A custom business platform
Top of Mind is redefining the methods of hiring and work processes and empowering a flexible working world by connecting accounting professionals and businesses in Canada through a safe, innovative, business platform. A practical virtual community is built with a number of features that provide its users with expertise, innovation and flexibility tailored to the individual needs, whether they are top-notch, experienced accounting professionals, emerging accounting talents or accounting companies.
The Top Of Mind team approached us with an idea to help them launch a unique accounting platform for the Canadian market which will enable fast, secure and easy ways to connect accounting professionals and businesses. In our in-depth product discovery session we gathered thorough information, defined the specific needs of the target audience and aligned those needs with the project business idea.
Our team was entrusted with a mission of creating the brand through defining the logo, typography, brand colours and customising illustrations. The approach was to build a distinctive, unforgettable and impressive brand identity that will maintain a certain level of trust and represent the entire Top of Mind customer experience.
We designed a powerful toolbox of visual elements clearly conveying the Top of Mind’s values and principles. Our design team created a memorable brand identity that surpasses attractive websites to ensure our client stands out in a crowded marketplace communicating effectively in an easy and effortless way.
To convey the aspect of ideas, mind and thoughts, our team opted for the symbol of a thought bubble. The idea was to represent the Top of Mind platform as the first thing that comes to mind if you need a job done. The thought bubble symbol has then been stylised and combined with the squares pictogram, since squares as a shape generally stand for stability and balance.
The symbolism of two smaller squares forming the third and bigger one in an upward motion suggests progress and breaking boundaries. The rounded edges of the squares in the final variant were to depict the logo as more friendly and to move away from a corporate feel.
Every element is chosen carefully to emulate inclusiveness and community, and to inspire engagement, yet to emphasise safety and professionalism behind the platform. Dark blue as the primary colour conveys the feel of corporate stability and loyalty, whereas the combination of turquoise as the secondary colour and magenta as the accent colour implies the trust between two parties, a healthy balance between corporate and friendly and the vivid and interactive UX, inviting the users to join the platform.
The aspect of duality to showcase two parties coming together is conveyed through colours and typography, with the light and bold font styles in the brand name. A highly-readable sans-serif Nunito font with its clean lines and precise design has been chosen as the perfect font to reflect the brand’s personality, values and feel of an innovative, approachable and friendly business concept.
Our team created impactful and eye-catching illustrations mainly featuring people of the two target audience groups making the viewers identify with the characters immediately, which adds to a familiar and friendly look of the website. The icons are simple and in harmony with the brand's values.
All components of the platform, such as text fields or font icons, are designed to reflect the brand values, to fit the user interface design and to ensure the best user experience on the Top of Mind platform.
Our Scrum development team developed and designed user profiles to present significant information in a simple and unambiguous way quickly connecting businesses and accounting professionals. The sign-up process is built to simplify the user data integration, whether a user is joining to offer professional accounting services or a company is in search of an accounting professional.
The Top of Mind platform is envisioned to empower accounting professionals to take ownership over their careers and redefine how they work. Embracing progress in hiring and being hired enables the accounting professionals to climb the career ladder building a dream job that compliments their lifestyle.
Top of Mind enables accounting professionals to set their own terms establishing their own hours, rates, locations and projects. The platform provides them with an option to set up full-time or part-time availability, or onsite or off-site location availability, which is practical for remote work. Other important data, such as education, work experience, areas of expertise and a short biography, can be displayed in the About section. Professionals have the opportunity to present themselves to companies as anonymous, and the resumes they attach to their profiles are visible only to the platform administrator.
One of the practical functionalities for all accounting professionals who work remotely and want to set up their “virtual offices” is featured in the Highlights section of their profile accounts. We created a dropdown functionality with a multiple option checklist of business and accounting softwares such as Caseware, Caseview, Profile, TaxPrep, Quickbook etc. which can be selected by an accounting professional to display their software experience, as another criteria they can be searched by.
The Top of Mind platform assists accounting firms connect immediately with qualified, affordable and best-in-class accounting professionals building their business with the right team. Finding the right professionals who are the perfect match and who are meeting the needs of an accounting firm is within reach through Top of Mind with just a few clicks.
When hiring through Top of Mind, a search criteria can be inserted to find the perfect fit. With a click of a button, businesses can compare candidates, no matter what skillset or contract type is being searched for. Once a user specifies their criteria in the filter, those who suit best appear in the search results loader. Our team that specialises in UX design information architecture made sure that business profiles can search the comprehensive database of professionals by area of expertise, hourly rates, salary expectations, industry experience, availability and even software experience. The criteria is in the so-called accordion element, which adds to better UX.
The Top of Mind Platform offers the flexibility in looking for the accounting professionals on a contract-basis. Business profile users can simply specify “part-time” in the filter, depending on their needs, and the search results will show who’s available for the part-time work.
To ensure the right fit, Top of Mind provides its users with an opportunity to facilitate a face-to-face conversation between a business and an accounting professional.
In order to make the hiring process seamless, we used Twilio API for connecting the users and developed a meeting scheduling function with the possibility of sharing screens. To schedule an appointment the users need to be logged on the platform. Having set the right time-zone and suggested 3 different dates and times, they can submit a form and schedule a meeting.
Notifications are sent to Top of Mind users when a meeting is accepted, requested or rescheduled, or when contract proposals are sent. Having initiated a contact, the users can find all the conversations by clicking the chat/ messages icon in the website navigation header or through message search. Message fields expand so that the whole message can be seen, which contributes to overall user experience.
Once businesses have met their candidates, they submit a contract proposal that includes the details regarding the project or business: the start and end dates, suggested scope of work, salary, and any other relevant details, such as availability.
Taxation of services in Canada is highly complex due to 13 different Canadian provinces and types of taxes. We are particularly proud of our solution to calculate the rates of applicable taxes, which are integrated in the contracts between two parties for both full-time and part-time engagement.
Top of Mind facilitates the whole payment process on the platform so that users can focus on the work. The Top of Mind digital wallet is a custom feature that our developers created to ensure seamless transfer of payments from businesses to accounting professionals.
Business profiles are required to make a fully refundable deposit into their virtual Top of Mind wallets before connecting with a professional. A payment schedule is established according to a predetermined schedule based on the mutually agreed upon contract. The digital wallets contain a CTA button for buying tokens, a Top of Mind virtual currency, and shows a user’s current balance of tokens.
In order to use the platform, send jobs and contracts to professionals, the business profile users are required to purchase tokens. Being designed for the Canadian market, the platform charges the tokens in Canadian Dollars: 1 token = 1 CAD. Our team developed the Token History section that contains tables within tabs for a user’s purchases, transfers and refunds data.
When the payment information is inserted in the input fields, the complex Canadian taxation is automatically calculated by the system, which simplifies the payment process for the users. The contractor’s wallet will be charged when the contract is sent. If the contract is not accepted by the professional, the tokens will be returned to a contractor’s digital wallet.
Safety and security is a priority for business credibility, since this industry deals with sensitive data related to the users’ identities and their professional references and qualifications. To ensure the highest level of security we implemented the data protection measures.
To ensure a reliable and trustworthy meeting place for accounting professionals, Top of Mind users are required to undergo a rigorous screening process after the registration. It includes background checks and a video interview in order for their credentials to be verified. A user is visible only when approved by the platform administrator. This kind of internal control filters out the users who do not belong to the accounting branch, which simplifies and speeds up the process of finding the adequate match. A completed verification process is reflected by three check marks for each step of verification, which is shown on a user’s profile.
2-factor authentication is implemented for the user profile keeping the user’s data safe within several stages of encryption. The service used for authentication is Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) which provides encryption of the messages to protect from unauthorised access..
All communication is done securely on the Top of Mind platform. The encryption of all messages plays an important role in data protection, securing both data in transit and data at rest. No exchange of any further contact details is required, hence, no breaches occurring or data-leaks. Eliminating any vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers or malicious programs to ensure data security is our top-priority.
Building a reputation is a significant part of every business, and the reviews left by the platform users are helpful for the new users when deciding whether to join the platform. The option of leaving reviews and rating the experience on the platform is available only to registered and active Top of Mind users.
One of the navigation menu items placed in the website header is Knowledge - a place for information and inspiration. Knowledge is imagined as a blog containing relevant and useful content which is curated by accounting experts. Due to the WordPress integration we implemented, the blog articles are written in a contemporary and easy-to-use WordPress editor, and then synchronised with the main database of the platform, keeping both articles and all user data displayed in one place - the Top Of Mind platform. Thus, Top of Mind practically serves as a niche network attracting like-minded users that are interested in accountancy and the specific needs of this industry.
The Top of Mind platform provides customer support through effortless customer service. We created and integrated Send Us a Message Form enabling its users to reach out to the support team which can assist every user on the platform.
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As we witnessed the changing of the world during the pandemic, the workforce and productivity shifted, too. With the endless possibilities of a flexible work schedule designed to fit anybody’s lifestyle, the Top of Mind platform truly gives the accounting professional unlimited freedom and opportunity to grow and flourish in their own way. Top of Mind offers the flexibility of making choices that are always in line with business needs, saving its clients’ time and money with its selection process.