Awards: Why bother entering?

By James Nadal | 1st August 2019 | 3 min read

There is no shortage of awards for accountancy professionals, and they span across a huge range of categories, both for firms and individuals.

But what is their value, if any, and is it really worth the hassle and bother of entering?

All the forms you must fill out, collecting the evidence, writing long answers and trying to convince the judges. Isn’t it just a big pain on top of trying to run a successful accountancy practice?

Yes, it does require some effort. But investing some time and energy will definitely pay off, and here’s why.

Get recognised as a leading player

Winning an award – or even getting shortlisted – is a fantastic endorsement for your business. Being able to demonstrate that a well known organisation – perhaps an industry news website or a professional body -  has put you on such a high pedestal is brilliant for boosting your credibility. By doing so, you are building your reputation as an authority in your field. Your success will exude vibes that tell prospects ‘this practice knows what it’s doing and can really be trusted’.

Excellent publicity

You would struggle to buy advertising space that would give you value as good as all the publicity surrounding an awards night. These events are sometimes backed by some significant PR from the organisers. Reached the final? Think of all the possible social media chat around this that you can easily promote and amplify. Triumphed on the night? That’s what you hope for, of course, and a win can bring a tsunami of positive publicity you can use in your wider marketing campaigns. You can share your success on your blog, on social platforms and start conversations about it on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Imagine - pictures of you holding a gleaming trophy. Perfect for your website homepage and your Twitter feed.

Stand out from your rivals

With this new recognition of your talents and aptitude, you’ve got a great way to clearly differentiate your practice from rival firms. When a potential new client is on the hunt for an accountant, not only does the recent publicity of your success increase the chances you’ll be noticed, but it’s bound to make them think: ‘they must be good’. Other firms who haven’t bothered to enter or didn’t make it as far are left trailing behind. Awards can be a magnet for prospects and become an extra tool of persuasion during that initial meeting or conversation.

Feel good factor for your team

Think how much your team’s morale could be boosted by getting to the final or winning. There are many different categories of awards and sometimes these offer the opportunity for you to nominate your staff for their particular specialism or role – practice manager, for example. How great will they feel to know you value them and recognise them in such a way? What a confidence booster.

Going to an awards ceremony with your team can create a buzz around your office. The excitement and build up can be a terrific shot in the arm and a way to strengthen teamwork and the feeling of belonging to your practice. It’s all good fun too. Going to an awards event often means dressing up, drinks, fabulous food and a chance to party. Ideal for team bonding.

You may attract new talent too. After all, if you’re a job hunter, why wouldn’t you be more enticed to go to a shortlisted or winning firm instead of one that isn’t?

So, with that all in mind, we've got the perfect opportunity for you to get going - The IRIS Customer Awards. There are a range of categories you can enter, all of which can be found below. The finalists will be invited to a special ceremony on the evening of IRIS World 2020, taking place on 11 February in Birmingham.