BDO Transforms Collaboration with 700 Ideas and 60 New Hires

How BDO have grown to a 60+ innovation team, discovered 700+ new ideas and taken innovation a new level.
BDO logo

Location

United Kingdom

Industry

Accounting

Needs

Ideation management, Innovation management

Meet BDO 👋

Innovation and the world of accounting don’t always come to mind, but BDO isn’t your everyday accountancy firm, and there’s a reason they are the fifth largest accountancy firm in the world!

 

We caught up with their Head of Innovation and Digital Products for a discussion on collaborative transformation, growing to a 60+ innovation team, uncovering 700+ ideas, workshops, and more.

Summary

Challenge

BDO lacked a central location to collect, collaborate and execute on new ideas and opportunities.

Solution

BDO knew behavioural change can be driven by great technology, and edison365 provided a solution to bring everyone into the innovation processes while meeting their ambitious needs with one piece of software.

Results

By using edison365, BDO were able to grow their innovation team by 60+ whilst uncovering more than 700 new ideas and taking 15 new products through the edison365 environment to launch.

The Challenge 🎯

BDO is a company with big ideas, there’s no doubt about that. When we first discussed the challenges they face, there was one that stuck out for us. One we knew edison365 would completely resolve overnight.

 

Their workforce needed a single environment where new ideas could be shared freely and met with enthusiasm. Where cross-functional collaboration could thrive, and team members would think outside the box.

 

But BDO didn’t just want to uncover new ideas. They had bigger ambitions. They wanted to completely revolutionise the entire innovation process, grow their innovation team, host workshops, and critically introduce new products to help their people, clients, and audit entities succeed.

 

So, what was the dealbreaker for BDO? They knew behavioural change can be driven by technology, and after discovering edison365’s seamless Microsoft integration, it was a no-brainer. The partnership began!

 

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Products Launched

Bigger Teams for Bigger Dreams 🏆

It was clear from our first encounter with BDO that there was an appetite for forward-thinking ideas. This was a small, but hungry innovation team that was going to use edison365 to springboard the growth of their thinkers and creative problem-solvers.

 

That they did! BDO has turned its team of a few innovators into a department of more than 60 in a surprisingly short amount of time. Not to mention the four product management teams that now continuously refine the company’s offering.

 

It’s safe to say BDO knows how to innovate, and innovate at scale. With four innovation labs now running simultaneously, the accountancy firm is a disruptor in its industry, finding untapped potential and opportunities other competitors may overlook.

Ready to unleash your best ideas?

The Creation of Labs 💡

To implement edison365, the accountancy powerhouse said, “We wanted to amplify the ideas of our people, collectively building upon ideas to innovate with new software”. This led to the creation of ‘Labs’ for the key areas of the business: tax, audit, and advisory.

 

This fusion team of accountancy professionals and technology specialists gave the innovation team direction over their efforts, with the ability to develop new ideas tailored to specific products and areas.

“We wanted to go down a more guided innovation route, to bring more structure to it. We needed tailored challenges aligned to our wider strategy and goals”.

The results? A success! Four Labs later, this process received an influx of ideas ranging from the straightforward to the incredibly complex.

 

  • New technology experiments happen every day
  • Experimentation has uncovered new digital products
  • New learning opportunities, and informing people on change
  • Creating digital client communication channels
  • Using environmentally friendly web browsers
  • Connecting people with new skills

 

But that’s not all. The accountancy firm successfully added more than 700+ ideas to its edison365 environment, resulting in more than 60+ prototypes and 15 products. Labs essentially gave BDO an innovation compass.

 

Where should they focus next, and what part of the business do new ideas support? By identifying these, their time spent in edison365 was more effective, giving their workforce a better sense of innovative direction.

accounting and tax team
accounting team talk

Launching Successful Ideas ⚙️

One of the most successful ideas BDO has had is the introduction of a new customer survey tool developed stage by stage in edison365. BDO now receives better feedback from its own customers via this new tool.

 

The responses they receive support their focus on future innovation and product improvements. The creation of a tool like this, with the help of edison365, means they are setting in motion a powerful continuous improvement process.

 

BDO has taken more than 15 products through the innovation journey in edison365, and has many more in the pipeline! From their own in-house BDO version of ChatGPT, named Personas, to new data analytics capabilities, new services, and even an internal LMS function.

 

Many ideas have been created alongside the initiator of these ideas and now make a positive impact on the business and its core objectives.

Monthly Innovation Workshops 💬

One of BDO’s major objectives was to revolutionise its culture to create a workplace that embraces innovation and creativity. In addition to Labs, and the use of edison365, the mindset of the workforce was shifting.

 

Employees were excited about how BDO was evolving, and the new technologies available to people, with Digital Mindset a core part of the firm strategy, with their Head of Innovation saying this…

“Our people are passionate about ideas, and their dedication to making them a success is incredibly energising. edison365 has provided a platform to share, and is essential to turning the good ideas into great ones”.

BDO now runs several initiatives that contribute to its innovation goals. The innovation department holds more than a workshop per month focused on edison365. This helps teams prioritise the next steps, innovating at speed, and with purpose.

 

In these sessions, mini hackathons are set up, allowing employees to discuss ideas and score them. At the end, the leader of the workshop collects them and puts them into edison365 for further review and discussion.

Rewarding Innovation 🥇

The BDO team has also taken well to gamification features in edison365 by introducing a ‘Spotlight Award’. A benefit employees can achieve for submitting incredible ideas. These include vouchers, funding for projects, and the chance to have coffee with mentors and leaders.

 

BDO found that the latter of these perks has been incredibly beneficial. With junior team members receiving mentorship from more experienced colleagues. To put it simply, rewarding innovation has been extremely advantageous for BDO.

“The leaderboards have become surprisingly competitive not just between individuals, but across business units. Voting and ideation leaderboards have been good because we never had that gamification element before”.

According to Gitnux, gamification increases employee engagement levels by 48%, and when your innovation efforts are highly engaging, the world is your oyster!

Industry-leading Innovators 🏆

It’s safe to say BDO are exceptions to the accountancy space when it comes to innovation management. A company that has achieved transformative innovation, implemented unique initiatives, and leveraging new technology. Although 80% of the accountancy giant’s UK workforce (7,000+ employees) currently use edison365, they have even bigger plans for the future!

 

“We want to launch our innovation programs across all of BDO’s business units”.

 

The team is also refining their use of edison365’s business case management capabilities, as this will improve how accurately they can measure the value of their experiments and ideas.

 

BDO said “Measuring the value of our ideas is critical, making sure that they’re having the sustained impact to improve our ways of working, at the very highest standard”

 

BDO has greater ambitions with edison365, but in just a short amount of time the accountancy firm has managed to achieve the behavioural change that has turned it’s workforce into an idea-generating powerhouse.

“A key benefit of using edison365 is getting people excited about innovation!”

BDO has also maximized edison365’s Power BI integration. Now, the entire innovation workforce knows what ideas to prioritise, which areas of the business need more support, and the employees that would benefit from one of their monthly innovation workshops.

 

Ultimately, the team at edison365 is very pleased with how smoothly BDO has adopted the software, and we’re excited to see how the accountancy firm continues to leverage our tools and features to reach its goals.

Ready to unleash your best ideas?

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