Global accountancy and consulting firm Baker Tilly International has deployed the Huddle cloud collaboration platform to support its network of member firms and provide a standard portal service for clients worldwide.

Using Huddle, 154 member firms in 133 countries now have the ability to collaborate on cross-border projects in a secure central environment, sharing experience, expertise and best practice. As well as increasing efficiency internally, global teams can easily create secure portals for client engagements, providing a consistent and efficient approach to communication.

Huddle cofounders Alastair Mitchell and Andy McLoughlin ©Huddle
Huddle cofounders Alastair Mitchell and Andy McLoughlin ©Huddle

With 27,000 people based in almost 700 offices worldwide, one of the advantages of Baker Tilly International’s network is its teams’ ability to draw on in-depth local knowledge and expertise across a wide range of industry and business sectors. With firms based in numerous territories, under different jurisdictions and using their own systems, Baker Tilly International required a standard platform on which all parties could work together.

Traditionally, member firms used communication platforms that had been developed internally, such as SharePoint. The firm that was leading a tender or assignment would then use their portal with all other parties involved. This resulted in a significant amount of time being spent getting teams up and running as people learnt how to use different systems, and there were additional hurdles when providing teams across the firewall with secure access to content.

Paul Ginman, chief operating officer at Baker Tilly International, said: “Teaching people how to use a new technology every single time we embarked on a new project was inefficient. When you have numerous people working on one file, trying to deliver one specific outcome, there’s often the temptation to go back and forth via email or use tools such as Dropbox.

“As a lot of the documents we’re dealing with are extremely sensitive and confidential, consumer tools such as Dropbox or emails have associated cyber security risks. They simply don’t cut it anymore. We needed a standard system for consistency purposes and a service that would provide us with full version control and audit trails.”

He said business prospects were also requesting access to secure global client portals as part of their compliance needs.

Baker Tilly International said it selected Huddle due to its government security credentials, ease of use and the fact people could seamlessly work on the same content regardless of what firm they worked for and jurisdiction they were in.