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A memorable night of accounting excellence | accountingweb

This year’s AE Awards are striving to serve you better


This week saw the launch of the 2023 Accounting Excellence Awards. Here’s what we’ve changed and why.

16th Feb 2023
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Accounting Excellence is about recognising the very best of the profession – celebrating success, ambition and drive and putting those shortlisted on the pedestal they deserve.

Whether it is demonstrating impressive growth through innovative means, the pioneering use of technology, outstanding individual achievements or firms striving to go the extra mile for their teams and clients, our awards have grown since 2006 and evolved to reflect all that is Accounting Excellence in this fast-moving profession.

New categories

This year we have made some significant changes, the most notable being that there are no awards for software vendors in 2023. We want to ensure that these awards are fully focused on celebrating the achievements of our core audience, finance professionals.

That significant change has given us room to add new categories, recognising FDs, for example, who are an important part of our readership, serviced by our weekly business news email

We also have a new category recognising the important international work many firms undertake for their clients. And we have taken the decision to split last year’s successful Pride category into ESG and DEI in acknowledgement of the breadth of entries we got for this category last year, which made judging and choosing a winner very hard.

More data points

Speaking of the judging process, consistent feedback from the judges was just how hard it can be to compare entries when data points are not consistent. Sums invested in L&D or growth percentage stats, for example, are only meaningful if put in the context of the size of the firm, so that relative judgments can be made when comparing entries.

To that end, we are asking for more numbers this year – this shouldn’t be too much of a shock given most of the judges are themselves accountants!

Certainly, an entry telling us a firm has seen a 30% increase in fee income is meaningless if it doesn’t also share the actual numbers – a fact this audience surely understands, yet it happens every year and the judges take a dim view.

So this year, it is a requirement that, as appropriate for the category, entrants include data on fee income for their latest full year, previous and forecast, as well as staff numbers and other measures. Your entry won’t be disqualified if you don’t have all of the details but the more you can support your entry with this information, the better.  

Having said all that, remember that judges also want the story behind those numbers and case studies that bring it all to life.

I also want to highlight that we’ve opened some categories up to nomination. You might not want to enter yourself but why not enter your dedicated team, your inspirational leader, an exceptional FD that you work with or someone that you know is a leader of tomorrow?

Impact beyond the awards

One final point I’d like to make is the huge impact your collective entries have on the content that is reported on across AccountingWEB. Be in no doubt that the editorial team pores over your entries – they are invaluable insight for us. They are a window into the challenges you have overcome and how you did it, where you see the next big opportunity and what is keeping you awake at night. That information goes a long way to informing our editorial agenda and surfacing the topics and issues that matter to our whole audience.

Moreover, it’s not just the winners who will have the spotlight shining on them. As an editorial team, we are planning to highlight more of your individual stories of excellence through the site by having you as guests on webinars or podcasts, sharing your stories at Expo and using your examples of best practice to help others by putting your stories front and centre of our upcoming editorial special reports (more on this soon) and in our daily website content.

Whether you are just starting your journey or have reached the top, we are dedicated to bringing together the whole finance professional community and helping it be the best it can be.

Award hopefuls have until 14 April to craft their entry and then it is over to the judges to sort through before the finalists are announced on 30 June. The winners will be revealed in a starry event at the iconic Roundhouse in London on 3 October.

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Mark Lee headshot 2023
By Mark Lee
17th Feb 2023 18:54

Fab news Joanne. When I spoke on the podcast last week about the awards I flagged a couple of similar points as tips to make it easier for the judges to understand the numbers in entries. Delighted to learn that you are explicitly asking for more data points this year:

"an entry telling us a firm has seen a 30% increase in fee income is meaningless if it doesn’t also share the actual numbers". Absolutely. There's a heck of difference between a firm that has added 30% to a £20,000 turnover and one that has added 30% to £100k turnover. Entires that didn't provide the absolute numbers on which their percentage increases were based always got marked down in my book.

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