You have to be in it to win it, but you don't have to win it to benefit. Why ICB director of communications, Ami Copeland, thinks you should apply now for an Accounting Excellence Award and how ICB bookkeepers continue to inspire her...

This week my 7-year old became Line Leader for her Year 2 class. She tells me that 'obviously' this means she leads the line but that also she sometimes gets to push a green button to open a door. Her thrill at assuming this esteemed position of responsibility is all the more real because she has up until now been too nervous to put herself forward for it. Tears were shed earlier in the year when she'd been offered the job but turned it down. She didn't have the confidence to say yes, yet she was devastated to have missed the opportunity and vowed not to make the mistake again.
It was with my daughter's personal little victory on my mind, that I attended not one but two awards evenings this week. Having been 'out out' just about as much as the next working parent over the last few years, I must say the thrill was now all mine.

Ami Copeland at PQ AwardsAmi at the PQ Awards presenting the Apprentice of the Year Award to CIMA who picked up the award on behalf of their student Sean Lucas

At Monday's PQ Awards for part-qualified accountancy professionals, and at Wednesday's Xero Awards for people and practices using Xero, ICB was there to support members who had been short-listed.  On neither occasion did our members Tina Marshall MICB, Jo Wood FICB PM.Dip, Zoe Whitman MICB, and Lara Manton MICB win, despite their impressive achievements and inspiring journeys, and yet their spirit and determination seemed stronger than ever.

Xero Awards 2022
Alexander von Schirmeister, Managing Director, Xero UK & EMEA speaking at the Xero Awards 2022
Speaking to Xero's new UK MD, Alex von Schirmeister, Lara Manton, whose practice was nominated for Sole Practitioner of the Year, stoically resolved to apply again next year determined that she would be third-time lucky. Surrounded by her fellow accountancy professionals, her family and the VA team to whom she outsources, Lara's light didn't seem even slightly dimmed by the impact of not winning. It was clearer to me than ever that it really is the taking part that counts.
Past Xero Award winner Jonathan Bareham from Raeden, an accountancy firm based in Covent Garden that he co-founded when he was 26, explained that whilst no one likes losing it's certainly easier to lose out to an accountancy community that is so supportive. 'We all spend too much time thinking about what we're not good at, so taking a moment to write down what you've achieved is a really positive process.'

Ami at the XeroAwards with Lara MantonFrom L to R, Gemma Gilbert (Lara's VA), Lara Manton, Katie (Gemma's business partner), Ami Copeland

So, I encourage you to find a quiet moment to sit down and consider everything that you have done this year that you're proud of. Be they personal or professional successes, the mere act of writing it down will help train your mind to see your success and create more of it. Whilst you might not have been shortlisted for an award yet, every one of your achievements was hard-won and worth celebrating. And you have several hours left to apply for Bookkeeping Team of the Year or one of the other accolades at the Accounting Excellence Awards. The deadline is midnight on 29th April for these annual awards hosted by AccountingWEB. Our very own Jason Dalton of Safe Hands Bookkeeping won last year so let's keep this title in the safe hands of another ICB bookkeeper.
One thing that becomes clearer every time I meet an ICB bookkeeper is that success and recognition don't come by accident. You need to put your hand up and apply for the job as Line Leader, nominate yourself as the award-deserving bookkeeper you are, and every day pick youself up and tell yourself that you can do it.
In the words of the great Jon Bon Jovi, to whose song we danced along to in the closing throes of the Xero Awards on Wednesday,
We've got to hold on to what we've got
It doesn't make a difference if we make it or not
Take my hand, we'll make it I swear
Woah, living on a prayer