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The financial year began with changes in legislation that required firms to report payroll information in real time to HMRC, a movement expected to result in greater confusion and workloads for accountants, but which actually negates the onerous task of end-of-year reports. Now a new innovation is making waves in another part of the market: that of using Twitter to source suitable materials and manufacturers.

‘SpecifiedBy’ gives building products specifiers the chance to use the hashtag #socialspec to crowdsource recommendations for new products, materials and manufacturers. Its founder, Darren Lester, believes the social network/crowdsourced approach has the potential to become a ‘useful; modern tool for the construction industry that could lead to changes in the way building products are specified.’

Integrity Software’s Marketing Manager Richard Boston heralded the service as an innovative use of social media for the construction industry: ‘Whilst currently the facility seems to largely service smaller firms, in time, there could well be an appetite for larger construction firms to buy other products in this way.’

‘Such an open format for buyers and sellers to connect is likely to have a great impact on related costs for such products and services. It would be interesting to see how firms who take up the use of such innovative buying means track these differences through their construction accounting software.’