Some Pounds 100,000 has been spent on the relaunch, the firm’s second in two years. The launch followed six months of design, and the firm believes the new site is the ‘most comprehensive site ever launched by a top 20 accountancy firm’.
The previous site was described by the firm as a ‘brochure site’ and the alterations mean many services have been placed online for the first time. These include tax business research capabilities, consulting capabilities, corporate finance, management consultancy and e-business consultancy.
The site will deal with smaller issues online while larger enquiries will be referred directly to the firm. The firm aims to respond to enquiries within 48 hours of receiving the question.
The spec for the site was completed last July, and designers have been working on the site – to be driven by Sequel Server – ever since.
A feature of the site will be the ‘Ask an Expert’ facility, where clients can send emailed enquiries to the firm and pay by credit card online using Royal Bank of Scotland systems.
Another aspect of the site is ‘Client Connect’. Described as the ‘secure’ part of the site, it will include tax return information on clients and will include the ability to build up a personal library.
Project manager John Roberts, said: ‘Other sites, including Ernst & Young’s, are limited.
Our site allows clients to transact online. The advice given by the firm online will come from our top people and we are looking to build a community using features such as links, courses and advice.
‘We believe staff from rival accountancy firms will also want to use the site due to its private nature. This will open doors for us and will boost the image of the firm, a tool which may prove useful when recruiting staff in what is currently a tight labour market,’ he added.
The site is database driven with the information stored at the Chantrey Vellacott London office in Russell Square.
Roberts added: ‘PwC tried and failed at a cost of Pounds 500,000 to build up a similar system. With this development we are at the cutting edge.
‘Graduates and accountants like new things and we believe that the site will be a success. We are confident of recovering costs inside 12 months.’
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