The Financial Review is the Client Choice Awards exclusive media partner

How the research is done

The research is done by inviting respondents by email to complete Beaton’s independent online survey.

For more details on how the research is done click here.

Who conducts the research

Beaton Research + Consulting independently designs, conducts and analyses the Client Choice Awards survey.

The associated firm-specific Beaton Benchmarks reports are based on the same survey research that underpins the Client Choice Awards.

Client Choice Awards 2018 application form

Click here for requirements for database submission

Who conducts the research

Beaton Research + Consulting, the leading researcher in voice of the client and consultant to professional services in the Asia-Pacific – provides the independent research behind the Awards.

We have analysed nearly 240,000 responses since we began this research and have more experience in online research of the clients of professional services firms than any other market research consultancy in the world.


The IP category was highly competitive this year and for that reason we are delighted with this award. The team at FB Rice really prides itself on offering something distinctive in the IP space and I am very proud of their efforts that have led to them being honoured in this way. For many of our clients, their IP is literally their only asset and the sole reason they exist. Those clients are placing their future in our hands when they entrust FB Rice with their IP. That trust is not something we take lightly. So to be recognised in this category by one’s clients means a lot.

Dr Brett Lunn

Managing Partner, FB Rice


We are delighted to be recognised in the Client Choice awards, as they reflect the experience of thousands of clients across Australia and New Zealand. Our people are the heart of our success and our consistent performance in these awards, against stiff competition, confirms that our client experience is enhanced by our purpose and values driven culture.

Darry-Lee Wendelborn

Managing Director, Beca


Winning the Awards provides authentic feedback that we’re achieving our goal of providing consistently high quality service.  It motivates us to keep up the great work, and pleasingly, our success has been noticed widely and opened up new opportunities. 

Will Wright

Managing Director, Douglas Partners

How the research is done

The survey research for the Client Choice Awards and beatonbenchmarks will be done online from September to January this year. Individual respondents are invited to complete the survey by email.

During this period beaton surveys the lists of contacts provided by all firms that enter the Awards. We gather responses from actual buyers and users of professional services, including business owners, chief executives, chief financial officers, senior public and private sector line managers, in-house professional specialists, purchasing professionals, and a range of other buyers of professional services.

Respondents are asked to rate the firms’ brands and performance in delivering services on a range of criteria including quality, value for money, price, and innovation.

Respondents are invited to nominate and rate those individual practitioners who deliver exceptional quality and service; and they will be asked to give their reasons.

Online method

Respondents receive an individually addressed and tailored invitation containing a unique hyperlink to the web-based survey. This approach ensures:

  • Each respondent completes only one survey
  • Imposters are unable to access the survey
  • Respondents can complete the survey in multiple sessions
  • The full survey takes 15-20 minutes to complete, depending on the path taken by a respondent.

Respondent support

If respondents encounter technical survey problems or have issues regarding privacy they will have access to email and telephone support by beaton during the survey period.

Number of respondents

Every year beaton receives many thousands of high quality ratings of firms.

The Winners will be firms and individual practitioners that achieve consistently higher client ratings than their competitors and peers, respectively. Rankings are generated solely from independent assessment of the clients’ ratings; there is no judging panel. Selection of Winners is an analytical process based on clients’ – not judges’ – quantified opinions.

Finalists and Winners in 2018

For 2018 there will be Finalists and Winners categories for firms and practitioners that cover Australia and New Zealand.

Media partnership with the Financial Review

The awards for firms and practitioners are known as The Financial Review Client Choice Awards. Winners and finalists for both categories of awards feature prominently in The Financial Review in the lead up to and after the Gala Dinner.

Awards night gala dinner

The Client Choice Awards 2018 gala dinner was held at the Sofitel Melbourne on Collins on Wednesday 14 March 2018.

Professional associations supporting the Client Choice Awards

Every year professional associations join with beaton to support our study of the clients of professional services firms. Since the very beginning of our engagement with the professions community in 1994, professional associations like the Association of Corporate Counsel Australia (formerly Australian Corporate Lawyers Association) and the Governance Institute of Australia (formerly the Chartered Secretaries Australia) have been integral partners in our research. Since that time many Australian and New Zealand associations have become involved. The partnership constituted amongst professional associations, professional services firms and beaton in the study is unique. Nowhere else has the depth of involvement and trust been so great and enduring. The mutual benefits grow each year. The logos below are those of the professional societies that are generously supporting the 2018 awards.

Client Choice Awards Finalists and Winners from past years


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Five things you need to know about applying for the Client Choice Awards

These are the five most important must-know about and mustn’t-do things when you apply for the Client Choice Awards.

  1. Award categories are dependent on sufficient numbers of firms and individual practitioners being eligible for each category. The categories noted on this website are subject to change, pending analysis of the final survey results.
  2. beaton reserves the right to add new and/or Award categories beyond those currently listed on this website, if there are sufficient numbers of eligible firms to form a changed and/or new category.
  3. At beaton’s discretion, only firms that apply for the Awards are eligible to be a Finalist or a Winner. In some years the top-rated firm on client service in a category is not named as the winner because they did not apply. You must be in it, to win it!
  4. Firms must not contact their clients in advance to advise them that their details are being provided for the research. Doing this may bias the way clients respond to the study. beaton reserves the right to disqualify any firm from eligibility for the Awards if a firm is known to have contacted their clients in advance. You are advised to read the Terms and Conditions in which the rules governing the Awards are set out.
  5. beaton maintains a strict Privacy and Confidentiality Policy that adheres to the requirements and recommendations of both the Australian Privacy Act (1988) and the New Zealand Privacy Act (1993).