Website of the Month: Freed Maxick & Battaglia, PC

By Susan B. Anders

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JUNE 2005 - Freed Maxick & Battaglia, PC, is the largest local public accounting firm based in Buffalo, New York. Its website (www.freedmaxick.com) was recently redesigned to present a more sophisticated appearance, with improved navigation, access to information about the firm, and other interesting resources. Freed Maxick & Battaglia’s website contains positive examples for local and regional accounting firms to consider, in addition to some less well-developed areas that are problematic for many firms’ websites.

The homepage is attractive, professional, and welcoming. It contains a banner with the firm slogan at the top, and the bottom is framed by a horizontal main menu bar. The main content is simple, but the space is well utilized and provides some background information about the firm. Two useful items appear at the bottom of the homepage. The first is the address, telephone, and fax information for three of the firm’s offices. The second is a hyperlink to a site map, which deserves special mention because of its level of detail.

The main feature pages mimic the homepage. Some main pages, as well as some subsidiary pages, also present left-side vertical menu bars that link to the resources available under the specific feature. Navigation is made easy by the uniform menu bars, a keyword search feature, navigation path hyperlinks, and a “return home” link on each page. The contact information and a link to the site map are also available on each of the main feature and subsidiary webpages.

Potential Clients

Under “services,” potential clients can access brief descriptions of the firm’s assurance, consulting, employee benefit, and tax services. These subsidiary pages are underutilized, and contact information for firm personnel on each of the service pages would be an improvement.

Under “industries,” users can see the firm’s 11 industry specializations, such as agribusiness, healthcare, and real estate. Subsidiary industry pages offer some descriptions that are relatively brief, while others offer more detail. The firm misses another opportunity to present contact information for its designated personnel to a potential client. A listing of the firm’s directors, with their photographs and e-mail links, is available under “about us”; however, no specialization or background information is provided.

An attractive, one-page “firm facts” brochure summarizing the services, industry groups, and office locations is hidden under “resources.” For marketing purposes, it should be directly linked on the homepage. The “newsletter” link on the homepage might also be improved by linking it to the most current issue, rather than to the subscription page.

Potential Employees

The “careers” section is a well-developed. The careers webpage contains descriptions of the number of employees and offices, and links to general statements about recruiting activities and career development. Two excellent features are the name and contact information for the human resources director, and a specific list of open positions, with links to job descriptions and posting dates.

General-Information Seeker

Users that aren’t interested in becoming clients or employees of the firm will still find the interesting information in two areas of the site, “resources” and “links.” Under resources, the website offers short PDF documents on the 2003 and 2004 tax law changes. Students are especially encouraged to take a look at these. The links webpage provides excellent links to several federal and state tax and other governmental resources, which practitioners, educators, and students will find useful.


Susan B. Anders, PhD, CPA, is an associate professor at St. Bonaventure University, N.Y.
Note: This column periodically reviews websites for some of the larger public accounting firms, as well as for smaller firms that have particularly good sites.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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