E&Y claims web first

Ernst & Young today launched a global online portal in a move that could herald a major change in the way professional service firms do business.

The firm claimed the site is the world’s first ‘truly interactive professional services internet portal’, which will provide clients with 24-hour advice in what appears an attempt to carve out the internet market ahead of its Big Five rivals.

The drive online by the firm, which is number three in the Accountancy Age Top 50 league table, will bring clients a full range of internet-based services, from tax, accounting, corporate finance and information systems assurance.

Ted Yates, the firm’s ‘e-leader’ said: ‘Clients receive unlimited access to comprehensive databases containing the firm’s latest reports, thought leadership statements and reference materials.’

Fees will be charged by the time it takes to answer, with tax charges averaging £1,200 and not in exceeding £3,500.

Financial reporting online services available to the firm’s audit clients will cost between £600-a-hit and £2,000. An online tax advisor service was launched in the US last year to Fortune 500 organisations.

UK GAAP and the full text of all international accounting standards will also be available, with explanations of the differences between UK and US standards.

Deloitte & Touche and City law firm Berwin Leighton are investing £5m in a joint-venture which will offer net-based business advice to small and medium-sized enterprises.

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