1. What’s new in the 2019 Client Choice Awards?
Every year beaton improves the Awards in response to trends in the professional services sector and feedback from firms and their clients, i.e. respondents. In 2019 the changes include:
a. Country eligibility is now based on where you provide services, not where your firm is registered.
b. We have expanded and renamed the Award categories:
Accounting in 2018 -> Accounting and Consulting Services in 2019
Consulting Engineering in 2018 -> Consulting Engineering and Built Environment Services in 2019 which includes but is not limited to architects, environmental scientists, planners, project managers, and quantity surveyors
Law in 2018 -> Law and Related Services in 2019
IP Specialist in 2018 -> Specialist IP and Related Services in 2019.
c. We have added a new award: “Professional Services Start-up of the Year”.
d. Firms will no longer submit their client databases by email. Rather, depending on its size and type, a firm will either upload its database to beaton’s FTP server or directly onto our secure survey platform. For firms entering in the Consulting Engineering and Built Environment Services category we are using two survey technologies, depending on firms’ profession and size. Further details about what is required will be included in the welcome email you will receive after entering.
e. In the past, on completion of their survey we advised the respondent which firm/s provided their contact details. This year we are testing a new way of increasing response rates by advising respondents at the start of the survey which firm/s provided their contact details. This will be done rigorously using the spilt-run method. In this way we will be able to judge the efficacy of the change. No firm will be advantaged or disadvantaged by this test.
f. We have introduced an entry fee of A$150 inc GST for all firms to cover our handling costs.
2. Is my firm eligible to enter the Client Choice Awards?
To enter you must provide services to clients in Australia and/or New Zealand and fall into one of these categories:
- Accounting and Consulting Services
- Consulting Engineering and Built Environment Services
- Law and Related Services
- Specialist IP and Related Services.
3. What are examples of firms eligible to enter the Accounting and Consulting Services category?
Accounting tax advisory firms, related consulting services, e.g. operations, human resources, risk, information systems.
4. What are examples of firms eligible to enter the Consulting Engineering and Built Environment Services category?
Architects, consulting engineers, environmental scientists, planners, project managers, quantity surveyors and any other consulting firm in the engineering and built environment space.
5. What are examples of firms eligible to enter the Law and Related Services category?
Law firms, providers of legal services outsourcing services, NewLaw firms.
6. What are examples of firms eligible to enter the Specialist IP and Related Services category?
Patent and trademark attorneys, related law and commercialisation services
7. My firm meets the eligibility criteria, we filled in the form, but beaton contacted us saying that our annual revenue is too small and we cannot enter the 2019 Client Choice Awards. Does this mean there is also a revenue eligibility criterion?
Yes. We anticipate there will be a few types of firm that our survey methods and technology will not cover at this time. These include small specialist IP firms and standalone specialist consultants, e.g. risk managers, executive search, small accounting and law in New Zealand.
8. If we are not eligible for the 2019 Client Choice Awards, are there any other Awards based on client voice that we can enter?
If your firm’s profession is law, accounting, bookkeeping or conveyancing and your revenue does not exceed A$30m you should enter the Professional Services Awards run by FirmChecker, beaton’s sister company.
9. We operate in both Australia and New Zealand – do we enter as one firm or two separate firms?
Firms can enter one of three options: Australia only OR New Zealand only OR Australia and New Zealand. If you tick ‘Australia and New Zealand’, you will be entered as one firm. This means you cannot have two entries in the same name.
10. What if I made a mistake in my online application?
If you make a mistake in completing your entry form, just email firstname.lastname@example.org and explain what needs to be changed. Save the confirmation email together with the original entry form receipt confirmation.
11. We provide both law and accounting services – can we enter in two separate categories?
No, firms can only enter in one of the four categories in FAQ #2 above.
12. What if our database is smaller than it is suggested in database size guidelines?
It is in your best interests to provide a complete database that meets our database size guidelines. In this way you help beaton maximise response rates. Larger samples improve the reliability and validity of our measurements. If your database is smaller than the guidelines require contact us to discuss whether can relax the thresholds: email@example.com. See also the Terms & Conditions paragraph 8 here.
13. Why is there an entry fee?
The entry fee of A$150 has been introduced to cover the handling costs of processing entries. With an increasing number of firms entering the Awards, beaton needs extra resources to assure the quality and security of databases.
14. My firm has submitted the entry form, but we are not able to submit the client database in time. Can we still enter?
No, you can’t. Your client database is an integral part of entering. Check the timetable for the opening and closing dates applicable to your firm.
15. Do our clients know that we have provided their details to beaton?
Yes, they do. When they commence the survey, they are informed which firm/s provided their details. For details read FAQ #1 above.
16. If we have referrers in our database whose contact details we submit? The end-clients or the referrers?
Referrers are counted as clients for the purposes of this survey.
17. What happens after the survey is complete? Do we get the results or reports?
A range of reports and services is available for all firms that enter the Client Choice Awards. Full details of the types of reports and any associated costs that are available for the category you have entered will be provided to you in your welcome email. We will contact you with details. Judging the Awards is not related in any way to whether a firm does or doesn’t subscribe to beaton’s reports.
18. What should we say to our clients if they ask why we provided their contact details to beaton?
19. Are the client databases used in any subsequent work after the Awards surveys?
With the formal consent of a firm, beaton may use parts of its database for special-purpose surveys. We make sure we minimise the chance same respondent is not asked twice in any one year. In some instances, respondents may have opted in to future beaton surveys.
20. Is there a minimum size of a firm’s database used for entering the Client Choice Awards?
There are no strict rules about your database size. As a general principle the larger the number of records in your database the better. Remember it’s in your interests to include all your clients, past clients and referrers of work. These are our guidelines.
Firm’s annual revenue – > Minimum database size (individual respondents rather than client organisations):
- Less than $20 million – > no minimum size
- $20 million to $50 million – > 2,000
- $50 million to $100 million – > 4,000
- Greater than $100 million – > 5,000