7 of the top 50 accounting and advisory firm websites are new to market.By Greenfield Belser, a Finn Partners Company
November 2, 2016
Just a shade under 15% of the largest 50 CPA firms have debuted new websites recently. Here is a list and snapshot of the seven new sites launched with a quick review of what we liked about each. Also interested in new law firm sites? Check them out here. Consulting firm updates can be accessed from last week’s post here.
For a broader perspective, please spend some time on our sitevisitsSM research microsite. It catalogs 200 professional service firm websites and provides the latest dish on professional service firm web design, content and development trends.
As we’ve noted, many firms bank on thought leadership. The largest accounting and consulting sites brim with this material. In the latest iteration of the Crowe Horwath’s website—now fully responsive—this type of “usable content” is pervasive and very well presented on virtually every page of the site—just as is the case in many other large international, national and super-regional CPA and advisory firm. Which begs the differentiation question? Many of the sites we review, like Crowe’s, deliver thought leadership content courteously and beautifully. Yet it is hard to tell one firm from the next when many excel in this area.
CRI’s latest site is another in a growing list of nicely redesigned and redeveloped responsive websites that make good use of a north to south scrolling home page, illustrated links to content, and other tools that cater to the scanning reader. What was once fashionable and new is now shared among many firms. Noteworthy and distinct features in the site are the trends and CRInnovate sections and offerings. We like how the trend goes deep on three important issues, very deep. Also CRInnovate makes a strong case for the value of a different approach to auditing.
The firm’s new brand (ID, website, et al.) centers on the declarative: “Be in a position of strength.” That’s a strong promise, well articulated in a series of rotating messages on the home page. Withum is among the firms adding moving images to their site instead of stationary stock. The old standard is becoming the new. Famous for its entertaining and engaging videos, the latest features the firm’s managing partner talking about the new brand and promise. Look closely and check out his Chuck Taylor high tops. Not your father’s wingtipped accounting firm. Must be the shoes!
Another rebrand, well executed. The positioning—around value creation versus passive value calculation—is clear and smart summed up by the line “Know Greater Value.” The website has some interesting and distinct features, like opening and closing moving parts that draw attention to news and resources on the home page. With so much thought leadership and user focused content on competing sites, simple attention earning devices like this are one way to break through the clutter.
We like the client features on the Anchin website (disclaimer: we contributed ideas for the site, but were not involved in its execution—final photography and content, etc). On that topic, the success center with client profiles, success stories and sortable case studies allows visitors to find businesses and individuals like them that Anchin has served. The site is designed to be courteous, clear and easy to use. Too many sites suffer from too much content and clutter. Anchin takes a better route.
We like how the navigation items are split into two tiers. Speaking of navigation, something we don’t see enough of in the new world of websites as lead generation tools is a simple link to “Submit Your RFP” like Bonadido’s. The “Big firm capabilities, small firm personality” is a common pitch among firms of a certain size. Many clients lean into that pitch for the advantages of price, service and attention from seasoned professionals. The job of marketers who share a similar pitch is to deliver it in their own unique way.
When we visited, BPM boldly and clearly presented a distinction with a difference that dominated the homepage. It declares the firm is the best public accounting firm for women two years running, We also very much likes the careers page of BPM’s site, especially for its strong delivery of Glass Door rankings. Looks like this is a great place to work. The analytics of many firms suggest that the most common visitors to their sites are those in search of career. BPM appears to be playing to their first tier audience—well, we might add.