2019 Client Choice Awards: Important changes

We have made some important changes to the 2019 Client Choice Awards.

Whether you are a returning firm and know the entry ropes or if this is your first time, please study these notes before you start the entry process.

  1. Is your 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 (see also paragraph 4 below): > Accounting and Consulting Services > Consulting Engineering and Built Environment Services > Law and Related Services > Specialist IP and Related Services.​​

  2. New built environment professions added To the long-standing professions of accounting, consulting engineering, IP specialists and law whose clients we ​​have surveyed for many years, we have added new built environment professions, including architecture, environmental sciences, planning, quantity surveying and project management whose clients we will be surveying for the first time this year.

  3. Country where you provide services to clients This year you will be asked in which country you provide services to clients, i.e. Australia and/or New Zealand. Previously we asked in which countries you had offices. This change is one of several by means of which we are centring more of our approach on your clients.​

  4. Changes to the names of Award categories We are making changes to the names of Award categories in recognition of the way firms are diversifying and to accommodate the addition of the new built environment professions in paragraph 2. The new names for the Award categories are: > Accounting and Consulting Services > Consulting Engineering and Built Environment Services > Law and Related Services > Specialist IP and Related Services.​

  5. Key dates This link takes you to the timetable of key dates you need to know about. Alternatively, download the document here.

  6. New survey technology To enable us to survey the clients of the wide range of professional services firms in the built environment we have developed new survey technology. This is the reason for the later closing date shown in the links in paragraph 5. If yours is an architectural, smaller consulting engineering, environmental sciences, planning, quantity surveying, project management or other type of related firm, you should definitely enter.

  7. Small-medium size accounting and law firms If yours is a small-medium accounting or law firm or a single office of an accounting or law federation in Australia, then you should enter the Professional Services Awards. These Awards are owned and managed by FirmChecker, a sister company to Beaton Research + Consulting. Click on this link to find out how to enter the Professional Services Awards. At this time, we regret we can’t offer equivalent firms in New Zealand this opportunity.

  8. Cyber-security Client databases will be uploaded by each entrant. The way you will do this differs depending on the survey technology used, see paragraph 6. These methods are explained on the Client Choice Awards website and will also be set out in detail in the email you receive when you complete your entry. We are using two cyber-secure methods of accessing firms’ client databases. > For the larger accounting firms and accounting federations, larger consulting engineering firms, specialist IP firms, and larger law firms and law federations in the long-standing professions the method involves a secure FTP solution. This is different to the email transmission which was used in the recent past. > For architecture, smaller consulting engineering, environmental sciences, planning, project management, quantity surveying and other related firms the method enables you to send your own invitation emails and reminders directly to your own clients. We will provide you with templates for the invitation emails and reminders.

  9. Privacy and confidentiality We respect rights to privacy. Our Privacy and Confidentiality Policy outlines how we uphold those rights under the Australian Privacy Principles, as written into the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). ​In recognition of the growing interest in the responsible and transparent collection, storage and usage of data, our Policy also outlines the steps beaton has taken to ensure our processes are compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR, Regulation (EU) 2016/679). This applies to the processing of data about and from individuals in the European Economic Area.

  10. New way of increasing response rates 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.

  11. Entry fee We have introduced an entry fee of A$150 inc. GST to cover our handling costs. If you complete your entry and upload your client database before 5pm AEST Friday 6 July 2018, we will waive this fee. If you do not upload your client database by this deadline, we will invoice you for A$150 inc. GST.

  12. Terms and conditions We have made minor changes to our terms and conditions for entering the Client Choice Awards (click here) and to our Privacy and Confidentiality Policy.

  13. Complimentary short report When you complete your entry, we will send you a complimentary short report on key sector trends and findings from the 2018 Client Choice Awards survey.

  14. Rating of the quality of your 2018 database When you have uploaded your client database – and provided you entered the Awards last year – we will send you a complimentary rating of the quality of your 2018 database. This will show you how your firm’s database quality compares with those of other firms that also entered last year. This rating is intended to help your firm improve the quality of your client records. Be assured, only you will see your firm’s results, others will be masked. Questions? If you are in any doubt about whether or how to enter or about any of these changes, Ewa Foroncewicz will gladly help you. Please contact Ewa at ewa.foroncewicz@beatonglobal.com or +61 3 8373 2605.