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>90% of member transactions completed online

Association of Accounting Technicians: Agile CIO and Business Change

Our strategic IT review of the AAT produced a strategy and plan that transformed it from an "organisation with a website to being an e-business", and delivered cost savings, business improvements and enhanced customer service.


Established in 1980, the Association of Accounting Technicians is the leading awarding and professional membership body for accounting technicians and has over 120,000 fellow, full and student members – 90% of which are UK-based. It is the only professional body that specialises in the training and development of accounting technicians.

The AAT is committed to improving standards of competence and professional development in accounting and related areas. It is proud of the extensive support that it is able to offer all its members, through its qualification, continuing professional development (CPD) scheme, professional regulations, ethical standards and more.

The challenge

The AAT recognised that information was the lifeblood of its organisation. They also realised that the systems and processes surrounding the management and dissemination of information to their stakeholders may benefit from improvements, but that they lacked the skills in-house to carry out such a review. They approached a number of organisations and selected IndigoBlue to carry out the work. As John Heycock, Finance Director of the AAT explained:

“We chose IndigoBlue because they offered an Agile approach. This involved carrying out the work in short iterations, communicating with all levels of the organisation and prioritising our requirements to deliver key benefits early, which closely mirrored our own ideas for the review."

Our approach

IndigoBlue’s proposal was to carry out the Strategic IT Review as three iterations. At the end of each iteration, the results were presented and discussed with the Directorate and the key tasks and objectives for the next iteration agreed. IndigoBlue also put forward a communications plan ensuring that all staff could contribute to the review and be kept informed of progress.

Over the course of the study, IndigoBlue carried out over 40 interviews with staff, members, suppliers and other stakeholders. All aspects of the business were analysed and a comprehensive list of improvements identified. These were refined and prioritised with the stakeholders and a five-year roadmap was designed.

The outcomes

The AAT realised several short-term benefits from the strategy as well as having a plan to deliver many more benefits in the medium and long term:

  • Immediate cost savings and business improvements from quick wins identified and implemented during the study
  • Over 90% of all individual members’ transactions are now completed online
  • At peak times there are over 10,000 unique member logins on the AAT’s website per day
  • Resilient infrastructure to support 24x7 online operations
  • Greatly improved management reporting – timeliness, comprehensiveness and accuracy
  • Introduction of an e-learning platform
  • Introduction of computer-based assessments


IndigoBlue worked closely with us to understand our business, our requirements and our culture. They worked in an Agile manner to deliver a comprehensive review of our information needs and formulated a plan to help us deliver excellent service to our members. IndigoBlue offered a very cost-effective solution and delivered on-time and to budget.

Jane Scott-Paul – former Chief Executive, The Association of Accounting Technicians

Beyond the Strategy

Following the delivery of the strategy, IndigoBlue has been retained on a part-time basis as Agile CIO to provide technology leadership at executive management level. In this role, IndigoBlue has worked closely with the AAT Directorate, ICT and web teams to evolve the strategy in order to respond to regulatory changes and other external factors.

The current AAT website is testament to the success of this approach. It fully integrates with the AAT’s back-office systems (including membership) in order to provide personalised engagement for members, students and stakeholders; including provision of back-office facilities to learning providers. As Jane Scott-Paul commented:

The strategy took us from being an organisation with a website to being an e-business.

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