Mid-tier and SME accounting firms receive industry trophies

06 July 2023 Consultancy.com.au 3 min. read

The 2023 Australian Accounting Awards has handed out its annual trophies, with Mazars and BlueRock leading the honours in multiple categories while Naked Accounting took firm of the year.

Accounting and consulting firm Mazars has emerged triumphed at the latest Australian Accounting Awards, taking home the honours in three top individual categories: partner of the year, new partner of year, and rising star.

The internationally operating mid-tier network however lost out to boutique Naked Accounting for firm of the year, while Melbourne-based BlueRock had a memorable night with awards for fastest-growing firm and young accountant of the year.

Mid-tier and SME accounting firms receive industry trophies

Established in 2014 by industry publication AccountantsDaily, the annual Australian Accounting Awards recognise individuals and companies influencing the profession and propelling the industry forward through innovation. This year’s 14-member judging panel featured a cross-section of business executives, academics, and entrepreneurs, with entries assessed according to specific criteria across three dozen group and individual categories.

One of the highest individual honours was awarded to Mazars’ Sydney managing partner Matthew Ashley, named ‘Partner of the Year’ for the second year running. Ashley has been with the firm for more than two decades, joining as a cadet in 2001. Having previously headed up its Accounting and Outsourcing division, he was appointed co-leader in 2021 alongside incumbent Jim Mascitelli, before taking over full responsibility last year.

In addition to having its company veteran recognised, Mazars also scored the 2023 awards for ‘New Partner’ and ‘Rising Star’, respectively won by Lauren Hill and Nadia Afrin. A corporate taxation specialist, Hill joined Mazars in the middle of last year following a decade at HLB Mann Judd, shortly after having being promoted to director. Afrin meanwhile came on board as a graduate in 2019, and was a rising star finalist last year.

For the second consecutive year, Mazars was also a finalist in ‘Firm of the Year’ category, as well as for ‘Business Advisory’, ‘Self-Managed Super Funds’ and ‘Marketing Program’, but missed out respectively to Naked Accounting (QLD), Allan Hall Business Advisors (NSW), Hughes O’Dea Corredig (Victoria), and Elephant Advisory (Victoria).

International player Grant Thornton meanwhile won the Diversity and Inclusion Program/Initiative award.

“Receiving this award creates a sense of achievement and deep satisfaction, validating that Allan Hall is on the right path,” said two-decade Allan Hall director Scott Jago of the business advisory accolade. “As a future-focused firm, we have implemented strategies that have made us more scalable and available, not just as tax accountants but as multiservice SMB advisors. We remain committed to meeting the evolving needs of our clients and staff.”

BlueRock, with its headcount now pushing 400, was another multiple award winner, crowned as ‘Fast-Growing Firm of the Year’ after recently celebrating its 15th anniversary. Melbourne-based BlueRock professional Michael Howe was named Young Accountant of the Year, awarded to those under the age of 30. The honour caps a big month for Howe, having also been promoted to associate director in recent weeks after first joining as a graduate in 2015.