Educating accountants worldwide on public sector standards

The context

PwC, a global accounting firm, has extensive knowledge and expertise with regards to the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), a set of principles that apply to public sector organisations in the preparation of financial statements. PwC decided to map their knowledge into a digital e-learning product that could educate and certify accountants all over the world.

Our challenge

We were tasked with a mission to build an intuitive learning and certification experience that could serve accountants anywhere in the world in any language. The actual learning content is adaptive and can vary based on time and region, which requires a complex content management system. On top of that, there was a hard requirement to make the application available both with and without internet connectivity.

The product

We jointly decided on building a custom progressive web application with a highly tailored content management system. The app contains all of PwC’s IPSAS recommended practice guidelines. Users can participate in online learning modules to advance their skills, obtain certifications and keep up with global IPSAS news. As we’re expecting hundreds of thousands of users in the end, we placed a strong emphasis on scalability.



Exercises for practice and certification


Lessons of learning content


Lines of code


Daily standups

We knew right from the start that our product objectives were ambitious both geographically and operationally. That’s why we decided to partner with Panenco as an entrepreneurial product studio, covering all the complexities of the software engineering as well as the operational dimensions of the go-to-market.

Patrice Schumesch
Partner at PwC Belgium


We shape

From a business idea to user validation

PwC's product initiator had specific business goals in mind when we started our conversations. They allowed us to shape the initial concept and develop a clear product definition, including a clickable prototype and a technical architecture that would live up to the high security standards that one would expect from a Big 4 firm. We brought every trick in our product management playbook to the table to align people internally at PwC around the concept, and to find user validation in the various geographical regions that we would be targeting.


We build

A collaborative product delivery model

We set up a joint product team with clearly defined roles and responsibilities throughout the software delivery process. PwC auditors with specific IPSAS knowledge acted as product owners whereas our team took care of the product management and engineering dimensions. One of the main technical challenges to tackle was to ensure that the product works both when a user is offline and online through a progressive web app (PWA). We orchestrated an agile, test-driven development process during which we frequently shipped product increments that could be demonstrated to the product sponsor and soon thereafter exposed to end users.


We support

The proper instruments to support the go-to-market

IPSAS in a Box is an innovative product in a the rather conservative accounting industry. We take great professional pride in finding product-market fit for all products in our portfolio, which requires direct contact with end users in order to capture honest feedback. We are currently setting up the necessary instruments to engage with users all around the world to provide a smooth onboarding flow, satisfying learning journey and multiple ways to share their thoughts about the overall experience. The only way is up!


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