15th December, 2022
The inaugural, independent industry awards night presented by the team at From the Trenches was an amazing celebration of success in the accounting and bookkeeping space.
After the year of events I’ve had, it was a true delight to end my 2022 tour of Australia and New Zealand at the Australian Accounting Industry Awards on 1 December, where I had the honour of being a judge as well as presenting the winner of the bookkeeping team of the year award.
The awards, brought to life by the team at From the Trenches and partners including The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers and the Australian Bookkeepers Network, debuted to offer an independent alternative to the big industry conferences and awards that are almost exclusively owned by large, international events companies.
As a result, the Australian Accounting Industry Awards offered a real point of difference — and this independent flair was evidenced by the intimate nature of the venue, as well as the quality and calibre of both the judging process and winners on the night.
All told, some 100 or so people attending the in-person dinner event, held at Sydney’s Hinchcliffe House and the winners included solo operators as well as practitioners from growing and larger firms.
In particular, I couldn’t be more excited to see a number of long-time MYOB partners and advocates recognised for their achievements. They are: Kelly Berger from Business Simplicity, who won the Community Award; Jackie Marriot from PKF Newcastle, who won the Employee Accountant of the Year Award; and Kyelie Baxter from IQ Accountants, who won Partner of the Year (in the two-10 partner division).
It was particularly encouraging to see a large proportion of women award winners across the board.
Not only is bookkeeping a female-driven profession, but I’ve written previously about the significant incidence of impostor syndrome many women in the industry face, which may cause them to shy away from seeking recognition like this.
The fact that we saw so many women winning awards at this event, and that the entries for each category were all judged in a completely blind process (all names or other distinguishing information has been redacted), I think this will be seen as a real sign of encouragement for other young women entering the workforce. We can excel in the professional world — and we do.
From the Trenches co-founder and CEO of ChangeGPS, David Boyar also highlighted the importance of recognising smaller firms such as Kyelie Baxter’s IQ Accountants, noting: “It’s an awkward space to be in – no longer a sole practitioner and not being a large firm means you often get overlooked while also having to compete for talent”.
As a community-minded awards night, the inaugural Australian Accounting Industry Awards definitely turned the tables when it comes to recognising the quiet achievers among us.
It’s been a long journey this year, clocking up thousands of flying hours as I’ve moved from one event to another (attending an event once a week, on average), but I’ve also found it to be highly rewarding.
As much as I’m looking forward to some downtime with my feet in the sand and perhaps a cocktail or two as well, I’m also looking forward to the year ahead.
With everything that’s happening in the global economy, as well as more change and innovation occurring in our local industry, I know there’s going to be plenty to discuss and share with you in the months to come.
I hope you find time to take a break in the weeks ahead and reflect on all that you’ve achieved in 2022. After that, bring on 2023!