Goodman Jones LLP, chartered accountants, was established in 1934 in Central London. Today, it has 14 partners and additionally more than 70 staff, but stays close to its roots of serving the owner managed business. The firm prides itself on its early and innovative adoption of leading edge technology
The D2C relationship:
Goodman Jones were actually our first customer to use Twinfield online accounting in the in the UK back at the end of 2005. It has become an award winning partnership, as we have worked with them with their web strategy, the design and build of their website, and to deploy WordFrame for a group blog and to help build their online, community presence.
“D2C are at the leading edge of using web 2.0 to benefit all businesses. Their business experience coupled with their recognised technology expertise is a powerful combination that can benefit any business”
Philip Woodgate - Business Systems Partner, Goodman Jones
GJ using Twinfield, which they brand as GJ Online:
Goodman Jones wanted to find a better way to serve its clients. It had been looking for an appropriate solution but offerings were either slow or unsatisfactory. They had been using traditional client/server accounting solutions but these were expensive and high maintenance, particularly in regard to version control . They needed something different.
"We have been waiting for a solution like this for a long time. It opens up a new chapter in the development of our services and the way in which they’re delivered. We have clients in Dubai and remote staff in Ireland. We need to be able to connect our people and our clients at any time, anywhere. That’s not possible with traditional systems."
Larry Phillips – Managing Partner, Goodman Jones
The firm had been searching for an alternative to its existing client/server accounting solutions and when it found D2C and Twinfield, it was like a breath of fresh air: “This is the answer to many of the issues we face. We have overseas clients and remote staff in the UK and Ireland. We need to be able to connect our people and our clients at any time, anywhere. That’s not possible with traditional accounting systems”, says Philip Woodgate, the Goodman Jones partner who heads the Business Systems division.
Having GJ Online means Goodman Jones can help you assess the impact of business problems based on the most up-to-date information. “Clients can ask questions over the phone while we share the same information. We’re giving advice knowing that our conclusions are based on accurate real time information. That’s so much more convenient than having to prepare for meetings and is a genuine win-win. It makes a significant difference especially in challenging market conditions” says Philip.
“This product compares very favourably with desktop applications available in the market, is multi-currency and is available at an extremely attractive price”, says Woodgate. He goes on to add “Clients can ask questions over the phone while we share the same information. ” .
Web design and web strategy:
At the same time that GJ moved in to online accounting, their website needed a major revamp. The design was certainly not modern, and adding and updating content always required work from external technicians, so the site was always out of date. GJ worked with D2C to align the new site with GJ's business goals, and then design and build it based on a CMS that put their own staff back in control. We also brought some expert help in the form of Dennis Howlett of AccMan, one of the most influential bloggers, writers and analysts in the accounting space - he helped with wordsmithing, and tuning the content for the web and the target market.
"The team that D2C assembled really understood our business and what we wanted. One of the most exciting aspects of the project was seeing the initial ideas form our design and workshop come to life. What they delivered was stunning - they captured exactly what we wanted with the first draft” says Philp Woodgate.
D2C demonstrated in 2005 the benefit of web 2.0 tools like GoToMeeting for online web sessions with clients; GJ embraced these tools ahead of their sector competitors. Philip himself started a blog in early 2006 called the SME Blog aimed at advising small and medium enterprises - GJ's target customers. Philip himself started a blog he called the SME-blog aimed at advising small and medium businesses - GJ's target customers.
The combination of going online with Twinfield, a new website that jumped well ahead of the other practices they were competing against, using online tools and starting the blog meant that the won the prestigious Accountancy Age Award for Best Use of the Internet by a Practice in 2006, and then again in 2007.
In 2008 the website was enhanced again, and Philip talked his colleagues into blogging too. GJ deployed WordFrame Community to:
All of these enhancement meant that they were a finalist for the Accountancy Age Award for Best Use of the Internet by a Practice in 2008 as well. Even though they did not win they are still the leading example of a profession practice exploiting technology to its fullest potential..
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