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30th Jun 2015
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The judging process for the Practice Excellence 2015 awards is underway, but this year we’re doing something a little different: We are enlisting your help.

There’s a new award at this year’s awards: Outstanding contribution to accounting. The award’s name speaks for itself, we want the cream. It’s unfair to whittle down the list for an outstanding contribution to accounting award to just a few names. The Accounting profession is brim full of exceptional people.

But alas, the onerous task of selecting a few names must be done. We enlisted your help, our community, to get a few names together and these are our favourites from the names we’ve got so far.

This is not a closed book, though. Please, I cannot stress this enough, criticise, make suggestions or amendments. If you’re reading this, then consider yourself a judge. And if you’d rather privately give your opinion then fire a PM my way. Either way, we look forward to your response.

And remember! It's not too late to grab a ticket to the conference to see the award handed in person!

Without further ado, here’s the tentative list in no particular order:

Bill Telford: Telford is a freelance lecturer, author and training consultant with more than 35 years in technical and training roles within the profession, most recently as national training partner at Baker Tilly. Widely known as an excellent, knowledgeable lecturer and speaker, Telford specialises in auditing and financial reporting topics, and related areas.

Paul Dunn: The true embodiment of an entrepreneur: Founder of RAS, the Accountants Boot Camp process and Buy One, Give One (B1G1), international speaker, marketing guru. Dunn is probably the closest thing accounting has to a rock star.  

David Maister: A bestselling author who has had work translated into 14 languages, Maister was widely acknowledged as one of the world’s leading authorities on the management of professional service firms.

Rebecca Benneyworth MBE: Benneyworth is a chartered accountant, lecturer, writer and consultant on a variety of taxes, lecturing extensively throughout the UK. Widely respected by those in and outside accountancy, Benneyworth is editor of Tolleys’ Taxwise books and is is chair of the tax faculty of the ICAEW

Mike Truman: Taxation's editor for over a decade, Truman is a lecturer and author who has worked in tax for local, national and international organisations. Truman became a fellow of the CIOT in 1996 with his prize-winning thesis entitled “Residence, 150 Years of Misinterpretation.”

Robin Williamson MBE: Williamson is the technical director of the CIOT’s Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) and was recently awarded an MBE in recognition of his work for low income taxpayers. Robin leads the LITRG technical team and coordinates its work at all levels to get the system working better for taxpayers on low incomes.

Steve Pipe: A chartered accountant and former sole practitioner, Steve Pipe is the founder of AVN, a professional association of more than 200 accountancy practices. He’s also an author, lecturer, mentor and award winning entrepreneur.

Richard Mannion: Now retired, Mannion had an esteemed 48-year career in tax, and was Smith & Williamson’s national tax director from 2006 until 2013. He is a fellow and former president of the CIOT.

Margaret Hodge: A veteran parliamentarian, Hodge became a sensation as head of the Public Accounts Committee for her clear interrogation style when scrutinising government spending. Her time with the PAC is most notable for the work she did analysing corporate tax avoidance.

Replies (23)

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Jennifer Adams
By Jennifer Adams
30th Jun 2015 17:09

May I start the ball rolling by suggesting someone?

... Robert Jamieson... well known lecturer and all round 'good egg'. His skill is making lectures on potentially boring subjects interesting. I invariably come away from listening to him having a list of clients in mind to look at when I get back to the office as he's come up with something to reduce their tax bill or plan their next move.

Thanks (2)
By wilcoskip
01st Jul 2015 08:26

A mixed bag

Paul Dunn and David Maister are excellent additions and will bring real value to the party.

Margaret Hodge is a curious choice.  Is she there for amusement value?  So that we can witness some of her hypocritical populist spouting about evil companies avoiding tax, while her own family's tax activities are off the chart as far as her own apparent 'standards' are concerned

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By chatman
01st Jul 2015 13:04

Richard Murphy

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By mwngiol
01st Jul 2015 13:39

Bob Harper

Even if he doesn't win he'll add value to the proceedings

Thanks (5)
Sarah Douglas - HouseTree Business Ltd
By sarah douglas
01st Jul 2015 19:18

Garry Carter of the ICB

 Well I would like to nominate Garry Carter of the ICB.   Who has worked extremely hard to over the last 20 years to promote professional Bookkeeping and building a strong relationship with other accountancy bodies, encouraging business to hire a professional accountants or bookkeepers.   Building the ICB conference from 150 to over 600 at he Queen Elisabeth II Centre who now look forward to it every year to meet like minded individuals.

I was very happy to see Garry Carter pick up the award for ICB and winning The Associatoin Excellence Awards 2015.

He travels right across the country to meet his members .  I can vouch for the amount of times he comes to Scotland and we love having a visit up north it makes us feel involved with London. . Garry is very approachable and all you have to do is ask and he will come to your branch meeting no matter how big our small.  

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By aynsley
02nd Jul 2015 13:58

Definitely Paul Dunn for me

naturally :)

#B1G1 #BusinessesForGood

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By Philip Caplan
06th Jul 2015 11:59

2 for me!

I would nominate Mark Lee and Mark Wickersham both providing Real value to accountants in practice.

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By Rod Wilson
06th Jul 2015 12:12

I second Phillip Caplan's nominations.

Mark Lee and Mark Wickersham.

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By LanceT
06th Jul 2015 13:01

Mark Wickersham

Happy to agree with fellow professionals and recommend Mark Wickersham

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By KPEM online
06th Jul 2015 13:39

Mark Wickersham

Without a doubt, Mark has brought massive value to accounting firms with practical guidance on value pricing and the application of its techniques.

Something not everyone subscribes too, but something I could see as most beneficial to our profession, and Mark has demystified the process.

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By Kimmiey19
06th Jul 2015 21:06

My vote goes to Mark Wickersham
Mark Wickersham has helped so many, what he doesn't know on pricing isn't worth knowing. He inspires many accountants via his knowledge and teachings to get pricing right and to
build a successful business!

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By bill ellison
07th Jul 2015 10:24

I recommend Mark Wickersham

Mark has a unique insight into the profession and has helped so many practitioners

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By MattCTS
07th Jul 2015 11:31

Mark Wickersham

Would definitely recommend Mark Wickersham, his thoughts on the accountancy profession and where it is going have transformed by business.


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By jaybee661
07th Jul 2015 13:24

Steve Pipe & Mark Wickersham

I just wanted to recommend the two giants of accountancy Steve Pipe & Mark Wickersham.

Before I met Steve & Mark I guess I had the typical view of how an accountancy practice should be run - it's fair to stay that meeting Steve Pipe and listening to what he had to say about this great profession turned everything upside down for me.

Steve gave me a completely new outlook, a new way to view the profession focussing on what the client REALLY wanted.

I count that day (meeting Steve & Mark) as one of the most important of my professional life - combining Steve's insights into proactively helping clients, through to Mark's amazing wisdom in the very difficult area that is pricing in the accountancy profession, they have both been a total inspiration to me and it's no exaggeration to say that without their guidance my practice wouldn't be where it is today.

Steve & Mark thoroughly deserve every accolade for transforming the accountany profession for the better - it's an honour to call them mentors of mine and they always will be.

Thanks (1)
By Ghawk
07th Jul 2015 14:32

Mark Wickersham

Mark has not only run an accountancy practice, but has consolidated the lessons learned and is passing on the knowledge to accountants in practice through his books and mentoring groups - making them better business owners! Mark's knowledge is bang up to date and he will bring the FUTURE OF ACCOUNTANCY to the party - yes, he get's my vote.

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By shaz
07th Jul 2015 14:40

My vote goes to Steve Pipe


I would most proudly nominate Steve Pipe. Ever since having met and worked with Steve, my accountancy practice has seen an incredible positive transformation.

Over the last 5 years his research, insights and guidance have helped me to:

1 Build a much more successful practice

2 Help clients build extremely profitable and successful businesses

3 Provide an outstanding service to clients by being more proactive

4 And in a way that is more emotionally and financially rewarding than ever before.

Of course, Mark Wickersham would be next in line. His work on pricing is simply brilliant!


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By alan.kirby
07th Jul 2015 15:54

Practice Excellence awards

I would definitely nominate Mark Wickersham. Mark has experience of running a successful practice and is a font of knowledge for what makes a practice work. 


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By Conscious_Acc
07th Jul 2015 21:45

Mark Wickersham and Steve Pipe would be my nominations. I have found working with them absolutely inspiring and they have had a huge impact on my success.

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Steve pipe
By Steve Pipe
08th Jul 2015 14:27

Paul Dunn

The huge number of nominations for Mark Wickersham will obviously (and rightly) mean that he must be on the shortlist.

As do the 100+ accountants who have taken the time and trouble to recommend him in LinkedIn, and the thousands of readers who have driven his fantastic pricing books to number one position on Amazon.

But brilliant though Mark is, and thrilled and humbled as I am to be nominated myself, my vote would go to Paul Dunn.

As Francois says in his introduction, Paul is the profession’s rock star. He is also my personal hero.

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By 41115BARRI
08th Jul 2015 20:06

Paul Dunn

Without any doubt, and despite the incredibly high regard I hold Steve Pipe and mark Wickersham in, Paul is simply in a different league. Not only has h helped transform a massive number of practices in the UK, as they have, he operates on a world stage. As Steve so aptly says, he is my personal hero.

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By Lorraine93
09th Jul 2015 07:17

Mark Wickersham
I propose Mark Wickersham. He has researched, analysed and summarised pricing in our industry. Using this information, he has developed structured tools to enable us to create sales brochures and sensible pricing levels. He is sharing this valuable knowledge at affordable prices so that he can help small practices to earn a proper salary. I have been working like a busy fool so I hadn't even heard of Mark Wickersham until I saw him present at the CIMA MiP conference in June. He is awesome and inspiring. I am in the process of transforming my business using Mark's tools and guidance. The penny dropped immediately once Mark had shared some of his knowledge. I know that going forward I will have the tools to price correctly, stop doing working for free, and to stop giving free loans to customers. My 8 years of making up prices has ended and I my business will be transformed from 'okay' to successful AND profitable. I will be able to communicate the value of my services to my lovely customers and they will be happy to pay me the right price for the work. Everyone wins and I can stay true to my ethics, continue to help my customers, and earn a proper salary for a change. My heartfelt thanks go to Mark Wickersham for being so generous with his knowledge.

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By David Potter
12th Jul 2015 13:01

Steve Pipe and Mark Wickersham

I propose Steve Pipe and Mark Wickersham. Previous proposers and very eloquently and comprehensively mentioned all the great things they have done for us all. Their influence on Accountancy practice's have been profound and life changing for so many.

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Dan Richards_MyFirmsApp_helping firms keep clients closer_Apps, technology and services for Accounting Firms.
By dan richards
16th Jul 2015 10:49

Tony Margaritelli

The above names are all fantastic people, and Paul Dunn in particular.  However, I'd also keenly nominate Tony who chairs and runs the ICPA.  Tony is a rare and highly enthusiastic individual who genuinely champions the cause of the small practitioner - of which are there are many.  

I've had the privilege to work alongside Tony for some years now, and on many occasions, and he's held in very high regard by all those hundreds of ICPA members (and many other suppliers in the profession).  He regularly publishes content which a great number of firms have told me has been instrumental in their development and ongoing success.

Tony also has an unusual ability to be able to look ahead as well as being someone who has been in the profession for so many years.  This includes his foresight and adoption of technology as well as seeking out service providers and negotiating best deals on  behalf of his members.

He's also proven himself to be a man of great integrity.  We get to meet many people in the profession and there aren't many like Tony, who've made such a measurable difference for so many practitioners, who've set up and grown an excellent body (ICPA), and who carries the personal qualities that endears him to so many.

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