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Accounting Excellence

Accounting Excellence Awards 2022 winners are…

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On a memorable night for accountants, the 2022 Accounting Excellence Awards celebrated some of the most cutting-edge firms in the profession. Here are the evening’s award winners.

12th Sep 2022
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In an evening imbued with sadness at the news of The Queen’s passing, comedian and Strictly Come Dancing 2022 contestant Ellie Taylor hosted the Accounting Excellence Awards ceremony from London’s Tobacco Dock. The event saw accountancy firms dance off with prizes in client service, fast-track growth and investing in people, alongside the different-sized firm awards. 

Award winners

Across the 22 categories, three firms walked the winners’ red carpet to collect multiple awards. Kreston Reeves picked up trophies for tax team of the year and large firm of the year – the latter is an award the firm has won three years in a row. 

Pink Pig Financials won the hotly contested small firm of the year award and the client service award, with the judges in both categories recognising the firm’s human touch. 

Writers Tax was the other firm to pick up two awards, winning new firm of the year and specialist team of the year. 

Alongside the firm awards, the evening also handed out trophies in categories for individuals and vendors. This year’s ceremony also had new awards for Break Out Star of the Year, the AccountingWEB Pride Award and the Software Newcomer of the Year. Following feedback from the judges, the awards split the ever-popular Client Service Award into sub-categories: one trophy to award for small firms, and one for medium to large firms. 

Themes and trends

Themes, trends and insights from all the firms that entered will be shared in articles on AccountingWEB. As always client service remained a top priority for the majority of firms that entered, which further drove the rollout of virtual financial director services. 

The outsourced finance function emerged as a strong trend last year in response to the Covid pandemic and the need for small businesses to have access to loans and cashflow support. This year this trend has grown further, as firms have matured their offering and are offering services such as bookkeeping to get an early start on their Making Tax Digital for income tax self assessment (MTD ITSA) preparations. 

With firms raising recruitment as the biggest challenge facing the profession for the second year, the need to focus on people was unsurprisingly another strong trend to emerge this year. Firms have looked beyond just learning and development, and have embedded remote working, a refreshed post-Covid company culture and looking at accountancy as a human-to-human profession. 

As finalist Maslin summed up: “Happy motivated staff = well looked after clients = more profit to staff and community projects. Rinse & repeat.”

All this wouldn’t be possible without leveraging technology. This year, Accounting Excellence entrants have accelerated pre-existing trends like workflow processes and onboarding. 

The Accounting Excellence winners 2022: The full list

Intuit QuickBooks was the headline sponsor for the Accounting Excellence Awards, while Bright, IRIS, Koinly, Mercia, Sage and Xero were all category sponsors and Beanworks by Quadient is an ambassador. 

Firm awards

Small Firm of the Year, sponsored by Intuit QuickBooks

  • Click Accounting
  • de Yong Phillips Ltd
  • MGA
  • Pink Pig Financials – WINNER
  • Tennick Accountants

Our judges commented that accountancy is often seen as a business-to-business industry when it’s really a human-to-human profession. Pink Pig Financials understood that, whether that’s looking after clients or staff. 

Medium Firm of the Year, sponsored by Xero

  • 1 Accounts Online Limited
  • Accounts and Legal
  • Ad Valorem Group
  • Blu Sky Chartered Accountants – WINNER
  • Lubbock Fine

Our judges all agreed that Blu Sky boasts a best-in-class recruitment strategy, using technology at the very core of their business across the country and at an individual level. The judges would also like to highly commend Accounts and Legal in what was an impressive entry in one of the night’s toughest categories to judge. 

Large Firm of the Year award, sponsored by IRIS Software Group

  • Albert Goodman LLP
  • Bishop Fleming
  • DNS Accountants
  • Kreston Reeves – WINNER
  • Milsted Langdon

The judges all agreed that, as well as the values that have seen them up on stage so often, this year’s entry was packed with the necessary detail and evidence to illustrate their impressive growth and staff retention numbers.

New Firm of the Year 

  • Fact-o-tum
  • J Accountancy
  • JHW Business Services
  • Writers Tax Limited – WINNER
  • Your Ecommerce Accountant

The personal touch is something that is often missing when clients switch accountant so it was great to see this was fundamental to Writers Tax’s client offering. Add on its strategy of partnering with specialists to meet the widest possible range of client needs and then using technology solutions to deliver them.

Fast-track Firm of the Year award, sponsored by Sage

  • CB Tax Limited – WINNER
  • Complete HQ
  • Cubed Consultancy
  • Hamilton Blake Consultants LLP
  • Sterling Accounting Solutions

CB Tax has clearly delivered strong organic growth and client retention levels since its inception four years ago. However, it is the measures it has taken to ensure its incredible staff retention levels in the midst of such rapid growth that really stood out for the judges. 

Investing in People award, sponsored by Mercia

  • Bishop Fleming – WINNER
  • DJH Mitten Clarke
  • FD Works
  • Kreston Reeves
  • Strive X

Whether it was their own people or their clients, the judges agreed here is a firm whose people strategy is fully integrated into the business, with a progressive strategy around Diversity and Inclusivity plus smart prioritisation of client feedback. 

Client Service Award – Small Firms

  • Kara Bookkeeping Specialists Ltd
  • Leonard Business Services
  • Maslins Ltd
  • Pink Pig Financials – WINNER
  • Xebra Accounting

In a field that included a strong showing from firms that prioritised people issues, Pink Pig stood out as the strongest exponent of what it calls “life-centred accountancy”. The family-orientated ethos started from an active understanding of all the clients’ business and lifestyle needs and followed through with a holistic service delivery approach that was reflected in its impressive Net Promoter Score (NPS) rating.

Client Service Award – Medium/Large firms

  • Accounts and Legal
  • dns accountants
  • Makesworth Accountants
  • PJCO Chartered Certified Accountants
  • Ramsay Brown LLP – WINNER

Ramsay Brown’s entry demonstrated the advantages of really embedding your practice within a distinct sector, in this case medical GP surgeries. By working with the BMA and participating in policy forums, the firm represents the interests of its clients at the highest level and is able to anticipate important challenges.

Sole Practitioner of the Year, sponsored by Bright

  • BW Business Accountants & Advisers
  • LJM Bookkeeping Ltd
  • Ocelot Accounting – WINNER
  • Performance Accountancy
  • Southbourne Accountancy

Here is a firm with a clear strategy and niche. Ocelot are fantastic at utilising everything around them, with usually passive income streams a recognised part of their growth model. 

Bookkeeping Team of the Year

  • Adder Bookkeeping Ltd
  • Arden Bookkeeping Ltd – WINNER
  • LJM Bookkeeping Ltd
  • Normans Bookkeeping & Payroll Ltd
  • Safe Hands

Our judges agreed Arden Bookkeeping demonstrated an innovative approach to client management. It was clear to see the growth and improvements made across the practice and the dedication to client care was impressive.

Specialist Team of the Year

  • Bishop Fleming
  • Capital Allowance Review Service
  • Godfrey Wilson
  • SAS Accounting for Aesthetics
  • Writers Tax Limited – WINNER

Displaying total dedication to their chosen market, Writers Tax shows other small firms what can be achieved through specialisation. Not just a marketing technique, their approach is about totally understanding the personas of their clients and the challenges they face. 

Tax Team of the Year award, sponsored by Koinly

  • Euro Accounting
  • Kreston Reeves – WINNER 
  • LimestoneGrey
  • Rawlinson & Hunter LLP
  • The VAT Team

Here is a firm with a clear strategy, focused on developing its staff to have breadth and width of knowledge and experience. Judges also praised the commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and choosing to prioritise climate action, good health/wellbeing, reduced inequalities and quality education. 

Payroll Team of the Year

  • Davis Grant
  • Next Level Business
  • Nicholson & Co Accountancy
  • Normans Bookkeeping & Payroll Ltd
  • Payroll Sorted Ltd – WINNER

Here is a business with a simple company mission statement that is to be the best at what they do and this is demonstrated by their enthusiasm and delivery of client care and support. By continually developing and improving their internal systems and processes, they easily meet their target of delivering a “WOW payroll service”.

Client Transformation Award

  • de Jong Phillips Ltd
  • Leonard Business Services
  • MacroFin
  • Spark Accountants – WINNER

Spark clearly understood what their client was about, and gave them all the support that they could need. The judges were impressed by Spark’s uses of data visualisation tools, but where the firm made the biggest impact was in the way it listened to their client.

AccountingWEB Pride Award

  • Faithstar LLP
  • FD Works – WINNER
  • Maslins Ltd
  • Sage
  • Sterling Finance (UK) Limited

A fantastic example of the change one person can make within a business and the wider impact that can have both within the professional and the local community. The winner’s actions are giving school leavers more accessible pathways into accounting and finance careers and increasing diversity and inclusion within the businesses and across the profession.

Vendor awards

Partnership Award

  • Capitalise
  • Clarity
  • Fathom – WINNER
  • Joiin
  • Reducer

Fathom has a clear, well-articulated partnership strategy backed up by strong retention and customer care statistics. They were able to highlight their company values, two of which were focused specifically on customer care, and show strong growth for their practice customers off the back of support they had provided.

Product Innovation of the Year

  • Clarity
  • Crezco
  • Fathom
  • iplicit
  • Karbon – WINNER

The judges felt that Karbon’s My Week solution clearly demonstrated innovation that aligned with its target audience, and had a well-articulated strategy for how to solve their workflow management problems, cutting through the noise of modern working life and exceeding their clients’ expectations. 

Software Newcomer of the Year

  • AIRPA
  • Crezco – WINNER
  • Dext Commerce
  • Konsolidator Ltd
  • OverSuite by Sage

Crezco set out to build an international network that would liberate small business payments from the incumbent, card-based networks and has made significant inroads since launching its B2B payments platform in May 2021. 

Individual awards

Practice Pioneer of the Year

  • Alex Falcon Huerta FCCA
  • Daniel Crowther
  • Rebecca Porter
  • Reza Hooda
  • Simon Cowie – WINNER

Simon has shown clearly how he has steered and repurposed his business over the past few years to be a valuable part of the community. Following a sustained period where firms have had to weather not just their own storms, but those of their clients, Simon has demonstrated clear leadership and should be seen as a role model for the profession. 

Rising Star of the Year

  • Brodie Wood
  • Hannah Place – WINNER
  • Scott Ritchie
  • Tulin Memory

Hannah showed herself to be proactive, resourceful and someone who creates her own opportunities. She has pulled herself up by her bootstraps in a charitable organisation and created a strong focus on finance – all off her own back. It’s even more impressive that she has done this at the same time as having a young family and completing CIMA.

Breakout Star of the Year

  • Emily Deakin
  • Mark Rhodes – WINNER
  • Natasha Heron CTA
  • Rachel Martin
  • Samantha Mitcham
  • Zoe Johnston

Many winners of these awards will be sharing their secrets at AccountingWEB’s two-day in-person event in Coventry on 30 November–1 December 2022.