NEW ACCOUNTANT OF THE YEAR
Winner: Raylene Whitford – KPMG
Highly commended: Jonathan Simons – Grant Thornton
Shortlisted: Chris Neill – PwC; Ian Timms – Accounts Assist; Jonathan Simons – Grant Thornton; Olivia Cegielski – BDO; Raylene Whitford – KPMG; Rebecca Whalley – Nicklin; Shelley Hughes – Woods Squared; Tayyib Gondal – Yousaf & Co
The judges said: Raylene Whitford presented a really well-focused entry, and she has shown herself to be exceptional in her industry focus. The judges applauded what was a superbly balanced submission.
TRAINING MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Winner: Helen Franklin – Accounts Assist
Shortlisted: Helen Franklin – Accounts Assist; Greg Owens – BDO; Tracy Woods – Woods Squared
The judges said: Helen Franklin obviously cares about having a personal approach to clients and staff. She has also demonstrated clear objective-setting targets for her business’ teams.
INDEPENDENT FIRM OF THE YEAR – NORTH, ENGLAND
Winner: Lamont Pridmore
Shortlisted: Balance Accountants; DANBRO; Evolution Business and Tax Advisors; Lamont Pridmore; Thoburn and Chapman; Watson Buckle
The judges said: ‘If Lamont Pridmore has that many people prepared to say nice things in their testimonials, they must be doing something right’ was how judges summed up the firm’s entry. They were also impressed by the growth it has taken in the past financial year.
INDEPENDENT FIRM OF THE YEAR – WALES & SOUTH WEST, ENGLAND
Winner: Randall & Payne
Shortlisted: Clear Vision Accountancy; Graham Associates (International); HM Williams Chartered Accountants; Hunter Accountants; Inspire; Mazuma; Randall & Payne
The judges said: Randall & Payne proved consistent across all criteria, which was important in what proved to be one of the most hard-fought categories of the night. It managed to show particularly good financials alongside client-focused qualities.
INDEPENDENT FIRM OF THE YEAR – MIDLANDS, ENGLAND
Highly commended: Accounts Assist
Shortlisted: Accounts Assist; Adams Moore; Coalesco; Sterling Financial; The Chartwell Practice
The judges said: We were impressed by Coalesco’s tax offering, and it shone above the others with its statistics around client retention.
INDEPENDENT FIRM OF THE YEAR – SOUTH EAST & EAST, ENGLAND
Winner: Sobell Rhodes
Highly commended: Fallows & Company
Shortlisted: aa Accountants; Fallows & Company; Goringe Accountants; HWB; Jacobs Allen; Midgley Snelling; Sobell Rhodes; The Fish Partnership; TWP Accounting
The judges said: We picked out Sobell Rhodes for its work through channels across the globe, and were impressed by the satisfaction displayed by its clients.
INDEPENDENT FIRM OF THE YEAR – GREATER LONDON, ENGLAND
Winner: FD Solutions
Highly commended: Jenson Solutions
Shortlisted: Alchemy Financial Solutions; Carbon Accountancy; Elman Wall; FD Solutions; Gordons Knight; Jenson Solutions; Premier FD Chartered Accountants
The judges said: FD Solutions came across to judges as a very well-run business, and describe themselves as a practice with a difference – that certainly across through their impressive response to the judging criteria.
INDEPENDENT FIRM OF THE YEAR – SCOTLAND
Winner: Stark Main & Co
Shortlisted: Macfarlane Gray; Nicolson Accountancy; Stark Main & Co
The judges said: Stark Main showed clarity towards its approach to customers, and implemented lots of initiatives to help them. The firm’s innovation was a step ahead of the other entries in the Scotland category.
SOFTWARE PRODUCT OF THE YEAR – PRACTICE
Winner: IRIS Accountancy Solutions
Highly commended: KPMG – Tax Reporting Cube
Shortlisted: Arkk iXBRL Adapter for MS Office; Digita iXBRL Software from Thomson Reuters; DriveLock; Herbert Smith Freehills; IRIS Accountancy Solutions; Keytime Accounts Plus – Compac; KPMG – Tax Reporting Cube; Red Flag Alert
The judges said: Despite being an institution within the field of practice software, Iris succeeds in being a step ahead in 2012, proving successful in providing accountants with an IT solution that has broad benefits. From one-man bands up to larger practices, judges were satisfied that Iris was providing quality to the breadth of its customer base.
SOFTWARE PACKAGE OF THE YEAR – CLIENT/BUSINESS
Winner: FinancialForce Accounting
Highly commended: Xero Touch
Shortlisted: Access – Access Dimensions; Advanced Business Solutions; FinancialForce Accounting; FreeAgent; Greentree Software; Intelligent Capture; Intuitive Business Intelligence; IRIS Exchequer; m-hance – Social Business; Prophix Software; Version One; Xero Touch
The judges said: In another fiercely competitive category, FinancialForce.com has overcome its rivals. Judges were particularly taken at its attempt to successfully bring cloud computing to finance professionals – an attempt that they feel deserves the award.
TAX AWARD OF THE YEAR
Winner: Francis Clark
Shortlisted: Barber Harrison & Platt; BDO; Campbell Dallas; Francis Clark; Grant Thornton; Nicklin; Reeves; Sagars
The judges said: Francis Clark was chosen for the evidence provided about the quality of its management, and particularly how it had demonstrated how it had applied its tax knowledge to grow revenues.
AUDIT AWARD OF THE YEAR
Shortlisted: BDO; Francis Clark; James Cowper
The judges said: The judges found that it was impossible to vote against BDO. The firm has put an emphasis on quality and reputation in an industry in which it’s notoriously difficult to demonstrate value and differentiation from competitors.
Winner: Thomson Cooper
Shortlisted: FS Accountants; Grunberg & Co; KPMG; Thomson Cooper; Warner Wilde; Woods Squared
The judges said: Thompson Cooper have tackled lots of projects outside of accounting and core community. It also managed to live up to the line in their submission: “our passion is unrivalled”.
EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR
Winner: The Fish Partnership
Shortlisted: Charterhouse Accountants; DSC Chartered Accountants; Evolution Business and Tax Advisors – Chartered Accountants; Fitzgerald and Law; Green and Co Accountants; Lamont Pridmore; Price Bailey; The Fish Partnership; UNW
GLOBAL FIRM OF THE YEAR
Shortlisted: BDO; Grant Thornton; KPMG
The judges said: KPMG has shown that, alongside a diversity of client base, it has managed to maintain a commitment to corporate responsibility. One of the night’s most polished entries, the judges were satisfied that KPMG obviously walks the walk.
NATIONAL FIRM OF THE YEAR
Winner: Johnston Carmichael
Shortlisted: Johnston Carmichael; MHA MacIntyre Hudson; Smith & Williamson
The judges said: The national firm of the year showed off an impressive array of concrete examples of what they’re doing well. The firm has shown real leadership and energy based on a great agenda for their, and client’s growth.
MID-TIER FIRM OF THE YEAR
Winner: Cooper Parry
Highly commended: SJD Accountancy
Shortlisted: Armstrong Watson; ClearSky Accounting; Cooper Parry; Fitzgerald and Law; Francis Clark; HURST; HW Fisher & Company; James Cowper; Milsted Langdon; Reeves; Sagars; Shelley Stock Hutter; SJD Accountancy; TaxAssist Accountants
The judges said: Cooper Parry has gone the extra mile, and in particular showed a clear focus towards providing top quality advice for privately owned businesses. Their strong financial performance was backed up with great examples of flexible working and career development.
INDEPENDENT FIRM OF THE YEAR
Winner: Sobell Rhodes
The judges said: The independent firm of the year wowed the judges with its polished presentation, and vast range of initiatives designed to drive performance. Sobell Rhodes also produced great evidence to back its claims, lifting them to the top of the tree.
OUTSTANDING INDUSTRY CONTRIBUTION
Kevin Reed, Accountancy Age editor, said: “Margaret has proven herself at the highest level in both practice and business. She leaves a legacy of mentoring top-level accountants who have become CFOs, and she continues to pass on her knowledge and wisdom as a non-executive director. My team and I were delighted to choose Margaret for the award.”
Richard Kateley of Legal & General discusses the advantages of close cooperation between accountants and financial advisers
The Practitioner becomes frustrated with HMRC's approach to a client's VAT investigation
The firm has made key appointments to its executive team, including a new chief financial officer, and a sales and marketing director
Partners at the insolvency firm Craig Povey and Kevin Murphy were appointed liquidators on 2 February