Brisbane based Hanrick Curran, which provides accounting services to clients across Queensland, Northern Territory, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Pacific Islands and South East Asia has replaced its ageing dictation system with a smartphone based alternative from BigHand. The system, which was installed in February 2014, has already proven to be far more reliable, is delivering much faster turnaround and provides important transparency into the transcription process ensuring that workflows are kept on track.

Hanrick Curran’s IT Manager Chris Holland explains that about 16 of the firm’s most senior people currently use the system, although it may be more widely deployed in the future. “Our previous system was very much a standalone static system. We had dictaphones and it was an immovable platform without a lot of flexibility,” says Holland. The ageing system was also providing daily support headaches for Holland who quips, “It was being held together with string and sticky tape.”

More worryingly the ageing system was injecting risk into the organisation as the firm was unable to quickly locate important file notes and time sheets. The system had always been somewhat clunky as it required users to physically dock their devices when they returned to the office in order for the dictated file to be available for transcription. “The partners would dictate a file note and then the challenge was getting that back for transcription. It was a digital version of a tape recorder and it needed to be physically docked in a device to be synched. The system was unreliable and we were losing one or two dictations a month,” says Holland.

In February 2014 Hanrick Curran rolled out the BigHand platform. Enterprise software was loaded onto its server, users of the service then used the BigHand app on their iPhones or tablets to dictate notes. The app based approach has also allowed Hanrick Curran to consolidate the number of physical devices it has to provide and support as there is no longer the need for a standalone dictation unit.