The Accounting Industry Goes Digital. Knowledge Management drives Innovation

Our work in the accounting industry is focused on one specific problem:

Accounting firms produce assets – tables, spreadsheets, presentations, and data – for each of their clients. When the project is done, those assets get hidden away in a sub-directory and forgotten. This means the accounting firm has to re-do hundreds of hours of work to reach the same results, costing their client and themselves more money.

The bottom line: Lost assets means more work.

In the face of these unique challenges, accounting firms have realized that the old way just isn’t good enough. They need a way to fast-track their business processes, increase client satisfaction, and avoid recreating their work. Fortunately for them, we’ve got a solution.

BUSINESS

Our knowledge management clients have two main business goals:

Allow publishers to tag documents in ways that make sense, and allow users to find exactly what they need without digging through every sub-folder in the system.For that to happen, we have to make sure we know what types of assets they are looking for. To that end, we research, interact with clients existing systems, and pull together a system architecture report that shows the types of content the client uses frequently and what their existing categories are. Armed with this insight, we’re able to identify their system’s weak points and put together a plan to shore them up.

Creative

Our Knowledge Management clients don’t need a new brand or a website that’s full of eye candy and fancy animations. What they need is a user experience that is simple, intuitive, and pleasant. Designing a system that meets these requirements hinges on the talents of our experience design team. Our experience designers conduct requirements gathering sessions, user interviews, sketchboarding sessions, and more to identify the key needs and pain points of system users. As they identify these, the experience designers build clickable prototypes of the new system.

Phase two of our creative process is to add brand elements and styling to the user interface. Our goal in designing a new user interface (UI) is to show the style and personality of our client while creating a look that will withstand the test of time.

Technology

After we validate the system prototypes through extensive user testing, we send the project off to development. For some knowledge management projects, the development phase is simple – implementing existing SharePoint modules and creating a new system architecture to meet the client’s needs. Other clients are more complex, requiring custom code and a heavy amount of backend work to build their Knowledge Management system.

We also include content migration in our development process. This effort is the perfect way to make sure that the content is properly tagged and sorted as it enters the new system, reducing the chance for lost assets or duplicate efforts in the future.