Editor's Note: Over the coming months, this column will review the websites of some large international national, and regional public accounting firms (if can we still use that term), and perhaps of some smaller firms as well. Although all accounting firms attempt to communicate essentially the same information, their approaches vary considerably These reviews will attempt to assess the websites from diverse perspectives: potential client, potential employee, general information seeker and overall.
The homepage of Grant Thornton's website (www.grantthornton.com or www.gt.com) is understated and potentially confusing. It looks more like a newsletter than a first introduction to the company and does not really focus the user's attention on what Grant Thornton has to offer. The most useful area on the homepage is the navigation bar at the top that connects the user to the main resources. The major content is quite good, but the user will need to be persistent to reach the areas of interest.
Potential clients. A potential client can take several approaches to access general and specific information about the firm. Buttons at the top of each screen link the user to areas such as "press room," "services," or "industries." On the home screen, links on the lefthand side will take the user into "about Grant Thornton," with basic information about the firm in "fact sheet" format.
The website does a good job of compactly listing both the services that the firm provides as well as the industries in which it specializes. Indices are provided on the left-hand side, and moving from one screen to the next is easy. A keyword search is also available. But should an enthusiastic potential client wish to contact the firm, the link for doing so is somewhat hidden on the right-hand side of the screen under "other related links. …