Baker Tilly finds organization-wide solution with ACES Quality Management


Baker Tilly US is the 9th largest CPA firm in the United States. It is an independent member of Baker Tilly International, a worldwide network of independent accounting and business advisory firms in 148 territories, with 36,000 professionals and a combined worldwide revenue of $4.0 billion. In December of 2021, it acquired The Compliance Group, an outsourcer of quality control, compliance and servicing quality control in an effort to diversify its portfolio. Baker Tilly’s goal is to become the risk advisory firm of the future.


The Compliance Group endured tremendous growth in the years leading up to the Baker Tilly acquisition and knew it needed a foundational software to help fuel its growth with the flexibility for multiple uses.

“We knew we were going to need additional applications for the ACES tool that we could use – not just in quality control – but elsewhere within the Baker Tilly organization for other types of work that we do,” said Jeffrey Flory, Principal in the Mortgage Advisory Practice.


The Compliance Group had prior experience with ACES, working on a smaller scale than today, before bringing those functionalities in house for a few years. After shopping for a solution and considering its options, The Compliance Group found ACES had the most to offer from a growth and functionality perspective. By the time The Compliance Group had made its decision and was ready to begin the onboarding process with ACES, the acquisition with Baker Tilly was underway.

“We were looking for a partner who could help us with our growth potential, and we’ve been growing year after year for the last several years. We also needed someone who could support us – not only with the technology and our growth – but to support our clients with reporting enhancements and a lot of customization; we needed a partner that was able to do that very quickly and on the fly. The ACES platform met all those needs,” said Flory.


Maximizing System Use
At its core, ACES is an audit and quality control software, but its use cases don’t stop there. With the rules-based audit functions of ACES, Baker Tilly has been able to maximize the number of employees working within the ACES system.

“We obviously have our quality control practice, which is what the system was built for, but we are also exploring other ways we may be able to leverage the ACES technology within the firm,” stated Flory.

Smooth Implementation

Baker Tilly has been thriving with ACES since August of 2021. From the quality of operations and work to its associate's and clients' ability to work within the system, it’s been operating as a well-oiled machine from the start.

“Our go-live with ACES went very smoothly due to our implementation team. They got us ready to go live and then worked with us on those few customization pieces that needed to be in place before we could go live with our clients,” said Flory.

Continuous Support

“When I submit a request to the ACES Support team, they never say no; it’s always, “how can we help and improve your experience.” They’re always looking for ways to figure out how to meet our needs – no matter how complicated the task, said Flory.

“The ACES team has been incredible. They are always ready at the drop of a hat to roll up their sleeves and work on enhancements or solutions, and they always have good suggestions on how to solve a problem that’s very technical”, said Robyn Holyoak, EVP & Chief Operating Officer at Baker Tilly. “Some of these items that we need are very complicated, and they’re always ready to give some good support. The ACES team has many years of experience, they know the system well, and they’re very good at providing solutions to an institution like ours,” adds Robyn.

Improved Throughput & Problem-Solving
Experienced compliance professionals can be difficult to find, but with ACES, Baker Tilly is able to simplify the audit process without sacrificing quality. ACES’ customizable reporting structure has provided Baker Tilly the ability to run multiple reports with employees in a supervisory capacity, versus high-priced compliance talent.

“ACES allows us to maximize the potential work that we can perform for our clients by broadening the number of folks that perform that work for our clients and expand our ability to provide services. By utilizing the rules-based nature of the ACES platform, we’ve simplified our audit process. We don’t necessarily need to use high-priced compliance talent to perform that work. We can use that allocated staff in a supervisory capacity, which has improved our throughput and allowed us to solve clients’ needs faster,” said Flory.

Unmatched Communication

ACES functionality and all-in-one encompassing platform provide a hub for Baker Tilly staff and its clients. ACES has provided the platform for both parties to ditch the spreadsheets and communicate and review report findings in real-time.

“One of the features of the ACES platform that really stood out to us is ACES CONNECT®. ACES CONNECT provides a portal that makes it so much easier for our clients to communicate to us during the remediation process and for them to review their results in real-time,“ stated Robyn Holyoak.

Checklists that Check all the Requirements

ACES Managed Checklists is another feature that stood out to Baker Tilly.

“We love the ACES Managed Checklists because it provides our clients with a direct link to the regulatory statute behind the findings we are citing. Our audit process includes a comprehensive initial review coupled with a second level management review to ensure audit accuracy and adherence to agency QC standards, and having the managed checklists provides and additional backstop for our clients in providing certainty in the results we deliver,” said Robyn Holyoak.

Reliable Reports

ACES live reporting, business objectives and customizable reports are a cherished feature both internally with Baker Tilly staff and externally with clients.

“A feature within ACES that has really helped us with our clients is in the reporting. When we cite a defect in the system, the clients can click on the regulatory or agency guideline citation, which provides clarity and knowledge that we are citing the correct citation for that defect. The defects are what drive the business that we do for our clients, and it really gives us peace of mind as well as the clients peace of mind that we are citing the right defect for that problem,” said Robyn Holyoak.

Consistency across the board

An added benefit of working with ACES is the assurance for quality control managers on reports and metrics.

“ACES allows our quality control managers some lift to ensure that we’re always hitting the mark with our clients, providing metrics so that we can go in and measure our internal quality when we have internal QA. It also gives us a benchmark where we have quality scores with our clients and allows us to measure that so that we always know we’re hitting the mark in a very consistent way,” said Robyn.

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