A good thing just got better

At beaton we are pleased to report that a good thing just got better – a new category has been added to our successful, long-running Financial Review Client Choice Awards. Today we announce an award for the Professional Services Startup of the Year.


Introduced to celebrate socio-economic benefits to clients, ingenuity and excellence in the exploding applications of technology in professional services, the Award category is sponsored by IP Australia.

The Professional Services Startup of the Year is different to the awards for traditional firms and practitioners in the way Award is adjudicated:

  • Firstly, we are using the Steve Blank definition of a start-up: "A temporary organization used to search for a repeatable and scalable business model".

  • We are applying the definition to any professional or quasi

professional service in law, accounting, tax, management consulting, consulting engineering and the built environment and/or in related services.

  • This categorisation includes, but is not limited, to all the ‘techs’ like LegalTech, RiskTech, InfraTech and TaxTech.

  • The judging process is rigorous and intriguing.

  • In Stage 1 all entries will be assessed by beaton against the equally weighted criteria of expected/actual socio-economic benefits to clients, ingenuity and execution excellence.

  • Then in stage 2 the c-suite leaders of several hundred medium-large professional services firms in Australia and New Zealand will be confidentially polled by beaton on the top quartile of entries from the first stage. Based on the websites of the top quartile, they will be asked to nominate the best five startups using the same criteria.

  • The top five will the Finalists and go forward to the final stage in which each finalist will provide a 5-6 minute video pitching why they should win the 2019 Professional Services Startup of the Year Award.

  • The videos will be judged by a panel comprising senior members of beaton and members of IP Australia and the Digital Innovation Festival in Victoria.

The Finalists will be invited to the Client Choice Awards gala dinner on 27 March 2019 in Melbourne where the winner will be announced along with traditional professional services firm winners.


Entries for the Professional Services Startup of the Year Award opened on 14 January and close on 15 February 2019.