New Accountant of the Year
Winner: Maria Williams, SJD Accountancy
Shortlist: Bethan Walker, Harris Lipman; David Rozier, Deloitte; James Anderson, KPMG; Maria Williams, SJD Accountancy; Olalade Yusuf, PwC; Stuart Dutton, Howard Worth Chartered Accountants
The judges said: "Within three years of qualifying Maria was performing a partner-level role both in terms of leadership and her ability to impact the commercial results of the practice. She shows huge levels of commercial acumen while generating significant efficiencies and cost reductions. Here success is testimony to her ‘can-do' and ‘will-do' attitude."
Accounting Technician of the Year
Winner: Steve Collings
Shortlist: Steve Collings; Kate Hawkins; Garry Coombs
The judges said: "Not only did Steve excel above and beyond the call of duty in his day job, but he also managed to write highly successful books. He is clearly a dedicated man who worked tirelessly to raise the standards and professionalism of his part of the industry."
Training Manager of the Year
Winner: Michael Walby, KPMG
Shortlist: John Watkins, PKF (UK); Matt Bond, MCR; Michael Walby, KPMG; Tarlochan Bath, RSM Tenon
The judges said: "The judges believed Michael's entry was a compelling read because of his commitment to challenge orthodoxies and his absolute commitment to excellence. He is a winner who combines profit generation with the professional development of his colleagues."
Independent firm of the Year, North England
Winner: Lamont Pridmore
Shortlist: Balance Accountants; Danbro; Hurst; Lamont Pridmore; Thoburn & Chapman; Woods Squared
The judges said: "They have achieved an excellent turnaround, demonstrated great forward thinking and a willingness to take a risk."
Independent firm of the Year, Scotland
Winner: Macfarlane Grey
Shortlist: Macfarlane Gray; Nicholson Accountancy
The judges said: "Macfarlane has achieved success driven by constant innovation and won with the development of client-focused programmes, which allows it to provide bespoke and targeted service. It is clear that its success over many years has been based on its motto, "growth through quality."
Independent firm of the Year, Wales
Winner: Hart Parry
Shortlist: Accounted For Ltd; Hart Parry; Williams Denton
The judges said: "Hart Parry innovated well ahead of the competition in marketing and in its business growth system and with its website's client zone and in social media. The firm believes that people are important, as is a decent work-life balance."
Independent firm of the Year, Midlands
Winner: Coalesco Accountants
Shortlist: Accounts Assist; Coalesco Accountants; Harrison Beale & Owen
The judges said: "Coalesco has experienced growth, has a jargon-free way of explaining itself and a terrific emphasis on people. Its success in pushing clients to achieve their goals is impressive and it has invested in the wider community. Coalesco captured the imagination and showed how a small firm can stretch strategy."
Independent firm of the Year, South West England
Winner: Inspire Professional Services
Shortlist: Dunkleys; Inspire Professional Services; Russell & Co
The judges said: "This was an easy choice. Inspire impressed its clients, was innovative and showed good involvement in the community. The firm caught our attention with its international focus and expert focus."
Independent firm of the Year, Greater London
Winner: Elman Wall
Shortlist: Elman Wall; WSM Partners; Spiro Bentley
The judges said: "This is a highly professional firm that understands its clients and delivers value to the market place. Elman Wall has had great success winning work from much bigger competitors and with its specialism in the travel industry had developed a service that goes above the provision of more routine accountancy services."
Independent firm of the Year, South East & East
Shortlist: Fiander Tovell; GreenStones
The judges said: "Greenstones takes a pro-active and highly personalised approach to client care and is not afraid to take tough decisions. This is a vibrant and fun practice that focuses on inspiring, challenging and supporting its clients and employees. This is all coupled with a clear set of values."
Software package of the Year
Shortlist: Access Dimensions; Egress Switch; Financial Force.com; FreeAgent; Intuitive Dashboards; Mamut One; Xero
The judges said: "This is a comprehensive financial package complemented by the latest cloud technology. Its product shows continuing and adventurous innovation combined with a strong focus on supporting its customers."
Tax Award of the Year, Global Firm
Shortlist: BDO; Deloitte; Grant Thornton UK
The judges said: "BDO showed that its advisers understand the business fundamentals of its clients' businesses. It understood its commercials aims and provided the potent combination of innovative ideas and tax efficient. The firm benefited from superb and genuinely appreciative testimonials. BDO simply saves its clients a lot of heartache."
Tax Award of the Year, National, Mid-Tier, Independent Firm
Winner: James Cowper
Shortlist: Barber Harrison & Platt; Elman Wall; Fitzgerald & Law; James Cowper; Watson Buckle
The judges said: "James Cowper carved out a timely niche for itself, punching well above its weight. It committed itself to innovation in its specialist area and made it work in diverse industries."
Audit Award of the Year
Shortlist: BDO; Crowe Clark Whitehill; Grant Thornton UK; KPMG; PwC
The judges said: "KPMG set out to provide innovative ways of adding value for a new audit client and succeeded in doing so quickly. The firm's desire to understand the client's strategy, the firms insights and its willingness to challenge the client is refreshing and ultimately commercially beneficial."
Winner: KPMG and City Academy Hackney
Shortlist: FS Accountants; KPMG; PKF (UK)
The judges said: "This was an immediately successful, high-profile community project where, clearly, KPMG has much to offer and which chimes excellently with present and previous government policy. This was an outstanding contribution in partnership with a public body to help those most disadvantaged in Hackney."
Shortlist: Charterhouse; Fish Partnership; George Hay; GreenStones; Lambert Roper & Horsfield; Lamont Pridmore; Menzies; Reeves & Co; Roffe Swayne; Wellden Turnbull
The award is given to the firm who scored highest in our extensive employer and employee survey run in association with Best Employer Group
Global firm of the Year
Shortlist: Deloitte; KPMG; PwC
The judges said: "This firm was distinguished by its approach to people exemplified by its recruitment of school leavers. KPMG told the strongest story about its commitment to the 'big society' and had an ingenious approach to key parts of its services. KPMG has come further and faster in the past 12 months than any of its competitors."
National firm of the Year
Winner: RSM Tenon
Shortlist: Crowe Clark Whitehill; Macintyre Hudson; Menzies; RSM Tenon
The judges said: "RSM Tenon was a clear winner with a strong approach to making people fundamental to the business. It understands corporate responsibility and its value to the business. The firm punches above its weight and a huge belief that it will succeed and carve out a powerful market niche."
Mid-Tier firm of the Year
Winner: Carter Backer Winter
Shortlist: Anderson Anderson & Brown; Carter Backer Winter; Harris Lipman; HW Fisher & Company; James Cowper; Shelley Stock Hutter; SJD Accountancy & company
The judges said: "Carter Backer Winter is distinguished by bringing success to its clients. It maintains a client-centred approach, while offering the expertise of a larger firm. The firm has demonstrated that it is an outstanding example of all the staff contributing to a more successful, more enjoyable, more rewarding and more profitable business."
Independent firm of the year
Winner: Elman Wall
Special mention to: Lamont Pridmore
Shortlist: Lamont Pridmore; Macfarlane Grey; Hart Parry; Coalesco Accountants; Inspire Professional Services; Elman Wall; GreenStones
The judges said: "Elman Wall caught the judges' eye with the bold statement that ‘we over remunerate but we don't mind'. The firm took carving out a specialism for itself to a new level, with its tenacious focus on the travel industry and served its clients with innovative events and services that demonstrated a profound knowledge of their business. Elman Wall topped it all off with a stunning financial performance."
Winner: Jeremy Newman, Outgoing head of BDO International
Newman has spent more 30 years with BDO. He joined in 1978, was a partner six years later and in 2001 he began two terms as UK managing partner before moving on to become chief executive of BDO International.
He led BDO in the UK through a restructuring to become a unified national firm, leading to record levels of fee income, profits and staff.
He is also credited with placing staff at the centre of the firm's strategy and with taking that approach to the distant parts of BDO around the world. He has just stepped down from international CEO, but in his three years in charge he has rebranded the international network and driven massive expansion for BDO in China – the feat he claims as his greatest achievement.
BDO won the Accountancy Age global firm of the Year award in 2006 and the Employer of the Year award an unprecedented three times. The firm also featured in the Sunday Times top 100 UK employers and the Financial Times UK Best Places to work guide. In addition, he is an outspoken advocate of reform in the audit market and it is plain he is willing to put his money where his mouth is on the issue.
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