Accountex – the UK’s biggest accountancy exhibition and conference of the year, has unveiled a raft of big name speakers for its 2017 event, which returns to London ExCeL on 10-11 May.
Among them are renowned financial commentator Justin Urquhart Stewart, head of corporate development and co-founder of Seven Investment Management (7IM); Gary Turner, Xero’s UK managing director; Jacqueline de Rojas, managing director of Sage UK & Ireland – Northern Europe; philanthropist Paul Dunn, chairman of B1G1: Business for Good (and founder of the Results Accountants’ Systems and the Accountants’ Boot Camp process); pricing expert Mark Wickersham; Tony Margaritelli, chairman of the ICPA; Steve Checkley, commercial director at TaxCalc; John Hale, senior account manager at NEST; and Mark Purdue, tax product manager at Thomson Reuters.
The full line-up for seven of the show’s 14 theatres, which will host over 180 seminars in total, is now online to view at www.accountex.co.uk/conference, while the Keynote schedule is set to go live on Tuesday 14 March.
Inspiring industry innovators
Thirty years ago, few UK workers could have foreseen some of the technological advancements that now seem commonplace in this digital age. The accounting profession has certainly seen its share of game-changers. Managing these changes in working practices – and figuring out what’s next – is an over-arching theme at Accountex 2017, which will offer real-time insights from industry experts and thought-leaders from across the accounting world.
Gary Turner, Xero’s UK managing director comments: “Whilst in the midst of rapid technological change, it’s imperative that the accounting profession preserves its future by keeping on top of tech skills. During my session at Accountex, I’ll be exploring our recent research into the changing landscape of accountants and small business owners, and Xero’s vision of what the accounting industry will look like in the future.”
“If there’s one ‘must-be-at’ event, surely Accountex 2017 is it,” says B1G1’s Paul Dunn. “In this time of amazing shifts occurring at breakneck speed, here is everything in the one place for you to gain the information and insights you need to create the kind of firm you’ve always wanted – one that’s highly profitable and irresistible from a client perspective,” he says. He’ll be providing accountants and financial professionals with ‘major pointers’ to becoming indispensable to their clients in his show debut.
“The current climate is generating more change within the accountancy profession than any other time I can remember,” agrees Rob Lambden, founder and chief executive of ASP pioneer Online50 – best known for making Sage 50 Accounts first available online. He founded Online50 in 2001, when there was no online accounting industry and before people talked about ‘the Cloud’.
“What’s clear is the rate of change won’t subside any time soon. Not only are there changes in the way people think about the way they do their accounting and who they’re looking for in an accountant, we’ve also got ‘Making Tax Digital’ looming and of course who knows what Brexit will mean.
“Accountex offers the profession an opportunity to gather together to consider these changes and to prepare themselves for their response,” he says.
He’s looking forward to this year’s show, where he’ll be hosting two sessions in the Accounting in Business Theatre (sponsored by CIMA): ‘Businesses will always need accountants (and other myths)’ and ‘Beyond the cloud: Accountants of tomorrow’.
Making tax digital
One topic expected to dominate conversations at Accountex this year is Making Tax Digital. It’s currently the ‘biggest challenge’ facing the profession, according to Mark Purdue, tax product manager at Thomson Reuters. He’ll be hosting two Making Tax Digital seminars on both days of the show in the (Thomson Reuters sponsored) Digital Innovation & Technology Theatre: ‘Making tax digital – countdown to go live’.
“Making Tax Digital (MTD) is undoubtedly the biggest challenge facing the accounting profession. Even so, 87% of accountants feel they need more information and 51% still haven’t spoken to clients about MTD,” says Purdue.
“With HMRC’s public software beta just about to start, and the clock ticking to April 2018 when MTD goes live, now’s the time to get up-to-speed. In my sessions, I’ll be sharing the latest information on HMRC’s digital transformation, its impact, and answering agent concerns in my Q&A session.
“Accountex provide us with another opportunity in the year to meet with many of our software users and have a conversation about their practice and processes, especially around MTD and the specifics, like quarterly updates and agent access. There’s nothing like face-to-face discussion with a captive audience of the very people we create solutions for,” he says.
This year’s visitors (including thousands of accountants, finance directors, MDs, accounts managers, tax professionals, bookkeepers, and sole practitioners) will have plenty of options to find out more about MTD – from every possible angle. Over a dozen sessions and counting have been confirmed to date:
- Making tax digital – countdown to go live: Mark Purdue, Thomson Reuters
- Is your IT ready for digital tax accounting? Gary Jones, Key Computers; & Geoff Matthews, Matthews Business Associates
- HMRC aren’t making tax digital – they are acknowledging that tax is now digital: Michael Wood, Receipt Bank
- Making tax digital – the transformation to a digital first practice: Tolu Ajimoko, IRIS Software
- Accountant of the Future: James Brunton, Prosper
- Making Tax Digital the very latest: Tony Margaritelli, ICPA
- Making tax digital – the compliance challenge (the what, when, why and how of MTD): Jenny Strudwick, IRIS Software
- Making tax digital: Richard Wild, CIOT
- Making tax digital – what every practitioner needs to know: Steve Checkley, TaxCalc
- Value pricing: why making tax digital means you must change your pricing model: Mark Wickersham, Cloud Pricing
- Making tax digital – the opportunities and threats: Ian Fletcher, 2020 Innovation Training
- Making tax digital, not the people: Barry Florida-James & Kilian Fitzsimmons-Wilson, JustAccounts
For full details and timings, please visit www.accountex.co.uk/conference.
“Accountex is always a great opportunity to get up to speed with everything that’s happening in the accounting industry. It’s a chance to meet with peers, and likeminded individuals, who all share one common cause – to help accountants in both practice and commerce,” says popular show speaker Rudi Jansen, founder of Accoa and author of The Highly Profitable Accountant.
Over 6,500 attendees are expected to visit Accountex 2017, which will feature 200 exhibiting companies and 150+ CPD accredited Keynotes, seminars, panel sessions, and interactive workshops.
For further information, and to register for a free ticket to attend, please visit www.accountex.co.uk and use priority code ACX103 (direct link: https://registration.n200.com/survey/01tyd1rdcvlg1?actioncode=ACX103).