Kate Upcraft shared with us her experience receiving the well deserved Outstanding Contribution Award at this year’s edition.

How does it feel to win Oustanding Contribution Award of the year?

I was absolutely stunned to win the award when I thought I was actually presenting one! But particularly as it involved three of the most important figures in the tax world who I respect so much Becky Benneyworth, Anita Monteith and Peter Rayney. I’m proud that this year payroll professionals have stepped into the spotlight and delivered for so many employers and employees who needed it most, learning how to claim a government grant with very complicated rules which actually had no synergy with Payroll but there was just the assumption that we would get on and deliver as either agents or in-house teams, and of course, that’s just what we did. I only run a handful of Payrolls now for some local charities but even they were incredibly time-consuming so I salute those teams who have delivered at scale and pace. Hopefully never again will hear the word ‘payroll just press a button’

What advice would you give to anyone entering the awards, or thinking of entering the awards next year?

Being part of the Accounting web community is an incredibly useful resource but winning an award takes it to a whole new level of recognition by your peers but equally, it’s as a wonderful marketing endorsement that money can’t buy. Don’t think it’s all about the big names and sponsors winning prizes, this is one award where small is beautiful and you can never predict the outcome – I’m proof of that!

What does accounting excellence mean to you?

It means putting yourself in the client’s shoes, which means understanding the pressures they are under but that also they are paying for you to be the expert., although they won’t always pay the going rate and you’ll do way more hours than you can bill for, but what you get back is much more than financial reward it’s that your business will only thrive if your clients do too so it really is win-win.