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A&L’s Stuart Hurst Bags Top Xero Accountancy Industry Award

15 Mar 2021

Here at Accounts & Legal, we’re delighted to announce that a valued member of our hard-working team was recognised earlier this month with one of the most prestigious accolades in the industry. Accounts & Legal’s Regional Director Stuart Hurst earned the right to call himself Xero’s Most Valuable Professional for 2021 during a glittering ceremony hosted online by the comedian Harry Pake and Xero UK & EMEA Managing Director Gary Turner. 

A tough year for businesses and accountants

Few accountants or business owners would argue against calling the current period one of the toughest in their memory. There have been many unique and unexpected challenges to face. It’s been an incredibly uncertain thirteen months or so for many people out there, and Gary Turner echoed that sentiment before the Xero UK & Ireland Awards ceremony. 

The company’s UK Director of Accounting Partners stressed why accountants have been vital in keeping the UK economy afloat in recent times. “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.”

Read More: How Businesses Can Recover From The COVID-19 Pandemic

Xero’s 2021 Awards: Nine distinguished judges, seventeen coveted titles

Against a backdrop of ongoing COVID-19 measures, Xero’s ceremony went ahead online, with just seventeen coveted titles up for grabs. The event was judged by a broad range of representatives, including Ed Berks, Glenn Foster, Colin Timmis, Amanda Newton, and John Coldicutt from Xero. They were joined by Emma Jones MBE, the 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.  

Read More: Moving From Sage To Xero

A cloud accounting, social media-savvy accountant with a human touch

Stuart Hurst has several years of experience under his belt running cloud accounting teams, but perhaps what sets him apart from the competition – and put him at the top of Xero’s list – is a dedication to an open approach to sharing his expertise and advice. 

Xero’s own research highlights the enormous strain accountants and bookkeepers have been under during the health crisis, with 43% of small business owners saying their accountant has been crucial to their pandemic survival and 58% considering their accountant to be their most trusted business advisor. 

Stuart Hurst is well known here at Accounts & Legal for being a champion for modern accounting practices and communication methods. He embraces cloud accounting and uses social media to spread the word in a humorous way, but he combines that with a human approach that’s made him invaluable to his clients during such an uncertain period. 

He’s delighted to have been recognised by Xero. “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 makes all the effort even more worth it.”

Stuart Hurst

Stuart Hurst is Regional Director at the Accounts and Legal Manchester branch, and his 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. If you’d like more information on how Stuart and the team could help your business, get in touch with him on 0161 8200 200 or try out our instant accounting tool

Keir Wright-Whyte


Managing Director

0207 043 4000

About the author

Originally graduating with a degree in geography from Edinburgh University, Keir claims that he was then tricked into becoming an accountant by one of the UK's top 5 accountancy practices.The deception extended to the usual training in audit and associated activities.

Keir subsequently worked in a number of advisory roles with clients including in the energy trading, pharmaceuticals and financial services sectors.

He loves working at Accounts & Legal because of the variety of work and clients, the excellent team ethos and morale, the importance placed on genuinely helping and being useful for clients and because he believes what he does matters to clients and helps the firm.

Keir's primary role is to ensure that new clients with complex businesses or needs are on-boarded in the best way and he is a "trouble shooter" both for clients and where complex issues arise internally. He also helps the accounting teams strive to improve what we do for clients, whether processes or services.

When not debiting or crediting, Keir has a penchant for fixing old buildings, skiing, surfing and cycling.


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