Awards help accountancy firms of all sizes stand out
Ambitious accountancy firms looking to establish a leadership position in their markets should have awards as powerful proof-points. If you don't have some, you need to get them!
It is easy to rationalise-away the importance of awards. Perhaps you say "They only go to big accountancy firms"; or maybe "there's someone on the judging panel who won't like us", or "our clients won't want us to enter"; "we don't want to steal the limelight from our clients", etc etc.
The reality is big firms put a lot of effort into winning awards. For instance for the recent Management Consultancies Association awards Deloitte has 17 entries shortlistd.
Awards bring accountants big benefits
Why the effort, well the benefits of winning an awards (or even getting shortlisted) include:
- the publicity as a leading accountancy firm
- it is a huge proof point and reassurance to clients and prospects alike
- helps attract candidates
- positions you as a leader, ahead of your competitors, and the "safe choice" in your area of expertise
- it gives a huge boost to your team (and indeed for your client) for the project getting such recognition
Of course, the important thing to remember is that awards don't necessarily go to the best project... they go to the best entry. So to win awards you need to have done good work and a great entry.
For winning awards, important things for accountants to bear in mind include:
- do systematically track awards (so you don't miss the entry deadlines, which are invariably many months in advance of the actual announcement).
- start work on the entry well in advance and allow plenty of time should projects or anything else overtake you
- read the entry requirements really, really closely and make sure you meet both the spirit and letter of them
- study previous winners
- "facts talk, bullshit walks" so include lots of specifics and proof points. Awards nowadays particularly want proof about the benefits to clients... data, not just assertion
- write it in plain clear English (putting in lots of jargon and complex sentances won't impress judges who have to plough through dozens of entries). Make the life of the award's judges easier, and increase your chances, by having it well written and carefully proof-read, ideally by a professional sub-editor
- don't just think of the Institute's or Accountancy Age awards. Lots of industry associations and trade papers have awards, as will local business associations. Look out for these and enter them too.
Good luck !
What are your experiences, good or bad, with awards entires and are there other tips you have? If so, please do share them below.