At Xero’s UK and Ireland Awards ceremony, Accounts and Legal’s Stuart Hurst was recognised for outstanding achievements during 2020 and the worst of the effects of the pandemic. He bagged the prestigious Xero Most Valuable Professional 2021 title during an online annual awards ceremony hosted by Gary Turner, Xero UK & EMEA Managing Director and comedian Henry Pake.
2020 was one of the toughest years on record for business, accounting, and bookkeeping professionals, and Xero has acknowledged the crucial role they played in keeping not only their clients but the wider UK economy going. A Xero award is an incredible achievement in more normal times, but it’s particularly hard-earned during a period of chaos, disruption, and ongoing economic uncertainty.
Xero’s own research illustrates the enormous pressure accountants, bookkeepers, and accounting app professionals have been coping with during the prolonged effects of the COVID-19 crisis. 43% of small business owners said that their accountant has been crucial to their pandemic survival, and 58% of those surveyed consider their accountant to be their most trusted business advisor. During this tough year, Xero awarded just seventeen titles, with the winners being decided by a diverse panel of judges. They included industry leader Emma Jones MBE (founder of Enterprise Nation), Penny Power OBE (who launched the UK’s first social networking platform for SMEs), Matt Flanagan (Co-Founder and Head Trainer at Appacus) and Sonya Trivedy and Monica Turner (from The Samaritans charity).
Glen Foster, UK Director of Accounting Partners at Xero, commented: “It’s never been more important to celebrate the amazing work of our accounting and app partners who have been supporting businesses through the toughest 12 months on record. They’re the unsung heroes of the pandemic – stepping up to help small businesses through everything from managing cash flow to digitising and finding new ways of working. They will be at the forefront in the next phase of small business recovery.”
Stuart Hurst is a champion for modern accounting practices and communication methods – he fully embraces cloud accounting and uses social media to spread the word in a humorous way. He combines the digital with a human approach to accounting that’s made him invaluable to his clients and seen him rewarded in such a spectacular fashion. Stuart is known for his generosity, his open approach to sharing knowledge, wisdom, and expert advice with both his peers and small business owners.
Stuart was delighted with the win: “I just can’t believe it, I’m on cloud nine – if you’ll excuse the pun! There are so many amazing accountants out there, so to be hand-picked by Xero is beyond my wildest dreams. I’ve got nothing but respect for all the accountants that battled through the worst of last year and the first part of 2021; they all deserve an award. The same goes for the hard-working business owners and professionals we’re supporting. It’s been a tough but incredibly rewarding twelve months in some ways, and I’m just looking forward to getting back to work on Monday so we can continue with what we started during the last year. It’s amazing to be recognised like this, and it really makes all the effort even more worth it.”
Stuart Hurst heads up the Accounts and Legal Manchester branch. He’d already been leading cloud accounting teams at top-twenty firms for several years before joining Accounts and Legal as Regional Director.
The team is dedicated to making accounting useful. Accounts and Legal are platinum certified Xero partners, assisting a broad range of local businesses with everything from taxation to bookkeeping and payroll to payments and receipt processing.