At this year’s MYOB Partner Connect, a split panel of judges couldn’t decide between two enterprising champion advisors, offering them both the title of MYOB Certified Consultant of the Year.
In September this year, bookkeeper and accountants from around Australia gathered to socialise, learn and be inspired at MYOB Partner Connect 2018.
But they also came to celebrate the hard work of their peers, which was showcased at the seminal partner event of the calendar: the MYOB Partner Awards.
Awards were split into three overall categories, with a total of 14 sub-categories between them, recognising individual and practice-level excellence with titles like ‘Newcomer Award’ and ‘Bookkeeping Practice of the Year’.
Previously dubbed the ‘Partner of the Year’ category, one of the most coveted and highly recognised awards is now called Certified Consultant of the Year, which is given to signify contribution to the industry and as a brand ambassador for MYOB.
This year, Certified Consultant of the Year was awarded to two exceptional advisors in the industry – Leanne Berry of Love Your Numbers and Debra Anderson of Anderson Tax & Consulting – for delivering expert advice to clients using a range of MYOB online solutions.
A full list of the winners from this year’s event can be found here.
Having spoken with the winners, I can safely say both Leanne and Debra are stand-out professionals who clearly represent the Certified Consultant community through their positive actions and forward-thinking behaviour.
Debra, who can claim to have worked closely with MYOB in being the first practice to upload an AccountRight Live file to the cloud, believes this year’s awards were among the most fiercely competed of all.
“For the past 10 years I’ve attended Partner Connect and hoped to take home an award during the presentation dinner,” Anderson said. “This was the first year I’ve not gone home empty handed, and I think it’s probably the year I most wanted to win.”
Here are just a few of the reasons why the judging panel chose Debra and Leanne as joint winners for Certified Consultant of the Year:
Unlike for previous awards nights, this year’s Certified Consultant of the Year award was not only judged by a panel of MYOB and independent experts, it also called for nominees to create a comprehensive submission detailing their business practices and key clientele.
“The submission was a lot of hard work, asking hopefuls to take a close look at their business to demonstrate how we do things differently.
“To have taken home the award under these new conditions was intimidating, but I also feel very honoured to have been chosen.”
Debra said she’d also recently spoken with Leanne, saying they are both still “blown away” by the occurrence.
Leanne, who also gave two presentations at Partner Connect 2018, said she was “honoured, humbled and totally overwhelmed” after learning of her award.
Like Debra, Leanne believes some of the reasoning behind her receiving the award lies in her ability to explain the benefits of automation and software innovations in the accounting and bookkeeping space.
But there’s also a very human element to it as well, she said.
“I’ve made some long-lasting, beautiful friendships with other consultants who have supported me through some very difficult times,” said Leanne.
“In turn, I have been there for others who are also experiencing their own trouble.
“Being an MYOB Certified Consultant nurtures my passion for helping small business owners realise their dreams and goals.”
Debra echoed this sentiment, explaining that the key to being a successful advisor in today’s small business landscape often means seeing past the financial facts and figures.
“It’s not always about dollars and cents,” said Debra. “I recently consulted with a client who was toying about a big decision they were considering for their business – we spoke for a long time and none of the advice I gave was financial in nature.
“We spent a long time discussing all the non-financial impacts they hadn’t even considered yet. Sometimes that’s what a good small business advisor does; often the answers don’t lie in the purely financial sphere.”
Earn recognition for your expertise. Certified Consultants are a specialised group of highly trained MYOB Partners who earn exclusive access to promotions, discounts, software and more. Take the first step by joining our free Partner Program today.