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ICAEW champions social networking for students

12th Aug 2009
Deputy Editor Sift Media
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The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) is to launch a new online community for accounting students.

The site will offer information and guidance on relevant topics to support ACA and CFAB students, as well as containing a forum where members can swap tips and network. Membership will be open to all ACA or CFAB students, including those outside the UK.

As part of the launch later this month, the site will host regular ‘Ask a Tutor’ sessions, starting with an online Q&A with a lecturer from the London School of Business and Finance on 25 and 26 August for ACA students sitting professional stage exams in September.

“The concept of social networking has become an integral part of society”, said James Bulloss, chair of the ICAEW student council.

“The student community is a fantastic opportunity for all students to have a forum outside of their immediate location and year group, and also gain a greater affinity with the institute”.
 

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Mark Lee 2017
By Mark Lee
13th Aug 2009 00:04

This sounds like a great initiative and deserves to be a success
Many accounting students will already be familiar with online communities and very active on sites such as facebook and myspace. It makes enormous sense to tap into this world and to engage the students in a dedicated, focused and niche community.

There are some social web gurus who might suggest that there is no need for a distinct community and that much the same thing could be achieved (faster and more effectively) through the features and facilities available on facebook or LinkedIn. There's an element of truth in that view but equally there are communities such as ICAEW students who are likely to be far more comfortable in a dedicated, distinct and direct environment such as the one described above. And this benefits the ICAEW as it enables it to build increased brand loyalty with its students.

There is however one BIG challenge that awaits all those who seek to establish new online communities. The target audience has to have a reason to visit and REMEMBER to do so. As regards the students targeted by this new forum this means that they either need to receive regular prompts about the useful material they can access and how they can help each other - or they need to believe that their exam success will in some way be enhanced by regular visits to the new community site. That's probably less likely.

Has the ICAEW cracked this challenge as regards the new online forum for students? Only time will tell.

Mark Lee
Tax Advice Network

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By kenfrost
13th Aug 2009 10:46

What about those who are qualified?
It sounds like a good idea.

When will there be an ICAEW community for those who have qualified?

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Mark Lee 2017
By Mark Lee
13th Aug 2009 11:02

They exist already Ken
Quite rightly, in my view, they are built around areas of common interest and there's a plan to roll out more and more - in response to demand.

For example: There's a Tax community where we can comment on tax news posts.

Here's a full list of the currently available online communities for ICAEW members (of which the student one referenced in this news story is only the latest). There are also links and guidance on how to join those communities of interest.

Mark Lee
Tax Advice Network

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By kenfrost
13th Aug 2009 11:19

I stand corrected
Thanks Mark

Clearly, either I have been asleep during the past few months or else ICAEW don't publicise these too well.

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Adrian Pearson
By Adrian Pearson
13th Aug 2009 13:27

What about clients?
I agree with the comments above but wonder why there seems to be no move by firms to provide social networks for their own client communities. We have recently launched one - at www.pearsonslive.com, and have had some forward-thinking clients sign up already - but as Mark alludes, there is now much work to be done encouraging participation.

Adrian Pearson
Top Accountants

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