Best use of internet – practice: Grant Thornton

Once again the biggest accountancy firms are leading the way in technology.
Following last year’s win by PKF in the small business software category, Grant
Thornton has picked up the top practice IT award.

Up against competition from perennials in this category, SJD and Danbro,

GT fended them off with an impressive entry, winning first place for a multitude
of reasons.

Judges were impressed at the level of innovation the firm was attempting. The
firm introduced “chatting live without waffle”: a method with which it could
communicate with its students and ensure they receive the more relevant
information instantly.

Known as Live Chat, school leavers and graduates can engage with current
employees before they even step through the door to help decide if the firm is
the right place for them.

GT created a blogging “environment”, where their staff can blog about issues
affecting them ­ not necessarily just about accountancy. There are blogs on
entrepreneurial issues, high net worth individuals ­ while a series of podcasts
has been created. IFRS and SME issues are also covered within its set of blogs.

Its marketing campaign “Innovation” helped drive content on to its corporate
site, through voxpops and scheduled interviews. High profile business leaders
such as King of Shaves’ Will King and president of Boeing UK Sir Roger Bone have

This use of the internet to market its wares has extended to a part of the
site that focuses on the 157 corporate finance transactions in 2008.

Prospective clients and intermediaries can look at this database, which also
included deals for 2006 and 2007.


“Outstanding innovation” were the words of one judge for GT’s entry.
Others highlighted its willingness for such a big firm to move with the times,
and its efforts to engage with students.“The next generation of partners expect
firms to use different channels to communicate with them, and GT is leading the
way on this front,” said another judge. “The firm has shown joined-up thinking
in how it evolves into a cutting-edge business.”

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