What it means to win a Practice Excellence Awardby
Nearly three years on from the firm's Practice Excellence Awards victory, AccountingWEB caught up with Woods Squared to find out what it meant to win the award.
Alan Woods, director at the Birkenhead-based accounting firm, said since winning in the small firm category back in 2011, a lot has happened to the ambitious firm.
Woods reflected that they won the award in the first year when AccountingWEB launched the inaugural Practice Excellence Awards (PEA). They had picked up a few other awards and made it through as a finalist at a number of others, but the PEAs stood out for Woods.
“I think actually they’re one the best ones to win in terms of from an accountancy firm perspective,” he said. “Just because it looks at the business from the three best options: What clients think of you and client feedback; what your peers think of you in terms of everyone reading your entry and deciding which one they prefer; and lastly a panel of judges who independently verify your entry. To look at it from those three areas, it’s really the proudest [award] that we’ve been involved in and been successful in.”
Since then Woods Squared has used the PEA model to continue benchmarking satisfaction and gathering client feedback every year to see how the firm is progressing.
“It’s good to see if we’ve moved on or not compared to the previous year and I like the independence of that. We do feedback surveys for our clients every year, but the anonymity side comes with the PEAs and that really helps,” Woods said.
The award has also put the firm in a favourable light within the local business community: “In terms of credibility for us with clients and businesses, it’s had a very positive impact there as well,” he said.
Woods added that they had already entered the Practice Excellence client satisfaction recognition scheme this year and would shortly be throwing its hat into the ring again this year for the 2014 awards.
“Entering and winning the Practice Excellence Awards has enabled us to reap all these benefits and so I’d recommend that if you’re thinking about making a submission, you should go ahead and do it. The benefits from not just winning but even being shortlisted are huge and could transform your business,” he said.
He said that the great thing about winning the PEAs was that they were shortlisted as a result of direct client feedback.
“Since winning these three awards, we’ve noticed an increase in business and believe that it is a direct result of the victories. They’ve certainly helped us when we’ve been pitching for new clients because everyone can see that we are multi-award winners, which obviously makes us more credible than other firms,” he added.
Other PEA winners and nominees will be telling their stories and ideas for client satisfaction at the Practice Excellence Conference on 6 November.
The 2014 Practice Excellence Awards are sponsored by SAP: “We know exactly how important accountants are to helping businesses grow and we want to do all we can to support that. That’s our business too and we’re focussed on developing technology innovations that not only help businesses run like never before, but also improve the lives of people everywhere.”