper-based process was putting strain on operational expenditure—with the number of paper documents needed to service its customers costing the firm a considerable amount in printing and posting each year.

Beyond being a costly and time-consuming process, Factor1 was finding it challenging to seamlessly connect all teams across the region through one unified process. Given their dispersed workforce, connectivity was key to removing silos and inconsistent, inefficient practices.

These challenges were draining valuable productive time from staff and inevitably becoming unsustainable during the busiest time of the year for Factor1— tax season. 

Integrating a seamless and secure solution  

When Factor1 engaged Docusign, there was an opportunity to completely revolutionise its processes. Docusign eSignature and SMS Delivery were chosen to streamline three core areas of the business including tax compliance, corporate secretarial, and engagement with new and recurring clients.

Since implementing Docusign, the team has saved thousands of hours of productivity by switching paper-based documents to a more intuitive digital platform. 

Docusign integrated seamlessly with Factor1’s existing CAS360 system. CAS360 by BGL is the leading Company and Trust compliance software for accountants, which allows them to manage compliance requirements in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and beyond. This integration eliminated the need for a login portal and made if easy for staff to collate multiple documents and signatures into a single source of truth and providing the much-needed connectivity the firm was looking for.

The standout feature for Chief Executive Officer David Fitzgerald was the stability of the Docusign eSignature platform. Factor1 had adopted alternative technologies in the past but faced issues in platform downtime and other technical hiccups.  

“We deal with a high volume of documents every day across dispersed teams in Australia and the Philippines. We needed a solution that could provide a stable workflow that provided seamless connectivity across our teams,” said David.  

Beyond stability, Docusign eSignature also allows Factor1 to remind clients of outstanding paperwork to be returned via SMS Delivery. 

“A number of our clients run small businesses – especially tradies – and aren’t always in front of a computer. With a simple text reminder, we can provide a real-time nudge to sign their paperwork from their phone,” said David.  

“We’ve since seen faster turnaround times for documents than ever before via SMS, with some being signed and sent back on the same day. It just goes to show that consumer behaviour is changing – and we need to change with it.” 

Realising the true cost of digitisation 

Since making the switch to digital contracts via Docusign eSignature, Factor1 now saves 2,000 hours a year in productivity – no more wasted time printing, signing, binding, and sending documents only to have to wait weeks for returns. 

With a completely digital workflow, Factor1 now saves $25,000 a year in operating costs.  

“Printing, binding, and postage could cost us anywhere between $2 to $15 per document. When you add this up, it’s a costly exercise each year. Since using Docusign eSignature, we’ve been able to reduce our operating costs significantly.” 

Upon implementation, Factor1 saw rapid adoption across its client base, with a significant majority welcoming the use of simple and easy to use digital signatures – particularly among more senior clients.  

“The great thing about the use of Docusign’s eSignature is that it’s accessible to everyone. There’s no age barrier to the platform’s useability,” said David. 

There’s been strong support internally for the platform as well.  

“When looking at the adoption rates of our staff, at first, we experienced some hesitations. But once the team saw that it made both their and our clients’ lives easier, they saw the value in it,” David added.