Entries for the UK Xero Awards 2024 at the moment are open for our accounting, bookkeeping and app companions.

Being an award-winning agency isn’t straightforward, and neither is writing an award-winning entry. So how will you put your greatest foot ahead when crafting your award submission? In season certainly 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 find out how to pull collectively an award-winning utility.  

Why enter the Xero Awards?

Since founding de Jong Phillips together with her father in 2015, Pam and her staff have change into specialists of their area by focusing their efforts on offering subsequent degree accountancy companies for inventive businesses.

De Jong Phillips was a finalist for Small Agency of the 12 months on the Xero Awards in 2021, and got here again once more in 2022 to win the identical class. Pam additionally took residence certainly one of Xero’s highest accolades – Most Invaluable Skilled (MVP). 

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

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

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

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

“Deal with why you’re completely different and why you need to 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 yr.”

Easy methods to write a very good awards entry

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

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

On the subject of writing the entry, Pam says it ought to be a staff effort. She additionally believes the founder or administrators ought to be concerned, to allow them to convey their imaginative and prescient and keenness in an genuine manner. 

“For previous awards, we brainstormed as a staff, and thought of what it’s that we’ve completed and need to shout about,” Pam explains. “Contain entrepreneurs as effectively – you could be doing a little nice stuff, so by having somebody that may write your entry and current it in a fascinating manner 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. Nonetheless, Pam takes a glass half-full strategy 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 bear in mind studying concerning the winner, and the winners had pointed to their NPS rating – we didn’t even point out Web Promoter Scores (NPS)! This was not simply good for our award entry, however good for our enterprise – you’ll be able to all the time be taught 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:

  • Hold making an attempt. Even in case you’ve not been profitable in a single, it doesn’t imply you received’t achieve success in one other. Your corporation – and standards – will change.
  • Information and figures are an vital element of your award entry. Contemplate leveraging  information factors corresponding to NPS, advertising outcomes and the agency’s development.
  • Testimonials from shoppers or employees can assist what you’re saying – so it’s not simply in your personal phrases.
  • Honesty is vital. You need to have the ability to authentically discuss concerning the work you’ve completed, particularly in case you win. 
  • Have readability and confidence about what it’s that you just do in another way. Actually consider in what you’re doing, talk it and take the time to jot down the appliance.

Pam provides: “I used to be a choose on the Accounting Excellence Awards one yr, so I learn a load of purposes. And those that stood out have been those that might actually discuss what they have been doing that was completely different.” 

Get your entries in 

Entries for the 2024 UK Xero Awards at the moment are open and can shut on Friday tenth November. Begin making ready your utility at this time. Finalists shall be introduced just about in February, and winners shall be introduced in April. Dates and particulars to return.

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