Forum feedback

AAT_TeamAAT_Team Administrator Posts: 422
edited December 2017 in Feedback for AAT
If you have feedback the on forum and how we can improve things please share your thoughts below.

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  • MarieNoelleMarieNoelle Trusted Regular Hampshire/Surrey borderModerator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,325
    It may be a good idea to share on here the links to some "AAT Comment" topics (like you did for the Budget).
    I rarely see any one commenting directly (could it be that you have to use your real name?), maybe on here you would get more reactions?
    I would certainly welcome more input from the AAT technical team on here even if it is just to start off the discussion.
  • CSan89CSan89 WiltshireRegistered Posts: 160
    @Mickdundee Exactly what I was thinking.
  • MarieNoelleMarieNoelle Trusted Regular Hampshire/Surrey borderModerator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,325
    *sigh*

    Ok, here are my thoughts.
    Since AAT took the decision to only let verified members to post on the professional categories this has probably deterred a lot of members from engaging on here in the first place. It has never been made clear by AAT how they could use the information shared on the forum.
    The pros are probably to weed out non accountants but was it ever a problem on this forum?
  • AAT_TeamAAT_Team Administrator Posts: 422

    It may be a good idea to share on here the links to some "AAT Comment" topics (like you did for the Budget).
    I rarely see any one commenting directly (could it be that you have to use your real name?), maybe on here you would get more reactions?
    I would certainly welcome more input from the AAT technical team on here even if it is just to start off the discussion.

    We can certainly post more of the articles here if there is an appetite for them. We already share them on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and can see how they would be beneficial for those who are frequently online here.

    In terms of more technical input from AAT that's something we'd absolutely love to have more of too. It's something that will require time from more senior members of the organisation and currently we can't guarantee consistent activity given work loads. It will depend on what the post is whether the source / author will be able to get involved in.

    One thing we can absolutely do is if there are areas you guys would really like some light shed on, we can feed this back to the editorial team to look at commissioning an article around it. Again this has worked on social media where we've seen an appetite on certain subjects and duly obliged.
    Pros
    1. We would like to know how many professional members we have on the forum
    2. We would like new and existing members to feel the people active in those topics are qualified and affiliated with AAT
    3. These forums are a part of the benefits of being a professional member of AAT - with the old system it devalues this benefit because anybody can post a topic rather than people affiliated with us

    Cons
    1. Barrier to entry - which we feel is justified
  • MarieNoelleMarieNoelle Trusted Regular Hampshire/Surrey borderModerator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,325
    We would like new and existing members to feel the people active in those topics are qualified and affiliated with AAT


    But could this include members who used to be affiliated with AAT but for different reasons have given up their membership? I am sure there are a number of former AAT members who have moved on to a chartered qualification. Wouldn't it be a shame to not benefit from their knowledge?
  • AAT_TeamAAT_Team Administrator Posts: 422

    We would like new and existing members to feel the people active in those topics are qualified and affiliated with AAT


    But could this include members who used to be affiliated with AAT but for different reasons have given up their membership? I am sure there are a number of former AAT members who have moved on to a chartered qualification. Wouldn't it be a shame to not benefit from their knowledge?
    The idea is that this forum is for students and professionals affiliated with AAT. If we had such a request we would consider it.
  • AAT_TeamAAT_Team Administrator Posts: 422

    1. Surely you can already report on that now you can associate AAT member numbers with forum profiles?
    2. Again, they can check a members credentials by clicking on the profile.
    And with the greatest of respect, being qualified and affiliated with AAT does not equate to competence – surely you can already see that with some of the questions that get asked by those already qualified and affiliated with AAT.
    3. I disagree that it devalues it. A forum with very little activity isn’t a benefit to anyone. A forum that flourishes and has regular, interesting questions and posts is a benefit – something you’ll never have if your restrict entry.

    It's not even going to work as you intend it to. All that you will see is that people start posting elsewhere on the forum, such as off topic chat.

    To use the letters MAAT after your name you need to hold a professional membership with AAT. And so, the same goes for the forum topics listed under "For professional members of AAT."

    Currently activity is not where we would like it to be for professional members that's true. And we would rather slowly build up a community of verified, affiliated members of AAT than go with the anything and anyone goes route and not know who or where people are coming from.

    I would consider removing the gating to the professional members topics if I believed it would make a significant difference. Though as @MarieNoelle pointed out before there wasn't clear instruction on how to sign-up (in the category) but now there is. So hopefully that will help.
  • AAT_TeamAAT_Team Administrator Posts: 422
    edited December 2017

    We would like new and existing members to feel the people active in those topics are qualified and affiliated with AAT


    But could this include members who used to be affiliated with AAT but for different reasons have given up their membership? I am sure there are a number of former AAT members who have moved on to a chartered qualification. Wouldn't it be a shame to not benefit from their knowledge?
    There's also those that only hold chartered membership but teach AAT.

    We have a separate forum for Tutors. forums.aat.org.uk/tutortalk
  • AAT_TeamAAT_Team Administrator Posts: 422

    Currently activity is not where we would like it to be for professional members that's true. And we would rather slowly build up a community of verified, affiliated members of AAT than go with the anything and anyone goes route and not know who or where people are coming from.#

    Any professional member should take any advice they receive on the internet with a pinch of salt and use the advice as a tool to undertake further research.

    If a member is regularly posting incorrect advice in order to be a malicious, then it should be flagged to the moderation team. A busy community often

    If a member takes forum advice as gospel, they shouldn't really be given the licence to practice by AAT.

    Only my opinion of course.



    AAT_Team said:

    We would like new and existing members to feel the people active in those topics are qualified and affiliated with AAT


    But could this include members who used to be affiliated with AAT but for different reasons have given up their membership? I am sure there are a number of former AAT members who have moved on to a chartered qualification. Wouldn't it be a shame to not benefit from their knowledge?
    There's also those that only hold chartered membership but teach AAT.

    We have a separate forum for Tutors. forums.aat.org.uk/tutortalk
    But they will be restricted to other parts of the forum where they could be an asset.

    @MarieNoelle is CTA I believe. If she decided to resign her AAT membership, to lose her from posting to this section wouldn't benefit the community. There are lots of AAT members that have resigned membership after moving on in their career that could still be valuable members to the community.
    You are welcome to your opinion of course.

    Currently there's no system in place to remove former members who already have their letters. So there is that to consider...
  • MarieNoelleMarieNoelle Trusted Regular Hampshire/Surrey borderModerator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,325
    Currently there's no system in place to remove former members who already have their letters. So there is that to consider...


    Sorry guys it looks like you are stuck with me FOREVER!
    AAT_Team
  • AAT_TeamAAT_Team Administrator Posts: 422
  • MarieNoelleMarieNoelle Trusted Regular Hampshire/Surrey borderModerator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,325
    In terms of more technical input from AAT that's something we'd absolutely love to have more of too. It's something that will require time from more senior members of the organisation and currently we can't guarantee consistent activity given work loads. It will depend on what the post is whether the source / author will be able to get involved in.


    This and update on Branch events - I have missed out some in my local branch because for some reasons I do not receive them through the monthly newsletter.
  • MarieNoelleMarieNoelle Trusted Regular Hampshire/Surrey borderModerator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,325
    edited December 2017
    AAT_Team said:

    So what you really want is something like this? https://forums.aat.org.uk/Forum/categories/general-accounting-queries

    Is this live now?

    Edit: yes it is.

    At least the "chat and off topic discussions" category can now be really about off-topic threads - like how @BeccaLouJ9 loves this time of year!
  • AAT_TeamAAT_Team Administrator Posts: 422

    AAT_Team said:

    So what you really want is something like this? https://forums.aat.org.uk/Forum/categories/general-accounting-queries

    Is this live now?
    Yeah it's live.

    @AAT_Team that would work. But the title should make it clearer that it is for those asking more technical questions so that it doesn't get littered with student questions. I think that there needs to be some separation.

    We have extensive sections for students. It will be up to moderators ( @MarieNoelle ) and I to move the litter to the right topics :)
  • MarieNoelleMarieNoelle Trusted Regular Hampshire/Surrey borderModerator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,325
    @AAT_Team lucky me!
  • AAT_TeamAAT_Team Administrator Posts: 422
    edited December 2017

    Isn't Burg a moderator? If so, he's never on any more.

    I think the forum needs more moderators for when the flood of new members appear and Marie is busy travelling on the Euro Star.

    I agree there should be more moderators. *ponder*
  • AAT_TeamAAT_Team Administrator Posts: 422
    edited December 2017
    I have been chatting to the team here and we've come up with a new idea for the professional section. Let us know what you think...

    Re-positioning the For AAT professionals category to For accounting professionals. Under this there are sub categories such as:
    -Personal Tax
    -Business Tax
    -Payroll
    -VAT
    -Auditing
    -For AAT professionals (locked for verified pro members of AAT)

    This will remove most barriers and will mean everybody can contribute to relevant and appropriate accounting topics and AAT members still have their own place for things that specifically relate to our association, events, branches etc as well as encourage AAT members to get their letters.
  • CSan89CSan89 WiltshireRegistered Posts: 160
    Seems to be a step in the right direction.
  • AAT_TeamAAT_Team Administrator Posts: 422
    Yeah I think keeping the sub categories as minimal as possible is key. Will be less work for @MarieNoelle to move everything over that way... :p
    MarieNoelle
  • KoopaCooperKoopaCooper London, UKMAAT, AATQB Posts: 158
    Hi there @AAT_Team

    Was just trying to tweak my signature but when I went to Signature settings, it says "You do not have permission to do that"...I know this is a little thing, but is it something of which you were already aware?
    Accounts Assistant, ғɪᴀʙ ᴀᴀᴛǫʙ ᴍᴀᴀᴛ

    AAT
    Level 2 - 17 Jun 2015
    Level 3 - 22 Jan 2016
    Level 4 - 19 Dec 2017
    MAAT - 27 Mar 2018

    ACCA...
  • burgburg Experienced Mentor GloucesterModerator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,419
    Hi all,

    I've been away for a while mainly due to the lack of activity surrounding professional members.

    I have logged in and checked on things now and again but there seems to be very little going on. There is an active student section but for qualified members and MIP's there isn't a great deal.

    I feel as though I don't really have a purpose to add anything. I don't really have any questions to ask as we either resolve those within our team or I chat through with other accountants I know.

    Some way should be sought to entice those new to practice online. I do think there is an element of frustration though as when we do have new MIP's on here some of the questions are beyond just basic and it makes you question how they are even an MIP. I appreciate that we all need to start somewhere but there should be a certain level of competence first.

    If we can build more engagement and activity in the MIP forums then I'd be happy to up my contribution.
    Regards,

    Burg
  • AAT_TeamAAT_Team Administrator Posts: 422

    Hi there @AAT_Team

    Was just trying to tweak my signature but when I went to Signature settings, it says "You do not have permission to do that"...I know this is a little thing, but is it something of which you were already aware?

    Try now, should be fixed!
  • AAT_TeamAAT_Team Administrator Posts: 422
    burg said:

    Hi all,

    I've been away for a while mainly due to the lack of activity surrounding professional members.

    I have logged in and checked on things now and again but there seems to be very little going on. There is an active student section but for qualified members and MIP's there isn't a great deal.

    I feel as though I don't really have a purpose to add anything. I don't really have any questions to ask as we either resolve those within our team or I chat through with other accountants I know.

    Some way should be sought to entice those new to practice online. I do think there is an element of frustration though as when we do have new MIP's on here some of the questions are beyond just basic and it makes you question how they are even an MIP. I appreciate that we all need to start somewhere but there should be a certain level of competence first.

    If we can build more engagement and activity in the MIP forums then I'd be happy to up my contribution.

    Thanks for the feedback burg.

    We don't use the term MIP anymore, that was phased out in 2016. If you can try to use licensed accountant/member instead that would be great.

    You raise an interesting point about new members asking 'beyond basic' questions. In our user testing, professional and licensed members stated they would feel scared to ask question on here from fear of appearing unprofessional / lacking knowledge. People feel more comfortable using the search function for answers rather than taking part in conversations, and some pointed out toxic discussions that were happening as examples of why they wouldn't want to take part.

    We are regularly promoting the forums on social media and are seeing more sign-ups and requests for AAT membership titles, so in time hopefully this will mean more discussions for professionals.

    Perhaps a new 'introduce yourself' thread in the professional section could be a nice ice breaker for new pro members?

  • mergenmergen Just Joined Registered Posts: 77
    1) Some people are just too sensitive and take things too heart.
    2) Very basic questions are being asked eg phone contract :)
    3) Same questions are being asked over and over.

    @AAT_Team that's a good idea to introduce the 'introduce yourself' thread and maybe a new rule, 'search before asking a question'
  • burgburg Experienced Mentor GloucesterModerator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,419
    AAT_Team said:

    burg said:


    Perhaps a new 'introduce yourself' thread in the professional section could be a nice ice breaker for new pro members?

    I like this idea.

    People need to come and ask questions. Generally they won't get attacked. I do see some harsh responses sometimes but often the responses are appropriate and either ask the question or ask them should they really be offering their services to members of the public.

    We all have gaps in our knowledge but really to hold a practising licence you should be competent in the basics as a minimum. Appreciate you are just passing on the feedback but maybe licences are being handed out too easily.
    Regards,

    Burg
  • MarieNoelleMarieNoelle Trusted Regular Hampshire/Surrey borderModerator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,325
    I think if people put a bit more effort in the way they ask a question they would get more positive feedback. And don't get me started on those who never come back to say thank you or offer more information on a badly worded question. That's just rude.
    burgCSan89
  • mskaatmskaat Regular Greater LondonMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 47
    I do have a busy schedule but need to contribute to this debate.
    I think the licensed members forum should be looked for licensed members only. This will enable members to freely contribute to debates without the client or potential client having to know details of the discussions. Thx.
    MAAT
  • KoopaCooperKoopaCooper London, UKMAAT, AATQB Posts: 158
    AAT_Team said:

    Try now, should be fixed!

    Thanks, it worked! ^^
    Accounts Assistant, ғɪᴀʙ ᴀᴀᴛǫʙ ᴍᴀᴀᴛ

    AAT
    Level 2 - 17 Jun 2015
    Level 3 - 22 Jan 2016
    Level 4 - 19 Dec 2017
    MAAT - 27 Mar 2018

    ACCA...
  • MarieNoelleMarieNoelle Trusted Regular Hampshire/Surrey borderModerator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,325
    mskaat said:

    I do have a busy schedule but need to contribute to this debate.
    I think the licensed members forum should be looked for licensed members only. This will enable members to freely contribute to debates without the client or potential client having to know details of the discussions. Thx.

    I wouldn't be too concerned about protecting your anonymity. Most questions can be formulated in such way as to remove any confidential information that could identify your client. If it's too personal or confidential it doesn't have its place on a public forum.
    @AAT_Team was this a concern raised by users?
  • mskaatmskaat Regular Greater LondonMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 47
    edited January 24

    mskaat said:

    I do have a busy schedule but need to contribute to this debate.
    I think the licensed members forum should be locked for licensed members only. This will enable members to freely contribute to debates without the client or potential client having to know details of the discussions. Thx.

    I wouldn't be too concerned about protecting your anonymity. Most questions can be formulated in such way as to remove any confidential information that could identify your client. If it's too personal or confidential it doesn't have its place on a public forum.
    @AAT_Team was this a concern raised by users?
    {correction 'locked' not 'looked'}
    I don't think having a discussion with an anonymous contributor will be a good one. Apart from that confidential information is not an issue. You do not want to be discussing issues of principle knowing that your potential clients have access to that discussion. You want to be on top when delivering your professional services, not activities that will cast doubt or undermine your ability to deliver in client/professional relationship.
    MAAT
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