Case study

Baker Tilly International

Baker Tilly International

Baker Tilly International (BTI) is among the world’s largest accountancy firms and is comprised of 740 offices, operating in 148 territories. With such an extensive presence, and with offices approaching the thousands, BTI was struggling to unite under consistent branding. Moreover, its member firms’ websites were running out of sync with each other and falling into disrepair.

BTI came to ClerksWell seeking help to develop a new international website for the umbrella entity and help in unifying BTI’s individual member firms under consistent websites. ClerksWell advised BTI to opt for the Umbraco CMS for both its ease and friendliness of use as well as its excellent scalability, a feature particularly important for a project of this size.

The ClerksWell team are true subject matter experts, who clearly plan and set expectations. ClerksWell were also upfront and honest with us, candidly informing us when something would not work or could not be completed in the tight timeframe we had set. Moreover, ClerksWell were always proactive, solving issues before they became problems and making suggestions that would ease implementation / future changes.

The Challenge 

BTI had been operating their international website on an older version of Umbraco. This resulted in a website that was static and irresponsive to the extent whereby editors could not publish new content. Further, all the BTI member firms were managing separate websites under different branding to the umbrella entity. These factors made it difficult for customers to navigate their website, which contributed to lower online engagement.

The BTI websites required a complete graphical and operational rehaul. Alongside the rebranding, the firm needed to set up a system where all members could access and share information across the backend, but one where governance and control would be maintained by BTI solely. The firm was looking for a stimulating, responsive, and – all importantly - modern website that was intuitive in directing users to relevant member firms via a global directory. It was required that this be completed under tight time constraints.

 

The Solution

ClerksWell began operations with BTI by consulting the firm on their choice of hosting solution and the CMS best suited for their websites. BTI chose to stay with Umbraco, but upgrade to the latest version at the time, Umbraco 7. Once the basics were agreed upon, developmental works on the website itself formally began with the planning and defining of the Information Architecture (IA) of the website.

Following this stage, ClerksWell and BTI’s brand agency together worked to create the user experience (UX) of the website. Using the brand agency’s rebranding concepts, ClerksWell conceptualised and sketched the wireframes for the website with respect to the outline of the IA. The brand agency was able to develop the graphical elements of the website once the wireframes were in place.

Using the Umbraco CMS, ClerksWell developed the backend. From the perspective of the CMS, the backend appears as one master website. The backend, however, consists of a single content editor organising each member firms’ website. The websites are mutually accessible with read-only privileges. The set up ClerksWell designed ensures that, while member firms can make edits to their own website, readily share and read the content of other member firms’ websites, BTI have executive control over changes or modifications to member firms’ websites if required.

ClerksWell was able to deploy 36 websites in one evening under the time constraints set by BTI, with the remaining websites going live shortly afterwards.

 

Click on the images below to see them in full

The Results

Alongside the consistently designed member firm websites, the deployment of the revamped and upgraded international website resulted in an uptake in online engagement with BTI. The UX of the website(s) was significantly improved, with an intuitive user journey leading from the main website to the individual member firm websites. BTI were unified under one, redesigned brand and refreshed their image. In 2021, ClerksWell is still supporting BTI with their current set-up.

BTI’s Chief Information Officer, Adam Grainger, said of ClerksWell’s strategy and development that

“overall, our website development with ClerksWell was one of the smoothest projects that we have run. We would recommend ClerksWell at any time and will be using them for further projects in the near future, in addition to them continuing to support our existing web solutions.”

The Outcome 

The Baker Tilly International site reflects the identity of the business: Now, for tomorrow