Sian Kelly, Managing Director of 2020 double-winners Inform Accounting Ltd, tells us about how it feels to be an Accounting Excellence winner.

How does it feel to win Digital and Innovative Firm of the Year?
Absolutely amazing! The team gave a big cheer when I told them the good news on our daily wellbeing call!

Winning this award reaffirms the fundamental concept of our digital approach to accounting, and the brave decision I made a decade ago to set up a 100% digital practice. I wasn’t completely mad!

How does it feel to win the Client Service Award?
Absolutely chuffed, this is our most coveted award, as the practice wouldn’t be where it is today without the exceptional client care provided by my team to our many lovely clients.

Working in the service industry, it’s so crucial to ensure that great client service is delivered 100% of the time, happy clients help deliver a growing business and happy team. We’ve always had a focus on continually improving client support, with a focus on the customer first. It’s creating an internal culture that really cares about the clients that help to drive that great service.

The Client Service Award award is a testament to all the hard work my team put in on a daily basis and I couldn’t be more proud of our achievement.

How will winning the 2020 Accounting Excellence Award for Digital and Innovative Firm of the Year impact your firm after a difficult year like this one?
We’ve already had a fair number of new clients come to us this year wanting to make the digital switch to cloud accounting, and with many people now working from home, we’re anticipating an even greater volume wanting to make the move in the coming year.
Hopefully, the award will help provide even more confidence that we really do understand tech and their systems, and we can help many more SMEs enter the digital age of accounting.

As I mentioned, we’ve always been a digital practice, so winning this award is an affirmation of our efforts and hard work, and we’ll continue to work with new and existing app partners to deliver greater value to clients.

How will winning the 2020 Accounting Excellence Award for Client Service Award impact your firm after a difficult year like this one?
We are passionate about client care, and I’d like to think that’s why we’ve received such great feedback from our clients for all the support we’ve consistently provided and especially this year during the pandemic.

The Client Service Award is a badge that we will wear with honour, and use it as a driving force to continue to provide excellent customer service, to attract new clients to Inform and to maintain our great referral rate.

Hopefully, this award will also be a great comfort for our clients, knowing that they are receiving award-winning client care and support, helping to boost client relations even more!

What advice would you give to anyone entering the awards, or thinking of entering the awards next year?
Just do it! There’s no cost involved (other than your time) and it’s a great way to get involved in the wider accounting community.
Even if you’re unsure what to write, or which award to apply for, the application process is a great opportunity for you to reflect on how you / your practice has performed over the last 12 months, and give yourself a pat on the back for all the hard work you’ve put into it, or to spot and reflect on any gaps in your processes or service offering!

Use it as an opportunity to think about what you could do in the next 12 months to really stand out! Remember to make a note of all the great things you and your team are doing, so you don’t miss anything out on your next application – and good luck!

What does accounting excellence mean to you?
Accounting excellence to me means consistently going above and beyond expectations. It’s not just about giving value to clients, but it’s about the team giving added value to the practice as well.
A core value of the practice is ‘Continuous’. This means continuous learning, continuous high levels of service, continuous process and systems improvement, and continuous personal development. Again, building this into the culture of your practice is key.

Accounting excellence also means always aiming to be ahead of the game and at the forefront of the digital accounting space.

Collaboration is absolutely key to this. It requires effort to work not just with your team, but with your clients, with app partners, and even with other firms!