Entry Information


To be eligible for the NAB Professional Services Awards, your firm:

1. Must be an Australian Accounting, Bookkeeping, Law or Conveyancing firm*
2. Must have annual or expected annual revenue of under $30m in the FY2018

*Note: If your firm is a part of a franchise or network of firms which operate independently under a common brand, each practice must submit a separate application. For the purposes of your application to the 2018 Professional Services Awards, the individual practice’s revenue is relevant, not the total franchise or network revenue. 


Andrew Conway, CEO of the Institute of Public Accountants

"[The Awards] are unique because they are entirely judged by the clients of those practices...Why don't you enter and just see what could happen?"

Categories & Judging

Professional Services


Firms are ranked based upon a weighted average of quantitative metrics and the sample size of a firm's respondents within a particular category.

While sample size requirements are dependent upon the competitiveness of an individual category, a good rule of thumb is to aim for over 30 respondents in a category to ensure you're in with a good chance.



Categories depend upon your clients. Client responses will be primarily segmented into Business and Private categories, depending upon the nature of the client's matter or project being surveyed.

There may be further segmentation of categories, and in some instances categories may be amalgamated. This will depend upon the volume of applicants and respondents in each category.

Lisa Dowie

Lisa Dowie, Chief Customer Officer of PEXA, on why PEXA supports the Awards

"We know that our PEXA members will derive great professional and marketing benefits from participating...even more so if they reach the finalist and winners rounds"

How to Enter

1. Sign up for an account at FirmChecker who power the Professional Services Awards
2. Set up your firm's profile and begin sending surveys to your clients
3. Continue collecting feedback across the year to go towards your firm's submission

Frequently Asked Questions


NAB is the Principal Partner of the Professional Services Awards. NAB is proud to support these awards, and to help recognise the outstanding contribution of Australia’s professional services firms to the small to medium business sector – a key driver of our economy.

The Awards research is conducted independently by FirmChecker, a separate and unrelated company to the National Australia Bank. 

Simple. Unlike other awards in the professional services space, they are judged purely on client feedback. This means that participation is worthwhile for everyone – whether or not you win, you’ll get a great handle on exactly what your clients think about the service you are providing. You also don’t need to submit lengthy proposals to a panel – after the short sign-up process you’re ready to go and collect feedback across the year.

Win, lose or draw, you’ll learn a lot.

No – in consultation with stakeholders, we have decided that winners and finalists can enjoy the benefits of their success without an Awards event, which would impose travel time and costs on many applicants.

Winners and finalists will be announced on the NAB Professional Services Awards, FirmChecker and NAB websites – ensuring that your success is celebrated in front of the people who matter – your clients.

We also encourage you to make the most of your Award! Finalists and Winners will receive an Awards certificate for foyer display, and NAB Professional Services Awards Finalist and Winners banners which can be used in email footers, client pitches, your website, advertisements, social posts, social banners, physical banners, billboards, and all means of celebrating! We encourage you to get creative. 

National winners will also have firm profiles written by an independent journalist, which will be featured on our blog, referenced by the National Australia Bank and are often featured in local news and trade publications. This is excellent for appearing in Google searches (SEO) and creating awareness about your firm, so you can get more clients. It will also instil confidence in your existing client base, and boost staff morale. 

An enormous amount can be made of the publicity with a few simple steps. 


Accredited law, accounting, conveyancing and bookkeeping practices with annual revenue under $30m are eligible to apply.

Note that if your firm operates within a franchise or network of firms, each practice within the network is encouraged to apply separately. This includes circumstances in which the entire network has over $30 million in annual revenue; provided your individual offices entering don’t exceed that amount.

Surveying for the Professional Services Awards runs year round so to maximise your chances of success and to collect as much as feedback as possible we recommend you get signed up today. 

Award categories will be segmented by:

  • Profession
    • Law
    • Accounting
    • Bookkeeping
    • Conveyancing

  • Client Type
    • Business
    • Private

  • Geography
    • National
    • States/Territories

Depending on the volume of entries and survey responses, FirmChecker may Award firms based upon individual work types/practice areas.

Yes. If, at the time of judging the Awards, your sample is insufficiently large for one office, we will combine it with your other office(s).

No. This will be judged automatically based upon the feedback you receive.

Only if you win, or are named as a finalist.

Each franchisee or network office can enter the Awards separately. This will give you better segmentation and a better chance of winning. Please make sure you adhere to the eligibility requirements though – each franchisee or network office must have under $30m annual revenue, exc. GST. 

It’s your responsibility to ensure the information you enter is correct.

In most circumstances we will be able to assist you. However, if this mistake runs close to Awards deadlines, a high volume of enquiries might mean we can’t resolve your issue as quickly as we would like to. 

If the mistake is critical, please email admin@professionalservicesawards.com.au or call +61 414 144 300.

Awards Research & FirmChecker Surveys Feedback Tool

The Awards are client judged, and you drive the research out of your dashboard. It’s fast, easy and rigorously designed. 

After a simple set up process (for which we have video tutorials), you simply upload your list, click send and watch the results come in. You’ll see high level metrics of engagement with your survey including Bounce, Open, Click and Complete Rates. When you want to remind your clients to complete the survey, simply click “Remind”.

‘How it works’

Our questions are designed based on 15 years of market research from our sister company, Beaton Research + Consulting. They capture key drivers of satisfaction for buyers of professional services.

While we don’t share the exact survey ahead of time, here is a detailed breakdown of the types of questions:

  • High level demographic questions:
    • Work type
    • Matter type
    • Business or Private Client
  • Key drivers of satisfaction questions (rating):
    • Reliability
    • Communication
    • Expensiveness
    • Understanding of client needs
  • Key outcomes in satisfaction (rating):
    • Value
    • Willingness to recommend
    • Overall Experience
  • Open ended questions inviting clients’ comments on:
    • What the firm did particularly well
    • Areas in which the firm can improve

You are encouraged to let your clients know beforehand that they will be receiving a survey invitation via email – it helps with response rates. 

To be competitive, you’ll need >30 responses within a given segmentation (see above “Awards categories”). 

Depending on the nature and engagement of your clients, send times and cleanliness of your list, you can expect a response rate of around 20%.

This, however, can vary significantly due to the variables mentioned above. In previous years, we had response rates as low as 5% and as high as 50%. 

There are several ways you can ensure you get a healthy response rate. These include:

  1. Sending your invitations at a time when your clients will check their emails soon after. This depends on who your clients are, but think about their habits.
    • For example, are they office workers? What seniority level? Send at a time when they’re likely to be checking emails. A good rule of thumb is around 10am from Tuesday to Thursday, to avoid the morning rush and people who have taken extended weekends. There are no hard and fast rules, but this sort of thinking can help.

  2. Notifying your clients ahead of time.
    • If you have regular contact with your clients, tell them the survey is coming, and that their response will help you to improve, and help them get better service. This is a great opportunity to have a dialogue with your clients. 

  3. Ensuring your list is up to date.

  4. Taking the effort to update your DNS records. 
    1. When you sign in, you’ll be prompted to update your DNS records and given detailed instructions on how to do it. This will be a very straightforward task for your IT Manager/Contractor, and if you don’t have one, we’ve given you DIY resources which should make the process easy for you to DIY. 
    2. This enables you to send your clients personalised survey invitations from your own email address. While you can use our generic domain, it will substantially reduce your response rates because your clients won’t necessarily recognise us.



Yes. If you’ve dealt with several people from a client organisation, you can seek feedback from all of them. 

Yes. If you wish, you may “enter” for use of our feedback tool and exclude yourself from consideration from the Awards. You will still receive a benchmarked client feedback report at the conclusion of the survey, and access to ongoing use of our feedback tool if you subscribe.

If you would prefer not to be considered for an Award, please email Marc at marc.ewen@firmchecker.com to have ensure you are removed from consideration, but that you would still like to use the feedback tool. The sign-up process is the same.

Feedback Reports

Everything your clients say. We don’t hold anything back. You’ll also have access to industry benchmarks.

After the winners are announced, we’ll release all feedback reports to your dashboard. When you click ‘download’, it will be emailed to your registered email address.

Privacy & Confidentiality

You are only required to upload email and first name of your clients. This data is encrypted, and only you can see it, much like any email tool (Outlook, Gmail, Zoho), CRM (e.g. Salesforce, Infusionsoft) or Practice Management System (e.g. LEAP, Actionstep). 

Yes. We allow clients to remain anonymous to ensure that responses are frank. They will appear in your feedback report as “John Doe”. Typically only 20% choose to remain anonymous. 

About FirmChecker

FirmChecker is the owner and independent researcher of the NAB Professional Services Awards. Our mission is to help professional services firms and their clients do better business; by creating open and transparent dialogue. 

Like TripAdvisor for tourism and Zomato for restaurants, FirmChecker will help professional services firms amplify their messages to their target market, using client feedback to improve their service and value in a hyper-competitive market.

Using FirmChecker beyond the Awards will help you get ongoing leverage of your raving fans in your target market.

No. It’s up to you whether or not you wish to participate. 

  1. A critical mass of positive & representative word of mouth online, that you know has come from real clients. Anyone can leave a review on Google.
  2. Inexpensive lead capture and marketing.
  3. Continuous client feedback; helping you keep your clients happy and stay a step ahead of your competition with market-driven ways to innovate and improve.
  4. The ability to publicly respond to reviews.

Terms of Entry