I’ve been busy this week judging accountancy awards.
I always love doing this as I like to learn what the best businesses are doing. But some entries are easier to judge than others.
Entrants are asked to submit facts and figures to support their entry. As most of the judges are accountants you can expect that we will focus on these. And yet too many entries are clearly written by a marketing person with eloquent prose. Judge what your judges will be looking for. (This is even easier when you know who the judges are.)
Awards entries are like CVs, imagine me saying “so what?” or “prove it” to every sentence on your CV. Facts, figures and evidence are import in any awards entry but even more so when your judges are accountants.
I love judging awards as I get a sneak preview of what the best accountancy businesses are doing. It’s really exciting to see people pushing the profession forwards. This year I’m fortunate to have been asked to judge both the Accounting Excellence Awards and the Xero Awards. (My atrocious memory means that I immediately forget who has been shortlisted and who has won so you can try bribing me with chocolates as much as you like but I just can’t remember)
I also enter my books into the Business Book Awards. The Numbers Business won first place in its category in 2019 which was a really pleasant surprise for a first time author. Growing by Numbers sank without trace in 2021. And just yesterday Changing the Numbers was shortlisted in its category. We’ll find out if it wins at the big awards dinner on 16 May.
Entering awards can feel like a lot of hassle or you may be afraid of ‘failure’ so why would you put yourself through that?
- Writing out your awards application helps you to realise how much good stuff your business has done.
- An award or shortlist helps you to stand out from your competitors
- Being shortlisted is as good as a win as far as your work is concerned. Making the shortlist is based on how good YOU are. The winner can depend on who else happens to have entered the same year. You might win or lose depending on your competition more than your own work.
- An award or shortlist is great for handling imposter syndrome
- An award is great for publicity as it gives you something to shout about in your local community and amongst your clients. Local papers like to hear good news although you may need a bit of an angle such as your reasons for starting the business or how you have overcome adversity.
Not all awards are created equal. Some seem to be more about making money for the organisers, either in large entry fees or selling tables at awards dinners. If the winner is dependent on paying to attend the dinner then it is not worth it.
But there are plenty of reputable awards out there.
Both the awards I judge and enter are open to anyone whether you can be there in person or not. And, if you can afford it, you can treat your team to a great night out to celebrate all their hard work. Or take along some clients to remind them that they have chosen to work with a (potential) award winner.
So go ahead and enter those awards. And let me know if you need a hand to prepare your entries.
Every time an Honours List is published e.g. New Year or the Queen’s (now King’s) birthday there is always somebody moaning that the recipients are less deserving than a local or national community hero.
And every year I tell the complainant that they can nominate those heroes.
If there is anybody that you think is deserving of an honour then you can use this link to put their name forward.
Who would you nominate?
How good would they feel?
What other awards can you nominate people for in your industry or local community?
Last month was awards season (congratulations to all the winners and finalists) and, as I often get asked to judge accountancy awards, I thought I’d share some hints for those thinking of entering next year.
- Just like in exams you need to RTQ, read the question, and answer what is actually being asked.
- Evidence your claims. If you say something you should have evidence to support it.
- Do not just cut and paste your marketing blurb or let the marketing department fill in the application. Judges need facts not spin.
- If you have the money it is worth using an experienced copywriter who will be able to use appealing words. But do make sure they follow points 2 and 3.
- If you don’t enter you’ll never know if you might have won.