Mark Telford, the owner of Telfords Chartered Accountants, is passionate about giving small businesses the right financial advice. He holds a number of Xero certifications and proudly displays his Making Tax Digital ready badge on his advisor directory listing.
What’s more, his regular feedback on new and existing Xero products has helped us ensure we’re making good products even better. He’s also given other accountants advice on how to use Xero.
With such unwavering commitment to Xero, it was great to see Mark win last year’s Most Valued Professional (MVP) award at Xerocon London 2018 – a moment he described as one of his proudest as a business owner. “It was a welcome recognition of what I do in trying to improve the level of support accountants provide to small businesses.”
Five-star client service
When he started out, Mark says that he searched for accounting software that would give him direct access to client information, without having to wait for backups, spreadsheets or paper records. He decided to adopt Xero early on and is now a Xero Silver partner.
“I focus a lot of time on making sure our systems and processes are slick and efficient. By deciding to choose only one accounting software product, we’re able to give clients clear advice and support on how to use it. It also makes it easy when starting to work with a new client or training new team members.”
Using Xero means that when Mark finds a new way of applying the software to one client, he can quickly identify which other clients could also benefit from it and roll out the same solution to them instantly.
Making a great product even better
Mark admits that he was “on cloud nine” for the week after winning the Xero MVP award at Xerocon. “For me, the biggest accolade was that it was recognition for the role I played in being part of the Xero community and trying to make Xero even better.”
Mark has always been frank in his opinions on how Xero can be better, including the services accountants should be providing to their clients, what the software should enable accountants to do, and where the software is great or lacking.
“While I love Xero, I also recognise there’s some functionality which can be improved. I’ve tried to use my time as a member of Xero Partner Advisory Council (XPAC) and my experience of using the software, to make what is already an amazing product, even better.”
Since winning the award, Mark has developed a second business focusing on coaching, mentoring and training other accountants to improve their own practices.
Become an MVP and win new clients
If you’re shortlisted for (or win) a Xero award, it can raise your profile amongst your peers and the wider business community. “It does help win new clients – business owners using Xero are instinctively attracted to Xero’s award-winning accountants!”
But in order to be an MVP, Mark says you have to get involved. “Don’t just use Xero but get involved with the community, the Xero team and have an opinion. To any potential entrants, I’d say just tell your story, make it personal and be authentic. That will build great engagement and make you stand out.”
How to enter Xero Awards
The Xero Awards are a celebration of excellence among our accounting, bookkeeping and ecosystem partners that help small businesses thrive around the globe.
Successful entrants will be promoted to over 3,000 industry peers at Xerocon London 2019 and invited to the exclusive Xero Awards ceremony in February 2020. Plus, you’ll receive marketing material to help promote your success to clients, prospects and the press.
The accounting and bookkeeping winners get a premium listing on the Xero Advisor Directory where you can be easily found by businesses looking for an award-winning advisor.
The app winners will receive a dedicated spot on Xero’s marketplace to attract more business.
If you think your practice or app deserves an accolade check out the award categories, criteria and eligibility requirements – then submit your entry before 18 October 2019.
You can enter yourself or your firm into any of the awards you qualify for. If you need help identifying which categories you’re the right fit for, you can download our support packs:
Xerocon London 2019
Join us on 13-14 November at ExCeL London and be the first to learn about game-changing products we’re launching (with the opportunity to get early access, before everyone else). You’ll also hear from renowned speakers like astronaut Major Tim Peake CMG, Priya Lakhani OBE and Xero CEO Steve Vamos.
To enter the Xero Awards apply here.