Accountex team sets up for the big one!


New exhibitors. New speakers. New sessions. It’s all systems go. The Accountex team is  in London setting up the UK’s leading event for the accounting and finance profession at London’s ExCel on 23-24 May as we speak!

So here’s a quick reminder of some of the key stats for this year’s exhibition. This year’s Accountex will see:

  • 50 New speakers.
  • 44 Woman speakers (was 18 last year).
  • 280 Speaker sessions.
  • 20 Theatres
  • 235 Exhibitors
  • 106 Exhibitors that are new to Accountex this year.

Everyone’s really looking forward to the Hot Topic Roundtable discussions that are a new feature at the two-day extravaganza.

The next generation of accounting

On Wednesday at  11am, Guy Pearson of Practice Ignition will host a session called “Millennials – The next generation of Accounting!”. Guy tells me: “This panel is going to be a must at the show for all attendees in professional practice to learn what motivates the next generation of accountants as we interview some absolutely amazing firm owners with backgrounds in software, big firms and even VC on the why’s and how’s of their journey and what drives them.

“I’m glad I’m just the host, with the heavy hitters on our panel – thought leaders, market leaders, former software gurus and they’re all millenials running their own firms. Found out what drives them and more at this session, it will be amazing!”

“If nothing else we have an eclectic mix of the best of the millennial accountants at Accountex and hearing their journey, hosted by a recovering accountant with an Aussie accent… What could go wrong?!”

Women in Accountancy

Next up will be Elaine Clark, MD of CheapAccounting with three sessions. Kicking off with “Women in Accountancy” at 1pm on Wednesday (and again at 11 on Thursday) she’ll then move on to “Surviving as a Sole Practitioner” on Wednesday at 3pm.

Elaine says:  “Following on from my successful hot topic sessions at Accountex Summit North I’ll be bringing the same sessions to Accountex London. We’ll be looking at the issues impacting on Sole Practitioners such as coping with the never ending tax changes that continue to hit as well as the fast moving world of technology.

“As part of the Women in Accountancy hot topic sessions, as well as looking at issues such as flexible working and finding a good work-life balance we’ll also be discussing the recent pay survey, which revealed a massive gender pay gap of 21.5 per cent, well above the national average gender pay gap of 18.4 per cent.

Lively conversations

“Apparently male accountants earn an average of £66,646 while Woman in Accountancy earned just £53,688 on average. The difference of £12,958 a year is just unacceptable and I’ll be asking the attendees if they think that the professional accountancy bodies should be doing something about this.

“So all in all we should be having some lively conversations.

“Finally I will be unveiling the Women In Accountancy website; the first web site for Women in Accountancy giving them a loud and proud voice in this still male dominated profession. Watch this space as they say.”

Session on succession planning

Author and speaker Heather Townsend will be revealing the key values and behaviours needed by any potential internal firm successor in her session on succession planning.

Heather says: “Hope is not a strategy when it comes to finding someone to take over your firm. If you want to get the maximum value for your practice at exit, it needs to be able to run without you. Great accountancy firm leaders are not born or made, they are nurtured from an early age.” She’ll be leading the debate on Wednesday at 2pm.

On Thursday at noon, Tony Margaritelli, ICPA chairman, will host a discussion on Making Tax Digital and its ramifications for the sole practitioner. Tony says: “MTD: Who, when and finally how.

How best to implement technology

“These elements will be covered in some detail and we will look at work that needs top be done now to make sure we are ready. Finally, how we can turn MTD from a potential headache to a catalyst for practice change and invigoration.”

Michael Austin, founder and MD of Blue Dot Consulting, will be looking at “Technology Changes and Challenges”.

“The session is an opportunity to help people who are running accountancy practices and finance departments to discuss how best to implement technology, and to get the most out of it,” says Michael.

“The backdrop is the massive technological change going on in our world. We hope to allay a few fears and doubts as to what technology to adopt, and maybe solve a few problems, too.”