Top UK Accounting Firm Is Using Modern Communications to Deliver Better Client Service Than Ever Before
Operating for nearly 150 years, MHA MacIntyre Hudson has grown into one of the largest accounting firms in the United Kingdom, with more than 800 staff members working in 12 locations across the country and serving clients around the world.
London, United Kingdom
If you were researching accountants to handle your personal or business finances, you’d probably look at credibility and track record.
When they weigh both of those key factors, UK residents and enterprises repeatedly choose MHA MacIntyre Hudson: a national network of chartered accountants, tax advisers, and business consultants that’s been serving clients since 1880. They’ve also earned several British Accountancy Awards, including National Firm of the Year and Tax Team of the Year.
“Now our employees and partners can be fully productive anywhere, because RingCentral works on any internet device. We’re seeing this improve both company productivity and employee satisfaction levels.”
IT Business Manager
“With the old phone system, our accountants didn’t have the ability to take calls easily when they were in the field—which was often.”
IT Business Manager
“The hours our partners save traveling between offices are hours they can now apply to billable client work. That’s going to boost our bottom line.”
IT Business Manager
“It never occurred to us we could get phones, conference lines, and video conference in the same product. But now that we have it, it’s reducing our IT costs considerably.”
IT Business Manager
How does an accounting firm stay excellent for 150+ years?
MacIntyre Hudson takes a hands-on approach to service, a key differentiator from other other accountancy firms. Instead of spending all day behind their desks like most accountants, the employees of MacIntyre Hudson regularly get out of the office to visit with the firm’s clients.
The organisation also prides itself on being highly accessible by phone. These financial professionals understand that their clients could need help at any time with a complex accounting or tax issue—and that under these circumstances a client might be anxious and looking for guidance in a hurry.
Consistently providing this high level of client service and attention has helped MacIntyre Hudson to not only to survive for more than 150 years, but also earn a spot on the UK’s top-15 list of accountancy firms by revenue. This is a particularly impressive accomplishment when you consider that the company has far fewer staff than most organisations on that same list.
Changing times demanded better technology
As its client roster grew, MacIntyre Hudson recognised it was time to transition to a more agile and flexible company culture. This would empower the company’s staff to continue carrying out two highly important client-service objectives: spending time in-person with clients, and at the same time being available to clients by phone, even while on the road.
Because MacIntyre Hudson’s previous on-premise phone infrastructure allowed accountants to take and make business calls only from their desk phones, they became essentially inaccessible as soon as they headed out for a client meeting or to meet with colleagues at one of the firm’s other locations across the UK.
“This led to embarrassing situations where we’d have to phone a client and ask to speak with one of our people who we knew was there,” recalls Andrew Carter, MacIntyre Hudson’s IT Business Manager.
Not only that, the firm has grown over the years through mergers and acquisitions. As a result, MacIntyre Hudson didn’t have a central communications platform—instead, it had a network of different solutions and telecom providers at its many locations. With so many different tools, it meant they didn’t have simple things like a shared company directory for easy internal dialing.
Callers would have to phone into the office’s main number and ask the front-desk staff to transfer them to the right person or department. That wasn’t efficient, and it didn’t allow for the client experience the company wanted to provide.”
Increased accessibility, productivity everywhere
When they implemented RingCentral’s all-in-one cloud communications solution, MacIntyre Hudson solved, well, all of these conflicts. Because they were able to place and receive calls on their business numbers from laptops or smartphones, the firm’s accountants could now go into the field for in-person client meetings and still be accessible—by phone or even video conference—to other clients or colleagues.
And because RingCentral is so intuitive and user-friendly, MacIntyre Hudson’s employees are finding it easy to make adjustments in real-time to their own business communication workflows—such as forwarding calls to their personal phones, routing certain calls to colleagues, or updating their greetings. “Because our old phone system was so complex, even simple adjustments like these required help from IT,” says Carter.
Improved client service and staff productivity aren’t the only benefits MacIntyre Hudson has experienced since rolling out RingCentral across the organisation. Their new solution also came with some surprising advantages—such as built-in audio conferencing and video conferencing.
Before they started using RingCentral, MacIntyre Hudson didn’t have a standard system for video calls, so the staff used different apps and vendors to host video conferences while also paying another vendor for its audio conference bridge. Because these systems were all different, employees often needed IT’s help with simple things like setting up meetings.
Thanks to RingCentral, the firm has also been able to cut down on employees’ logistical travel. Whereas in the past a senior partner might have to travel across London to meet with partners in another office, many of these meetings now happen virtually through RingCentral.
As Carter points out, these video conference meetings are having a direct impact on reducing the company’s expenses: “The hours our partners save traveling between offices are hours they can now apply to billable client work. That’s going to boost our bottom line.”