We received a very high quality of submissions over 13 award categories. The awards were adjudicated by an independent panel of judges, experts in their fields and well acquainted with the international accountancy profession. 

The judges were: 

Jon Lisby, founder of Global Alliance Advisory Services, that offers an outsourced global quality management, monitoring, and inspections service. 

Rob Brown, founder of the Business Development Academy, which provides career development training and consultancy for effective lead generation. 

Chris Biggs, managing director at Theta Charted Accountants and Consultants which helps firms navigate and simplify financial reporting. 


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Network of the Year – HLB International  

The submissions were extremely close. The Judges finally selected HLB  for achieving strong growth particularly in advisory services which has been a focus of the network in recent years. This was the network’s 50th year and the anniversary was marked with a considerable number of community projects – 42 in total around the world involving some 8,500 hours. HLB launched its new strategy “Shaping our Shared Future”, strengthening the network’s service offering, technology, working environments and brand.  

Association of the Year – PrimeGlobal  

Again the competition was strong and the judges selected PrimeGlobal for its exceptional year under new leadership, restructuring its global governance and delivering strong growth of over 10 per cent. The association made excellent contributions globally to the professional bodies and to THOUGHT LEADERSHIP, and delivered a remarkable 90 events in 90 days, in the face of Covid-19 challenges. 


Rising Star Association – DFK International 

The judges were impressed with the DFK submission. DFK achieved strong growth particularly in North America, successfully launched an International Women in Leadership group, and a new website with integrated CRM and platforms for online collaboration.  


Accountancy Software of the Year – Xero  

Xero’s software has continued to lead the market in providing full-suite accounting software for start-ups through to SME businesses.   

Its cloud-based services offers a ‘books to accounts’ and now ‘tax solution’ aimed at providing these businesses with back-office accounting processes that may not as yet have full ERP solutions. 


Audit Innovation – Deloitte  

Deloitte’s Omnia D.NAV has been selected as this year’s winner. The system uses sophisticated algorithms to instantly execute valuations and automate related investment audit procedures. Deloitte’s Omnia D.NAV is one of the first global audit platforms to be 100% developed and operated in the cloud.  


Thought Leadership Initiative of the Year-  Praxity  

The winner is Praxity – with the production of the Covid-19 Guide updated weekly, covering extensive information across the G20 countries. 


Professional Body of the Year – ACCA  

The submission covered the association’s global impact through its sustained thought leadership, events and activities. The judges highlighted the work of ACCA’s Professional Insights Team, that is the Covid-19 Global Survey, which attracted over 1 million views and its ongoing structured training programmes.  


Sustainable Organisation of the Year – PrimeGlobal 

PrimeGlobal Planet was an exceptional initiative created to lessen the environmental footprint created by all aspects of their events across the globe.  


Accounting Capacity Building – ICAEW  

ICAEW has worked on over 65 accounting capacity building projects in 30+ countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East over the past 10 years. 


Communication campaign of the Year – BDO Brazil 

The campaign covered a “call to action” for the professionals from the BDO office Belo Horizonte to assist the victims affected by terrible storms in early 2020 that caused floods, the destruction of houses and death in the city. The communication through the firm’s portal was effective, resulting in fast and focused relief being delivered at the outset and later when working alongside the Brazilian Red Cross. The action was part of the firm’s recurrent communication campaign named “5 Minutos para o Bem” (“5 Minutes for Good”), which has successfully delivered support on other occasions, particularly to the city’s more vulnerable population.               


Young Accountant of the Year goes to – Frances Ellington  

Frances Ellington, is the State and Local Tax Practice Leader at HLB’s USA CPA firm, Green Hasson Janks with past experience with Big Four and multinational corporations in Los Angeles and Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. Due to her significant contributions in the community and accounting industry, Frances was a recipient of the California CPA’s 2019 “Women to Watch” award in the Emerging Leader category.  

She is currently a university lecturer and is a leader in the firm’s Women’s Empowerment Committee. She also served a two-year appointment on the City of Santa Monica Audit Subcommittee, where she consulted with the City internal and external auditors on activities of the City and made recommendations to the City Council on audit report findings. The judges were impressed with Frances’s strong leadership at the firm, as well as in the accounting field as a whole.  


Personality of the Year –  Pesh Framjee

The contribution of Pesh to the Charity and not-for-profit sectors over 40 years, including on the ground service in Sudan and Ethiopia, has been exceptional. He helped establish the Charity Finance Group, now with membership from 1,450 organisations and in 2019, Pesh was nominated by the Forum of Firms, recognised by IFAC, to join a working group to developed the world’s first internationally applicable Financial Reporting Guidance for not-for-profits, which has been recognised by IFAC. Pesh has also worked with the Charity Tax Commission and undoubtedly has “a deep rooted commitment to the charity sector”.  

The final award, the Lifetime Achievement Award, was judged by an independent panel of industry experts and was nominated by a number of prominent members of the profession,  to recognise the commitment and contribution of this personality to the development of the industry globally. 

To that end, the DAF 2020 LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD goes to Jon Lisby of Global Alliance Advisory Services              

Jon’s career in the profession started 50 years ago when in October 1970, he entered Articles with Burnett Swayne in Southampton. 

50 years and still going strong, Jon’s impact on the profession over five decades has been immense – leading and growing UK firms at both regional and national level, then switching to the international arena. 

When Jon was appointed CEO of Kreston in 2005, it was an unbranded, low-profile referral association. 

Jon worked to implement a strategy to advance Kreston to a branded network. Such a move had not been undertaken by an association previously. Jon completed the challenge, incorporating a globally coordinated quality monitoring and review process. 

As a network CEO, Jon was instrumental in founding, the now thriving discussion forum for mid-tier networks and associations “the London Executives Group” and he instilled its culture of informality and sharing which remain the values so appreciated by all participants today. 

Following his departure from Kreston International after serving for 14 years, his ambition to strengthen the profession was as strong as ever. He established GAAS and soon built a team of six experienced and well-respected leaders in the profession to deliver the full range of advisory and support services to international networks and associations, a function for which he is well respected by his industry peers. 

50 years may have passed, but Jon retains his total passion for working in the profession and continues to lend his vast experience to the industry as it continues to evolve. 

That concludes our DAF 2020 awards. We would like to thank our judges, sponsors, exhibitors and delegates our virtual event. We are looking forward to engaging with you again next year. 

That just leaves us to say a huge congratulations to all our award winners.