Website Of The Month: BDO.com
By Susan B. Anders, PhD, CPA, St. Bonaventure University
After a streaming-text introduction, BDO Seidman’s website (www.bdo.com) welcome screen focuses your attention on the firm’s main services. However, considerable space is also taken up by press release–type information. Two sets of horizontal bars at the top of the welcome screen connect the user to the main resources and provide the basic approach for moving around the website. The content of the website is fairly brief, and the top horizontal buttons direct the user to the general areas of interest.
Potential clients. A potential client can take two approaches to access general and specific information about the firm. The buttons at the top of each screen will link the user to “services,” “about BDO,” “careers,” “locations,” and “alliances.” The welcome screen highlights the firm’s main service lines, and clicking on any one of them will connect the user to more detailed information. The user can also enter the service areas through the “service” button at the top of each screen, which connects to all of the firm’s service lines.
Although the individual service area screens are fairly general, indexes on the left-hand side direct the user to more specific information. In some of the service area webpages, the right-hand side of the screen is taken up with “news & resources”—primarily links to press releases, white papers, and newsletters. No direct contact access for services is available on the service screens, so the user must fall back on sending an e-mail through the general contact button at the top of the screen.
Potential employees. Job seekers can gain access to career and internship information via the “careers” button at the top of each screen. The user can search for positions directly on BDO Seidman’s website by business line and location. The business line descriptions are nicely summarized in the career area, or the potential applicant can link to the client-focused information under “services.” The user can complete an application on-screen and upload a resume through the website.
General information seeker. The firm’s newsletter series can be accessed only indirectly, through the “about BDO” button or individual service area screens. The first approach allows the user to differentiate between press releases and other types of publications (mainly newsletters). The individual service screens provide access to various types of publications. A keyword search is not available so the lists of published newsletters must be visually scanned. Individual documents are readily available in downloadable .pdf format or as links to separate webpages.
Overall. BDO Seidman’s website provides good, basic information to potential clients about the firm’s services. The service information screens provide no direct contact information, and the only method for any user of the website to contact the firm is a general e-mail link. Potential clients might be better served through direct contact information rather than the press release–type information on the services screens.
The publications can be accessed only indirectly and the user needs to scan through lists of documents for those that might be of interest. A link on the welcome screen to the “news & resources” areas and a keyword search or indexing system would be very helpful.
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