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The class of 2023 Accounting Excellence Award winners
Accounting Excellence

2024 Accounting Excellence Awards are now open


Accountants, bookkeepers and payroll professionals are set to vie for the most prestigious accolade in the profession as the 2024 Accounting Excellence Awards are now open for entries. The race for excellence starts now.

22nd Mar 2024
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The window is now open for firms and individuals to craft their award entries in hope of winning one of the 21 gongs up for grabs on the biggest night of the year in the accounting calendar. 

Now in its 18th year, the Accounting Excellence Awards recognises accountants, bookkeepers and payroll professionals leading the profession in client service, innovation and growth. 

Awards up for grabs

Firms have the choice of entering hotly competitive categories like Small Firm of the Year (which is split into four regional categories and the winners then compete for the Grand Prix Award), Mid-Sized firm of the year and Large firm of the year, or battling out for the Client Service Firm of the Year. There are also categories for Sole Practitioner of the Year and New Firm of the Year. 

Last year saw the launch of the International firm of the year, two separate Pride awards for Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and the Digital Transformation award. These awards return again for 2024, while the award for Marketing in the profession is now focused on campaign of the year. 

As the skills shortage continues to top the list of challenges for firms, the Employer of the Year Award has become a battleground for those looking to showcase their L&D initiatives and attract rising stars in the profession. 

There are individual awards for Break Out Star of the Year, Finance Director of the Year and Practice Leader, while audit, bookkeeping, payroll and tax teams have the opportunity to win an award in their respective disciplines. 

The Outstanding Contribution Award has been renamed after John Stokdyk, who sadly passed away in June 2023. AccountingWEB’s former tax editor Rebecca Cave was the recipient of this recognition in the final award of the night last year. 

The winners will be announced in a glitzy black tie awards night on 8 October, emanating once again from the Roundhouse London. Last year’s awards night was hosted by comedian Tom Allen.  

Firms and individuals have until 14 June 2024 to put together their entry and enter the awards, before the judges cast their eyes over the entries. Offering advice to entrants, the judges have advised to be specific and give examples. 

The benefits of entering

The 2023 Small Firm of the Year regional and national winner Graeme Tennick, the founder of Newcastle-based Tennick Accountants said the awards are the “pinnacle” achievement in the profession. 

“They are judged by people so close to the profession, you kind of can’t take it as anything but an absolute privilege to be shortlisted and also win an award,” he told AccountingWEB. 

Judges from previous years’ have included the who’s who of the profession: Paul Aplin, past president of the ICAEW; Lucy Cohen, the co-founder of Mazuma Accountants; Susan Ball, the past president of the CIOT; Jeremy Coker, the past president of the ATT; Glenn Collins, the head of technical and strategic engagement at the ACCA. 

Past winners have highlighted how their success at the awards continues well after they have lifted the trophy. Claire Bartlett from Arden Bookkeeping, the winner of the 2023 Client Transformation Award and the 2022 Bookkeeping Team of the Year award, told AccountingWEB that winning an award was not only an incredible achievement but it also “opened so many doors”. 

“It transformed everything, she said. “It's opened so many doors. It gives you so much authority in the space from your clients perspective, but also your peers.”

She added: “To be a finalist is incredible. And I think with awards like this, what people need to remember is it's a national award. You need to put that in everything that you do: I am a national award winner. 

Even just the process of sitting down, analysing the previous year and writing an award entry is a worthwhile process. “Understanding what you've done well, and what you haven't necessarily done so well is beneficial in itself,” continued Bartlett. 

Intuit QuickBooks is the headline sponsor for the Accounting Excellence awards. Bright, Employment Hero, GI Outsourcing, iplicit, IRIS, Mercia, Moneypenny, PracticeWeb, Sage, Taxcalc, Xero and Xledger are supporting categories. 

The trends

Last year’s award entrants attributed success to prioritising client satisfaction through personalised onboarding, tech enhancements and strengthened client relationships through seeking active feedback via client satisfaction surveys and an in-house client satisfaction officer. Elsewhere, larger firms explored growth initiatives like acquisitions, while smaller firms found success through referrals and expanding their service offerings. 

The Accounting Excellence Awards are also a bellwether for the current trends in the profession, many of which will be explored in articles on AccountingWEB. Last year saw talent retention and recruitment continue to be one of the biggest challenges confronting firms, but entrants were responding to this perennial issue through use of technology and building high performance teams.  

The categories are as follows: 

Firm Awards

  • Small Firm of the Year: Grand Prix, sponsored by Intuit QuickBooks
  • Small Firm of the Year: London, sponsored by Intuit QuickBooks
  • Small Firm of the Year: Midlands, Wales and East of England, sponsored by Intuit QuickBooks
  • Small Firm of the Year:  South of England, sponsored by Intuit QuickBooks
  • Small Firm of the Year: North of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, sponsored by Intuit QuickBooks
  • Mid-Tier Firm of the Year, sponsored by TaxCalc
  • Large Firm of the Year
  • New Firm of the Year, sponsored by Xero
  • International Firm of the Year
  • Employer of the Year Award, sponsored by Mercia
  • Client Service Award: Small, sponsored by Moneypenny
  • Client Service Award: Mid-Tier/Large, sponsored by Moneypenny
  • Sole Practitioner of the Year
  • AccountingWEB Pride Award - DEI, sponsored by Bright
  • AccountingWEB Pride Award - ESG, sponsored by Bright
  • Digital Transformation Award, sponsored by Sage
  • Client Transformation Award, sponsored by Xledger

Individual Awards

  • Finance Director of the Year, sponsored by iplicit
  • Practice Leader of the Year, sponsored by GI Outsourcing
  • Breakout Star of the Year
  • The John Stokdyk Outstanding Contribution Award, sponsored by Intuit QuickBooks

Service Line Awards

  • Bookkeeping Team of the Year, sponsored by IRIS
  • Tax Team of the Year
  • Progressive Payroll Team of the Year, sponsored by Employment Hero
  • Progressive Audit Firm of the Year
  • Marketing Campaign of the Year, sponsored by PracticeWeb

Enter the 2024 Accounting Excellence Awards here