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We’re Told the Switch to Workday Isn’t Going So Great at RSM

Tom and Jerry computer meme

According to a tip we received yesterday from a very frustrated auditor at RSM, the firm’s recent switch to Workday isn’t working.

The tip:

Effective 8/1/23, RSM’s scheduling, time management, billing and CRM system all merged to one system called Workday. Before the implementation all those modules were handled by a different software. We were happy with the old system. However, this Workday implementation is not going well at all. Now it takes more than double to enter our time, Billing people can’t send out invoice as they used to (used to take them 10 minutes to invoice now 3 hrs), no one knows how and where we can retrieve WIP reports.

Here’s how it was supposed to go according to a 2021 press release from Workday:

With Workday, RSM will:

  • Leverage one system for its global finance, people, and project data to efficiently monitor business performance, engage with its growing workforce, and change at the speed demanded by clients
  • Create an end-to-end project billing process in the cloud, improving efficiency and gaining greater visibility into financial performance
  • Eliminate silos to streamline time tracking for greater operational visibility and performance across the company’s 13,000 employees

“We have ambitious growth and revenue goals and recognized we needed to accelerate our digital transformation initiative to support those goals. With Workday, we can break down data silos, streamline processes, and eliminate inefficiencies in order to better manage our performance as we scale. As important, we expect to elevate our customer service as we continue to focus on being the RSM First Choice Advisor among middle market companies and showing our customers the power of being understood,” said Brian Vickers, controller, RSM US LLP.

How it’s actually going according to our tipster:

We can’t even generate a report to compare budget hours and actual hours. From managers to partners, no one knows the answer as to when and how. Some people call “Workday” “Worst-day.”

Good one. They added:

Many processes now work together (in theory) such as time entry, billing & invoice system, our payroll system etc. As of today, not all functionality of Workday is available to us. RSM has not informed us when the functionality would be available.

Thoughts and prayers to everyone at RSM during this difficult time.

Ron Swanson throwing computer in the trash

7 thoughts on “We’re Told the Switch to Workday Isn’t Going So Great at RSM

  1. No surprise! Everyone is jumping on the band wagon without realizing that Workday is not the be all end all. It is definitely lacking when it comes to Higher Ed but no one listens. It’s all bells and whistles and little functionality.

  2. most of the times is due to lack of training.
    once you get used to a new system, with proper training as well, it won’t take more than a few mins like before.

  3. It is called change management and I can attest at public accounting firms they don’t like change, they like tradition. I can imagine any change of systems listed by RSM would get the same reaction from users. Not a Workday issue.

  4. The thing that’s killing us on time entry is that the search functionality can only be applied to the entire tree of all elements of a charge code at once. Under the old time entry platform you first selected the client, then selected a chargeable “folder” for that client (and auditors had one more level of specific audit task selection after that).

    Not only is the tree dramatically expanded in Workday (customer > project > phase > task instead of just client > folder), but any search will yield all matching configurations of those parameters – so searching something like “client name tax compliance” might drop 100s of results to dredge through because you get every single phase and task of the project. The tasks are stuff like “prepare” or “review” which might be useful to separately track in theory but result in septuple the number of search results. To make things worse, for reasons beyond comprehension the search actually ignores the “phase” field, which 90% of the time is going to be the most relevant field after the client (things like “Form 1120 preparation” or “Accounting method change”).

    What is frustrating is that it’s not like the platform doesn’t track the right data to be able to do things smoothly, it’s just a crappy UI and search design that was clearly built for SaaS providers where most employees would only be working on a small handful of projects at any given time and not PA where charging time to 6+ different clients or tasks per day is pretty routine. Very much a square peg/round hole issue.

  5. This story reminds me of when PwC went from Lotus Notes to Gmail in 2015-2016. All the change resistant accountants freaked out for months because the change interrupted their day-to-day. I bet if you asked 99% of PwC today, they wouldn’t want to go back to Lotus Notes

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