Have you ever entered an accountancy award event? Should you? Here are the benefits of entering awards and which type of awards your small growing firm should enter.
Business awards: What are the benefits of entering?
There are many benefits to entering your accountancy firm into a business award. Remember, the judges can only judge the firms and businesses who have entered. This means that for some business awards, the bar is set very low to get shortlisted or even win. I’ve judged lots of awards now (The British Accountancy Awards and Practice Excellence (now Accounting Excellence) three times each). The small firm category for Accounting Excellence normally has over 60 entrants. It’s really tough to get shortlisted let alone win. On the other hand, the regional independent member firm category for The British Accountancy Awards may have only as little as 3 entrants. That means they all get shortlisted! Remember the public won’t know how your accountancy firm was shortlisted but you still have the benefit of using it to promote your firm.
Business awards: What’s in it for the event organiser and why you need to know this
Promoters of business awards do it for many different reasons. One reason is to grow their list of businesses. When an award’s organiser ask people to ‘vote’ for a shortlist of entrants they also want to grow their email list. The public won’t know if your firm won an award because you had the most votes. However, these types of awards, or ‘glorified popularity contests’, are not great for your credibility.
When you enter a business award, the organiser should (under the new GDPR rules ) be upfront in how they plan to use your data. A marketing firm hosting a business awards event will benefit in several ways:
- Increased awareness and visibility amongst their target market
- Generating an email list of growing businesses who are potential users of their services (particularly if part of any prizes on the night are linked to using their services)
- Market research and business intelligence on the best stuff businesses are doing
For example, the organisers of Accounting Excellence (new name for Practice Excellence) use the knowledge gained from the award entries to drive a large part of their content for AccountingWeb. The details of your award entry won’t be in the public domain but a judge or organiser may still remember your entry. So if a vendor to the accountancy profession is organising an awards event, consider if you would be happy for them to share your best ideas or ways of working with others in the profession.
Events such as The British Accountancy Awards or Accounting Excellence may be free to enter. However the cost of a ticket to the awards night is typically £150+. When you then factor in accommodation, transport to and from the venue it becomes very expensive. Particularly if you decide to take lots of your team!
When should you enter your accountancy firm into a business award?
Winning business awards are great for lead generation and also helping to attract high-quality new hires. They can give a much-needed boost to morale for staff. Before you enter an award you need to be absolutely certain it will help raise your profile for the right reasons and be credible enough in the eyes of your staff and potential clients. Awards that are great for doing this for accountants are:
- Local business awards
- Accounting Excellence (new name for Practice Excellence)
- British Accounting Awards
If you are considering entering an event to recognise your achievements in anything other than being great for your clients, e.g. an award for practice management type stuff, e.g (IT, technology, marketing or training), then really consider who will be getting the benefit of your entry; you or the event organiser?