Entries for the UK and Eire Xero Awards 2023 at the moment are open for our accounting, bookkeeping and app companions.

Being an award-winning agency isn’t simple, and neither is writing an award-winning entry. So how will you put your greatest foot ahead when crafting your award submission? In season considered one of Past Numbers – our new podcast for accountants and bookkeepers – we spoke to Pam Phillips, founder and managing director of award-winning small agency de Jong Phillips, who shared her recommendation on not simply being an award-winning agency, however methods to pull collectively an award-winning utility.  

Why enter the Xero Awards?

Since founding de Jong Phillips along with her father in 2015, Pam and her staff have turn into consultants of their area by focusing their efforts on offering subsequent stage accountancy companies for inventive companies.

De Jong Phillips was a finalist for Small Agency of the Yr on the Xero Awards in 2021, and got here again once more in 2022 to win the identical class. Pam additionally took residence considered one of Xero’s highest accolades – Most Beneficial Skilled (MVP). 

When requested the way it felt to be recognised by the business via these awards, Pam explains: 

“It was thrilling to get acknowledged and actually reassuring – it gave me consolation that we had been on the best path and that different folks believed in us.” 

This was particularly essential for Pam, whose observe makes use of Xero and a bunch of different apps from the Xero app retailer to ship the total suite of companies one would anticipate from an in-house finance perform. 

The popularity of the awards assist to draw expertise and win purchasers, however Pam additionally highlighted the significance of the award entry course of and the chance it gave her and her staff to essentially look again at what they’d achieved and enhance upon it additional. 

“Deal with why you’re completely different and why you should win. It helps to focus on all of the stuff you need to have the ability to say, however can’t say but – and this helps to set an agenda for the following 12 months.”

How you can write a great awards entry

Crafting a powerful awards entry takes time. Pam emphasised the significance of permitting a few weeks, from begin to end, to spend money on the awards utility. 

“Collect all of the proof throughout the staff, work out what message you wish to give, after which it’s important to write it in a method that matches [the word limit] – undoubtedly don’t try to do it in a day!”

Relating to writing the entry, Pam says it must be a staff effort. She additionally believes the founder or administrators must be concerned, to allow them to convey their imaginative and prescient and keenness in an genuine method. 

“For previous awards, we brainstormed as a staff, and considered what it’s that we’ve carried out and wish to shout about,” Pam explains. “Contain entrepreneurs as properly – you is perhaps doing a little nice stuff, so by having somebody that may write your entry and current it in a fascinating method goes to assist make the entry not solely extra readable, however extra memorable.” 

If at first you don’t succeed, attempt once more

Regardless of being the recipient of plenty of awards, there have been occasions when de Jong Phillips have entered, however not taken residence an award. Nevertheless, Pam takes a glass half-full method and sees it as a studying expertise. 

“I feel it was the primary Xero Award we entered. We couldn’t put any statistics down and I keep in mind studying in regards to the winner, and the winners had pointed to their NPS rating – we didn’t even point out Internet Promoter Scores (NPS)! This was not simply good for our award entry, however good for our enterprise – you possibly can at all times study from these items and make what you are promoting higher,” says Pam.

Recommendation for corporations trying to enter the awards

When requested what recommendation she would give to corporations trying to enter into an awards programme, Pam highlights 5 key factors:

  • Preserve attempting. Even in the event you’ve not been profitable in a single, it doesn’t imply you gained’t achieve success in one other. What you are promoting – and standards – will change.
  • Info and figures are an essential element of your award entry. Contemplate leveraging  knowledge factors equivalent to NPS, advertising outcomes and the agency’s development.
  • Testimonials from purchasers or employees can assist what you’re saying – so it’s not simply in your individual phrases.
  • Honesty is essential. You need to have the ability to authentically speak in regards to the work you’ve carried out, particularly in the event you win. 
  • Have readability and confidence about what it’s that you just do in another way. Actually imagine in what you’re doing, talk it and take the time to write down the applying.

Pam provides: “I used to be a decide on the Accounting Excellence Awards one 12 months, so I learn a load of purposes. And those that stood out had been those that would actually speak about what they had been doing that was completely different.” 

Get your entries in 

Entries for the 2023 UK and Eire Xero Awards at the moment are open and can shut on Friday 25th November. Begin making ready your utility at the moment. Finalists will likely be introduced nearly in February, and winners will likely be introduced in April. Dates and particulars to return.

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