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Accounting firm Allan Hall Business Advisors was established on the Northern Beaches of Sydney more than 60 years ago – but it proudly owns the fact it has never become stuck in the past.

The firm prides itself on use of modern technology to communicate regularly with clients and reduce turnaround times. Breaking away from the norm of traditional accounting firms, Allan Hall is becoming known as the firm with same-day turnaround.

“We are actively working to reduce our turnaround times on work,” explained firm Director Scott Jago.

“Other areas include strengthening the connection with clients via use of technology – updates, news flashes, events, deadlines, etc. Also improving our ‘no surprises’ mantra, keeping clients informed of their obligations, and upcoming tax commitments.”

This communication and rapid response strategy appears to be working; as Allan Hall recently took home the award for Best Business Advisory Firm (<$30m revenue) in the 2023 Client Choice Awards. The firm was also named a finalist for Best Accounting and Consulting Services Firm (<$30m revenue).

Jago said his staff were thrilled to find out the good news and celebrated with morning tea, drinks, food, and “cake – of course!”

“We were thrilled, and staff saw it as a reward for the hard work that got us here,” Jago said. “It’s one thing to enter, but it’s another to come out on top in such a prestigious award.”

The Client Choice Awards are the world’s only professional services awards that use real client feedback to determine winners. The process involves no judging panels or industry experts – just the views of those who arguably matter most in business.

In 2023, more than 17,000 pieces of individual client feedback were submitted to Beaton for judging more than 270 firms from across Australia and New Zealand.

Analysing the particular strengths of Allan Hall Business Advisors, Jago identified some key attributes that helped his firm stand out among competitors. One of these attributes was an “unwavering desire to improve”, which he said came back to a culture of actively seeking and responding to client feedback.

Beaton provides the anonymised, independent feedback used in judging the Client Choice Awards to firms after results are announced. Many say receiving this feedback is a highly rewarding and valuable process, whether or not they won an award. Entrants also have fast-tracked access to more substantial Beaton Benchmarks reports, which inform firms how to improve and differentiate their service from competitors.

“We see client feedback as a huge positive. The client is ‘heard’, we have the opportunity to adjust where we need to and improve satisfaction,” Jago said.

“If you are working with satisfied clients, that has a profound impact on the culture within a firm. If the feedback is positive, this is a pat on the back to all involved. So good or bad, it can all be constructive.”

For a firm with proud history, Allan Hall Business Advisors seems firmly focused on the present. Jago identified that competition for talent, increasing client expectations, and applying technology to the benefit of clients, without becoming distracted, were key trends that would shape the accounting profession in years to come.

But when asked if there was just one thing professional services firms should focus on for success, his message was simple and enduring:

“Strong and clear communication, that way no matter the message or the economic cycle one thing is constant and that’s the ability to convey the message,” he said.

Allan Hall was named Best Business Advisory Firm (<$30m revenue) in the 2023 Client Choice Awards. This award is presented in partnership with FeeSynergy and with association partner Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

Enter your firm for the 2024 awards here.