Accounting group HLB Mann Judd collaborates via social networking

Group uses enterprise social networking platform to discuss tax issues, find experts

Australian accounting group HLB Mann Judd has used an enterprise social networking platform to help its members discuss tax issues and cut down on the use of email.

The group is a network of 12 independent accounting firms.

HLB Mann Judd's director of marketing and business development, Jacqui Walford, told Computerworld Australia that approximately 600 people use the tibbr platform. It was developed by TIBCO Software.

tibbr was deployed in September 2013 to a pilot group of 80 users. According to Walford, the trial took place because every firm in the group uses different IT and email systems.

“It’s not easy to know who to communicate with via email unless someone is a member of a national group. Our people won’t always know who else in the network can help,” she said.

Following the trial, the 12 firms are now all using tibbr.

Walford said the platform was been used for collaboration and technical knowledge sharing such as tax legislation.

“If someone in the national tax group is working on a particular issue such as GST tax, they might like to seek assistance from other experts or find out how other firms have delivered that advice to clients,” she said.

“They can post that issue on tibbr. The system has subjects such as national tax consulting and others can respond to the posts in that subject.”

Walford added that the 600 users have found the interface user friendly as it is similar to consumer social networking sites such as Facebook. For example, messages are delivered to a member’s wall that are relevant to their work.

In addition, users can access tibbr on their smart phones or tablets. The firms have policies for BYOD so the organisation made sure that the technology is secure.

“We needed to know that the information was secure. One of the decisions we made earlier on was not to share information [on tibbr] about specific clients," she said.

HLB Mann Judd is completing its full deployment of the platform this month.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia

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