According to ACCA, this is the first time such facilities have been available to members of a professional body.
Ross Midgley, ACCA's IT Director, said: 'Experts say that there are four stages in web development. Starting with a passive 'brochure' of its wares, it first adds a degree of personalisation, then the ability to handle transactions and finally integration with 'back-office' systems. With this development, ACCA has leapfrogged direct to the leading edge.'
The website, www.acca.org.uk, contains secure 'virtual lounges' for ACCA's 250,000 members and students throughout the world. Here, each can access a range of electronic resources including study materials for students.
Further educational developments are planned for 2000, including a 'virtual campus' where ACCA students will be able to meet tutors, discuss examination topics, exchange assignments and access interactive study materials.
The website also contains 'channels' for the sectors ACCA supports - the corporate sector, the public sector and public practice. Each channel provides a view of the many ACCA events, publications, services and other resources, which ACCA offers to each sector.
There is also a media centre, providing journalists with a one stop shop for story ideas, information and experts 'on tap' in areas ranging from environmental accounting to small business issues.
ACCA, which recently announced an alliance with Cable & Wireless Communications, will launch its own free internet service for UK members and students early in 2000. The new site has been designed as a portal with this in mind, and offers online services including a twice weekly email newswire of accounting and business developments and up to the minute world news headlines.
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