British Accountancy Awards celebrate excellence across the profession. Start planning your entry now.
A full room, twice over, of expectant ACCA members searching for clues on how to win awards – and me holding some of the clues – made for a couple of fun sessions in the ACCA Theatre at Accountex this month.
The ‘How to win an award – and make the most of it’ sessions sought to debunk many of the myths that surround the awards-entering process, provide practical tips and hints to increase your chances of winning – and also think about why you should enter them in the first place. It was entirely appropriate that the British Accountancy Awards were launched on Accountex’s opening day.
Confirmation of your greatness … and a morale booster for staff, current and to-be: winning an award creates a feeling of well-being among your staff, and makes your firm more attractive to prospective talent and clients.
Marketing opportunity – Speaking of clients, you get to present your firm – in the region in which you work, your sectors, as the best in the field.
The discovery process - You’d be surprised at how few firms review their progress or really have a grasp of what they do best. Entering awards forces you to take stock of your situation.
OK, here are some practical dos and don’ts of the awards process:
Do tell a story – Where were you, what journey have you started, and how have you achieved in that process?
Do include financials and KPIs - Where applicable to support your story
Do make it easy for the judges! - The British Accountancy Awards judges will look at between 20 and 30 entries each. They can take 10-15 minutes to do so. Do the maths. Make your language and points clear
Do think about people, clients and staff – If your practice is doing well, then your staff must be happy. Do you know? Do you measure? Let them tell the judges. The same goes for client testmonials
Do understand the category criteria, and entry criteria - If you been given word counts, stick to them. If certain info has been requested, supply it
Do watch our video with more award-winning advice – Available online at Accountancyage.com. My interview with award-winning former Price Bailey head Peter Gillman is worth ten minutes of your time
Do go to the awards, with hope rather than expectation! - There are no guarantees you will win – but making the shortlist is worth celebrating itself, and something you should leverage in your marketing
Don’t leave your marketing head, or PA, to write the entry in isolation – The main protagonists in your firm’s success – at least as far as your entry is concerned – should be involved in putting the entry together. Of course have help, but avoid being dislocated from the process.
Don’t go over any word counts proscribed in the awards - You risk the wrath of the judges. Alongside word counts for the main entry, you are often allowed to include some supplementary information, but again don’t overburden them – the more you include, the less chance you’ll have of the important stuff being absorbed.
Our awards encompass the best practices in the UK – small and large. There are also individual awards up for grabs, including Practitioner of the Year and New Practitioner. It would be great to have you on board.
Kevin Reed – head of editorial for Accountancy Age and Financial Director