With all the technology available at our fingertips, we should be more efficient than ever. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Our 2016 survey of 200 U.S. and UK accounting, advisory and management consulting firms found that whether managing tasks across dispersed teams or waiting on approvals, poor collaboration can make meeting a client’s expectations as frustrating as it is challenging.

Most work frustrations are a result of poor or inefficient collaboration.

Easily remedied issues have a big impact on firms today. Nearly 1/4 of respondents in our survey noted they had missed a client deadline due to lost documents. And it gets worse. It seems using the wrong tools not only leads to missed client deadlines, but also to lost clients.

Our research found that billable utilization is also being negatively impacted with 24 percent of respondents reporting they take more than five minutes to find and retrieve documents, and 15 percent taking more than 10 minutes.

The answer to this issue is pretty clear: collaboration leads to improved efficiency, especially in client servicing. And more efficient client engagements ultimately make it possible to service more clients and bring in more revenue.

However, in reality, this may not be so simple. In an effort to improve collaboration efforts, many firms have invested (often substantially) in “collaboration” technology. Despite this, the research suggests that many firms are failing to find the balance between security and usability with these solutions.

The need for improved collaboration is not simply a matter of cost reductions, security, compliance or wasted investment. A failure to implement robust processes, supported by a technology platform with a user’s experience in mind, can have a devastating impact on efficiency and team performance.

Huddle makes collaboration easy and secure, keeping employees productive and allowing firms to meet and exceed client expectations. The right collaboration technology can be the difference between winning and losing business.