Chartered Accountants Ireland
Chartered Accountants Ireland (formerly ICAI) is the largest and longest established accountancy body in Ireland. It has over 14000 members and it is the leading voice of the accountancy profession in Ireland.
One of the main objectives of developing the site was to provide an interactive tool to communicate with ICAI members and to receive their feedback in a structured manner.
The ICAI wanted to reduce the amount of administrative work within the Institute by producing a site, which made it easy for the end user to find the information and either download or purchase online. They were looking for a user-friendly content management system, which would make uploading content from a non-technical point of view easy for different content managers within the organisation.
- Integration of website designs and information architecture provided by 3rd party website design / usability agency;
- EPiServer 5 Content Management System
An online shop where business and financial publications are available for online purchase
- An Updateable Events Section is incorporated into this site with Full Contact Details, Downloadable documentation e.g. event presentations / speeches, Online booking forms which allows the user the ability to book a place online and receive automatic email notices to confirm hence increasing user interactivity.
- Updateable Jobs section – containing information on jobs available through the Institute.
- Password protected members’ section, containing information on a number of key areas: practical and ethical support, technical enquiries, information services, quality assurance, and member benefit schemes, networking events for members. This section also contains an exclusive members only discussion area for members to discuss confidential matters with other members of the Institute. The members area makes extensive use of Web Parts to allow members the facility to tailor their online experience around their most important interests.
- Student section, containing information both for the aspiring accountancy student and current students. Current students are given a username and password to gain access to a tailored area of the site, where they will find lecture notes, reading lists, past exam papers, lecturer information, course outlines, timetables. This section also contains a notice board containing information directly relating to the students’ course.
- Biznet IIS has also developed an SMS facility for the student section of the site, that ICAI can alert students via text message, of any change in venue/ time for lectures/ exams etc. This system has been built so that students are categorised per subject, so that SMS messages on a particular subject are only sent to that select group of students.
- An online Course Directory; categorised into a number of subject areas, locations and dates. The system has been developed so that users can search for a course in a location within a certain month – the system will display all courses meeting the users’ requirements. Users can book courses online, and the system will remove the course from the website when all places have been filled.
- An online magazine – Accountancy Ireland – updated by ICAI on a monthly basis. ICAI have the ability to add current stories relating to that month’s issue, this section also provides back issues of the magazine for download.
- ICAI have an online subscription facility; which allows subscribers to receive an electronic bulletin on a weekly basis. The bulletin keeps members/ students/ subscribers informed of developments within the Institute, which may affect them in their professional capacity. It has become a valuable means of communication between the Institute and its members.
- Ajax personalisation features enable users to easily define how they wish to use the website interface. Using drag and drop facilities, users can control which information is presented on “their” home page and in which order. Therefore priority content may be saved on a personal preference basis.
The most important result achieved by the next generation ICAI website was the switch over from their existing Java environment to .NET. By implementing EPiServer. ICAI has a powerful and scalable .NET backbone, upon which all future online development will be channelled. The online store will also allow ICAI to sell more products and services to members and students, thus opening a new revenue stream for the organisation. Biznet IIS is already gathering requirements for new phases e.g. new subsites / microsites, all of which will easily be developed and deployed via EPiServer.
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