A collective effort guides a successful website launch


Although we are in the height of tax season, the Massachusetts Society of CPAs has unveiled its new website early March during the busiest time of the year for its members. It was a strategic and effective decision.

“Tax season is the best time to launch it because our members are using it the least,” said Amy Pitter, president and CEO of MassCPAs. The calmer period allowed MassCPA staff to acclimate to the site and iron out any issues before members returned to the site in full force. Extra bonus? The group will offer automatic dues renewals when its dues season begins in April, making the process easier for members.

MassCPAs previous website was over 10 years old and built on a custom platform. However, due to accelerating technological change over the past decade, the site’s code has become outdated, causing problems and preventing staff from making timely updates based on member feedback.

The only way to fix the problem was to rebuild the site. The group’s web developer created a cloud-based platform specifically for state CPA firms and this is where the MassCPAs site is now hosted. Having other Crown corporations on the platform gives MassCPAs the ability to collaborate with them on ongoing ideas and improvements.

And, because it’s cloud-based, the code is updated regularly so the site no longer has areas that break unexpectedly. The whole website redesign process took about a year.

Main updates of the new site

Intuitive navigation on the site. The MassCPAs website is its members’ primary means of interaction with the group, and it frequently receives feedback from them, either informally or through direct emails to staff, about weak points or things that they like.

Staff collected member feedback, sought board feedback, and used analytics to rate the site’s most popular pages. They then used this information to guide the reorganization and make it more responsive and easier navigable.

MassCPAs can now create landing pages for its similar programs and events. For example, he has a conference landing page which shows the brand image of each conference. Some conferences are offered virtually and in person, so members can go to the conference home page and click on the type of format they prefer.

Teaching on demand. One of the main reasons MassCPAs members visit the site is to register for continuing professional education (CPE) and events. The new website offers on-demand programming, giving members the ability to quickly catch up on courses that will help them in their profession, at their own pace.

MassCPAs relies on member feedback to update its CPE programming and offerings. The new site allows the group to offer the new services immediately without having to communicate with the web developer because the staff can update the CPE programming in the CMS.

Organized CPE packages. The group got feedback from members on which courses would be most useful to them, and the MassCPAs learning and development team has packaged some CPE programs into convenient packages for members to choose from, giving them saves time. “It’s a huge benefit for our members,” Pitter said.

Simplified payment. The new website offers simplified checkout, which improves the member experience and opportunities for unearned revenue. For example, if a member is taking a CPE course and also registering for a networking event, these were previously two separate transactions, which was tedious and time-consuming. Now users can check out everything in their cart at once, and if they have a discount code, they can use it for one item even if it doesn’t apply to all of them. rest of the basket.

Careful planning, timely launch, and a collaborative process helped MassCPAs create a site that would provide the best experience for its members. All just in time for Tax Day on April 18.

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