Fingers Crossed for the BIBA Final Awards…

It was 2014 when Jones Harris last entered and won a big award, scooping the Accountancy Firm of the Year with up to Five Partners at the North West Finance Awards. Three years on we’re keeping our fingers crossed that we hear good news when we go to the BIBA awards ceremony in September.

The BIBAs are Lancashire’s largest, longest running and most rigorous business awards programme, run by the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, and probably the best known of the regional business awards.

We’ve kept you up to date through our news articles about our progress – after applications closed at the end of March we were pleased to make it through to the first stage of the selection process which was the interviews, and they were held back in May.

As it says on the BIBAs website “By entering you’ll be testing your business against the best, being shortlisted will be an achievement in itself” so you can imagine that we were even more pleased when we discovered that we’d been successful at the interview stage in BOTH of the categories for which we were originally shortlisted and the judges would be coming to our Fleetwood offices for the final stage business visit.

Jones Harris made it through to the visit stage in the two categories which we’d entered: ‘Excellence in the Use of IT’ and ‘Professional Services Business of the Year’ and for that reason, we were visited on two separate occasions by the teams who were judging each category.

We showed the judges our completely bespoke, paperless computerised system which we’ve developed over the last 20 years along with our in-house IT capability to allow us to process the accounts of companies of all shapes and sizes with astonishing efficiency and speed, putting excellent customer service at the heart of everything that we do. We’ve also recognised over the years that IT would play an increasing role in the reporting of records to HMRC, and that’s being borne out by the advent of their Making Tax Digital initiative.

We explained how we strive for excellence in the level of knowledge and skills which we provide to our clients through a process of continuing professional development for all staff. We strive for excellence in how we run our business, in order to provide the best service that we can. Hopefully, this will be recognised in the final outcome.

Although we’re technically classed as an SME we’re a business of a reasonable size, employing just short of 30 staff on the premises and acting for well over 1000 local clients. The judges also spent a considerable amount of time talking with many of the staff and getting a feel for what really does go on under the bonnet of our business.

We’re looking forward to the glittering awards ceremony on 15 September at Blackpool Tower Ballroom. It’s a time to celebrate what we’ve achieved as a team within our business and the spaces on our table have been given to staff on nothing more complicated that a first-come, first-served basis. It’s also a brilliant opportunity to meet and chat with other local businesses – so if you’re there on the night please say hello.

It would be wonderful to win one or both of these accolades, but it’s good to know that our business stands up well against the best of the rest, irrespective of the final outcome – and what we do here at Jones Harris is good enough to see us shortlisted for these two highly relevant awards.

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