At Plante Moran, we’re driven by a relentless de- sire to build the best client advisory service in the country. A critical step in achieving that objective
is to be habitually future-focused—proactively evaluating all the new and exciting opportunities we can bring
our clients. We strive to be known as a progressive firm
and a “premium digital brand.” As such, the firm has embraced digital transformation and invested heavily in artificial intelligence, data analytics and other “disruptive”
technologies that fuel audit, tax and consulting to make us
more efficient and increase the value we deliver to clients.
As we strive to provide outstanding service, internally
we have built strong, collaborative marketing and technology teams that work together to make the most of each
investment and seamlessly incorporate emerging technologies into our ongoing initiatives. Our digital strategy
requires us to constantly iterate and experiment—even if
it isn’t always clear whether doing so will reap rewards.
Most recently, we tested a new way of distributing a
key piece of thought leadership to our audiences using
state-of-the-art technology that few, if any, other accounting firms had used to date. With the guidance of our strategic partner, digital agency One North, we built a progressive web app (PWA)—a responsive website that can
also act and feel like a native app—to house our central
tax reform education platform. In trusting this new technology, we are able to showcase our expertise and perspective in a crowded market with a platform that clients,
prospects and staff find valuable and engaging.
In late 2017, Congress passed the most significant
tax reform in decades. Like many firms, we viewed
the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as an opportunity for Plante
Moran to serve as a resource and add value to current and prospective client relationships. Our tax team
quickly began developing content for the Tax Reform
Playbook, which contains details of nearly 20 provisions of legislation and succinctly advises companies
on potential short- and long-term planning initiatives.
But we were not alone. Accounting firms across the
country rushed to offer their advice and insights. How-
ever, unlike our competitors, we saw as this as the per-
fect opportunity to venture into uncharted territory and
deliver an atypical experience in a fast-evolving space.
As the tax team compiled the playbook’s content,
our marketing team explored the most useful, action-oriented way to present this material to our clients. We
knew that a traditional, explanatory PDF guide would
get lost in the impending influx of tax reform advice—
and a static PDF would soon become outdated.
Our partners at One North suggested we develop an
interactive, immersive experience around our Tax Reform Playbook, which would enable us to showcase our
perspective quickly and differentiate our thought leadership in an unexpected way. The solution: a PWA.
A PWA is a relatively new technology that offers
the best of both worlds: responsive websites and native
apps. It combines the benefits of each and eliminates
any potential limitations. Like native apps, PWAs can
function offline or in areas of low connectivity, be
saved directly to a user’s home screen, and refresh
quickly; unlike native apps, PWAs don’t require confirmation from the app store for downloads or updates.
Additionally, much like a responsive website, users
can easily share the content with a link.
Our decision to build the Tax Reform Playbook as
a PWA allowed us to cater to a more progressive and
mobile-first audience without alienating clients who
prefer to consume content in a more conventional way
(on a desktop). The playbook performs exceptionally
regardless of the user’s choice of device.
Plante Moran Embraces Tech as Catalyst for Innovation
BY JEFF ANTAYA AND BRIAN HOLMEN