Grant Thornton collaborates on digital learning and banking offerings

13 December 2021 Consultancy.uk 5 min. read
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Professional services firm Grant Thornton has collaborated with Vizolution to launch a new digital transformation service. The move comes as Grant Thornton looks to invest in digital training, with the launch of a new programme with BPP Education Group.

Recent years have seen a consistent fall in the number of UK bank branches, while the adoption of remote channels by customers is steadily increasing. However, many remote services are still too limited with what they offer to be effective and efficient for customers.

Helping bridge this gap, Grant Thornton and digital experience technology provider Vizolution have partnered to serve up banks a new digital transformation offering. By enhancing a company’s digital customer journeys, the service will help financial services companies, such as banks and insurance providers, digitise and streamline complex service offerings that still currently often require face-to-face visits. By replicating online the more complex services currently only offered face-face – such as mortgage or loan applications, and wealth management – it will provide a seamless online experience.

Grant Thornton collaborates on digital learning and banking offerings

Commenting on the new offering, Niresh Rajah, Head of Data, RegTech and Digital Assurance Practice, Grant Thornton UK, said, “The global pandemic has intensified the existing challenge for many financial services businesses of their reliance on face-to-face interactions for many more complex services. While take up of online offerings is increasing, the level of sophistication in the sales, service and support capabilities to assist customers on a provider’s digital channels can differ significantly.”

Grant Thornton’s proposition with Vizolution will ultimately help banks humanise their customers’ digital experience. In the process, this will boost their Net Promoter Scores and reduce complaints through greater engagement and simplifying customer journeys.

Graeme Ventris, Senior Vice President, Global Alliances and Partnerships, Vizolution, added, “The combination of today’s tough economic climate and evolving customer expectations… have also delivered an opportunity for major brands to differentiate themselves in the eyes of their customers and drive a return to profitability. This exciting collaboration aligns Grant Thornton’s deep expertise in digital transformation with Vizolution’s market leading technology to accelerate our collective ability to help financial services organisations simplify complex journeys, reduce costs, elevate customer experience, and dramatically improve journey completions.”

Skills boost

The news comes as Grant Thornton UK continues its commitment to investing in digital training, with the announcement of a new programme to further enhance the skills of its people in data and digital technology. Designed and delivered by BPP Education Group, the programme covers the key technologies affecting professional services firms and their clients. The key goal is to inform participants about developments in technology, enhance their skills in data analysis, and consider how these technologies will enable them to provide more value and insight to clients.

Fiona Baldwin, Head of Audit, Grant Thornton UK, noted, “We’re committed to investing in the skills development of our people and ensuring that the services we provide are of the highest quality and relevance to the market... This new training means that everyone in our audit and tax teams, regardless of level, will have a consistent base set of digital skills to improve how they work and drive greater efficiencies in our use of technology across the firm. Building on the success of our trainee ‘digital accountant’ pathway announced last year, and our additional digital training offerings, this programme will ensure that all our people are future fit and equipped with the skills needed to succeed in the market and go beyond for our clients.”

Baldwin also stated Grant Thornton recognises that digital “permeates everything we do” so in order to provide the best quality advice and support, all the firm’s advisers need to be digitally savvy and confident in their use of data and new technologies. With digital expertise a growing requirement across the accountancy profession, the new programme will build on the firm’s existing training programmes and make a significant impact on the data and digital skills of qualified professionals in the firm’s audit and tax teams.

Paul Rowlett, Dean of Schools of Technology and Business Apprenticeships, BPP, also remarked, “We are very pleased to be working with Grant Thornton on this initiative, building on our long-standing relationship. Our School of Technology provides tremendous expertise in all aspects of technology and its application, and we have a fast-growing portfolio of programmes focusing on the professional services sector. We can therefore offer leading-edge support to Grant Thornton in upskilling their audit and tax staff.”

In addition to this new in-house training, BPP also works closely with Grant Thornton’s expert data teams on an external offering announced earlier this year that delivers Data Technician and Data Analyst Apprenticeships, bringing together BPP’s apprenticeship provision and Grant Thornton’s expert teams in data analytics and assurance.