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ICAEW ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2024

ICAEW Annual Conference

4 October 2024, London

Pre-register now to be the first to hear all about the 2024 conference including early bird pricing and the conference themes, programme and speakers.

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2023 event highlights

2023 themes and takeaways

Technology is rapidly evolving, and AI is entirely transforming the way that we work, communicate, and interact with the world. The first ICAEW Annual Conference focuses on the increasing importance for accountants to adapt and stay at the forefront of technological advancements.
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Inspiration

Leading speakers will provide you with insight and tangible advice on the latest in tech.

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Lead the way

Embrace lifelong learning and leverage important trends in tech.

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Future-proof career

Leverage new technical skills with up to eight hours of CPD.

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Extensive networking

Grow your network by meeting with like-minded tech experts and stay ahead of the curve.

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Tech demos

Experience the latest in tech at our event with partners waiting to demonstrate their latest innovations.

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Carbon offsetting

We recognise that your travel will produce CO2 emissions which is why we have committed to offset your journey.

2023 programme

Experience a full day of curated sessions, connections over lunch and stay ahead with inspiring talks about the future of technology and AI in the accountancy profession.

Please note the programme is subject to change.

Welcome breakfast and registration
07:45 - 08:45
Breakfast session: Transformation through digital auditing | Inflo
David Cox at Haysmacintyre will take delegates through their experience of implementing Inflo’s digital audit platform, and how it has helped them to transform their business and processes.
08:00 - 08:30
Chair's opening remarks | Sasha Qadri, Broadcast journalist and presenter
08:45
Formal conference open | Paul Scully MP
08:50
Welcome address | Iain Wright, ICAEW
09:05
Keynote: Will ChatGPT take my job? | Nir Evron, Microsoft
The accountancy profession is often cited as one of the professions most at risk from the next generation of AI. Is this just fear mongering? Will new technologies such as ChatGPT really be the demise of the profession or just another string to our bow?
09:15
Working towards a net-zero future | Nat Pullin, Fujitsu
To meet rising stakeholder demand and regulatory requirements, finance leaders need to be upfront and transparent about how they are managing ESG risks, meeting goals, and integrating sustainability into strategy. Tech has become a major enabler in the world of ESG reporting with over 99% of public companies expecting to invest in ESG tech reporting tools in 2023. More than ever finance professionals need better insights on how tech can help with ESG reporting, disclosures, corporate strategy and operational transformation. In this session we will explore through practical use cases how leading companies have been implementing AI powered analytics to provide decision makers and stakeholders with real time access to information on ESG performance.
09:55
Keynote: Trending tech and making the most of AI | Zoe Kleinman, BBC Technology Editor
10:35
Break
11:05
Accounting for ESG: The where, when and what | MHA
The role of technology and Artificial Intelligence in business means different things to different people. In this session, experts from MHA will talk about their perspective on the importance of AI in audit and its relevance in the ESG landscape – and how they have harnessed the opportunity of AI and mitigated the risks. Accountants have a critical role to play between clients and technological advancements - where we get involved, when we get involved, and what we get involved with are all fundamental within the era of AI. Technology is positively transforming the way auditing is conducted, but it is no replacement for the skills and informed judgement of a finance professional.
11:30
Finance transformation in a digital world - the hype vs reality | David Anderson, Deloitte
Over the last few years, we’ve been consistently told that the impact of digital was set to transform the way finance functions serve the business. Investment in technology by CFOs grew on the promise of automated transaction processes with AI and analytics placing finance at the heart of decision making in the business. But how much value has actually been created? In this session, David Anderson will be joined by Finance leaders from leading consumer-facing organisations to explore the realities of digital transformation for finance functions, they will explore two potential finance function dichotomies, and discuss whether in the future the role of a CFO is needed at all.
12:10
Green Accounting – shaping the net zero pathway | Auditel
In today’s world, the urgency to adapt and respond to the global push towards sustainability is paramount. As stewards of financial integrity and business strategy, accountancy professionals have a huge role to play in crafting a greener tomorrow. This illuminating talk dives deep into the pivotal role that technology and data play in transitioning businesses and accounting practices towards a net zero future. This talk will not only inspire but also arm you with actionable insights to start and continue on your transition journey and to lead in the age of green accounting and shape the future, one ledger at a time.
11:35
How to get the most from your Cloud investments | Will Farnell, App Advisory Plus
The accountancy profession seems heavily invested in the cloud – or is it? Are we really fully adopted; if you’re heavily invested, are you achieving the benefits you expected? Has your investment been targeted in the right places, providing the right outcomes and objectives? Most importantly, are your team on the journey with you? The cloud ecosystem can be overwhelming. How do you get the most out of the tools you’re already using – driving efficiency in your own firm and identifying opportunities for improvement in your clients’ businesses? How can you drive new revenue streams through technology-led services?
12:15
Lunch
12:50
Optional sponsored lunch sessions with seating: A) Cloud Audit with Caseware OR B) Digital transformation for accounting and finance - Driving adoption for future success with BlackLine
13:00 - 13:30
Session A) Cloud Audit with Caseware
Over the past few years, auditors have had to adapt their working methods to embrace remote working and promote effective team-client collaboration. Several firms have adopted cloud technology to promote a stronger and more streamlined approach to their audit production, however, there are still many firms who are reluctant to make the switch. This session will offer a deeper dive into how audit firms can thrive using cloud technology, what the remote working landscape currently looks like and how to deliver training and reviews virtually. We will also look at and discuss how cloud software can help firms enhance their cyber security and beat the skills shortage by encouraging new recruits and reducing staff turnover.
Session B) Digital transformation for accounting and finance - Driving adoption for future success with BlackLine
The human factor is often ignored when considering process and technology changes; however, people are a key element in driving the success of digital transformations. Nevertheless, accounting and finance professions have responsibilities here too: learn and embrace the technology as well as the new automated process. Seeing the big picture and how these changes will make them successful can be a challenge for those with the “if it's not broke, don’t fix it mentality”.
Driving digital transformation by connecting Close to Control | FloQast
Finance and accounting teams are focused on transforming their operations to deliver faster and more accurate financials in addition to the capture of controls to drive audit-readiness. In this session, you will learn why in spite of heavy investments in technology, over 51% of accounting teams say that they are in desperate need of modernisation across their Close processes. Companies that manage their control environment, either to mitigate the risk of fraud or for regulatory compliance, face a material impact on cost and resources. Join Hugh O’Neill, Senior Sales Engineer at FloQast (former Financial Director), as he discusses these challenges. Learn how transforming key areas with a Close, Connect and Control approach can drive measurable results in a quarter or less.
13:50
Forging a powerful partnership: Taking the pain out of automation and integration | Accounts IQ
In a landscape where 58% of accountants face manual task burdens, embracing this software solution becomes essential for growth. Partnering closely with firms and clients, AccountsIQ offers an integrated and scalable approach, going beyond mere product acquisition. Discover the untapped potential of financial management software with Mark Hollingworth, Head of Partnerships at AccountsIQ. In this session we’ll delve into automation, streamlined processes, enhanced efficiency, and improved decision-making to gain a competitive edge in the mid-tier market. Seize this opportunity for a brighter future and optimal financial management.
13:55
Discover Xero's App Store to help you and your clients thrive | Xero
Dive into Xero's App Store with Digital Transformation Consultant Lee Northfield and discover: What is the Xero App Store - How to select and implement the right apps to help with practice efficiency - What help Xero can provide to help ensure you and your clients thrive.
13:55
AI: from fantasy to reality | Tax Systems
2023 witnessed an unprecedented emergence of generative AI, notably chatGPT. Its capabilities extend beyond writing poems or songs, raising questions about its utility in practical fields like Taxation. To explore this, we've critically evaluated chatGPT's potential in handling VAT and Corporation Tax cases. The analysis revealed both its proficiency and its limitations, providing valuable insights for future tax strategies. However, this technology brings inherent risks and uncertainties. It's essential to recognise and navigate these potential pitfalls carefully, and further investigation is crucial. The impact on tax practitioners can't be overlooked either. As we integrate this advanced technology, understanding its implications for those working in the industry becomes paramount to ensure effective usage and to mitigate potential disruptions.
14:30
Using technology to harness the growing potential of mid-market outsourcing | Xledger
Peter Hucker will be discussing the growth of finance outsourcing in mid-market organisations along with Rob Howard from Accurise. During this session they will talk about the developing international trend towards mid-market outsourcing, the role technology plays, and the opportunity this creates for accounting practices and their clients. This session will also examine what data and technology needs mid-market clients most often have, how those needs differ from smaller clients, and why leveraging the right technology is a crucial component in meeting this demand.
14:35
The AI advantage: steps to future-proof your practice | FreeAgent
With artificial intelligence (AI) emerging as a hot topic in the accounting industry, it’s vital to recognise the opportunities it presents, along with the potential pitfalls. Join FreeAgent’s Tony Stevenson FCA to get the real scoop on what’s happening and how you can lay the foundations to collaborate with AI technologies. He’ll discuss the current state of AI in the accounting industry; predictions on the practice of the future and how FreeAgent uses AI to enhance features with you and your clients in mind.
14:35
Break
15:00
Technology, audit quality and professional judgement | Franki Hackett, Engine B
Technology is transforming the way auditing is conducted in terms of quality and effectiveness, providing deeper insights for the business to manage risk. AI powered data analytics elevates performance, provides greater value to the organisation, and increases the credibility of internal and external auditors with their stakeholders by providing them with a higher level of operational assurance. However, technology is no replacement for the skills and informed judgement of a finance professional. In this session we explore through the lens of auditors and audit committees, practical use cases of the technologies that are transforming the audit profession, the practical challenges in implementing these and the critical role for professional judgement in the era of AI.
15:30
Future-proofing your business with an all-in-one finance solution | Xpedition
Join this session to hear from Steve Georgiou, Senior Business Manager at Xpedition, who will cover: challenges faced by Finance leaders; how have requirements changed – then and now; a single source of data to inform and drive business change; the benefits of an all-in-one platform for finance underpinned by Microsoft Business Central; the role of AI in Finance and Operations and why Xpedition is a trusted technology partner.
16:10
Audit technology unleashed: Navigating advancements, challenges, and consequences | Confirmation
In the ever-evolving landscape of auditing, technology has become a transformative force. Audit firms today confront growing pressure to harness the power of technology in their practices. The horizon is rich with possibilities, from data analytics to artificial intelligence, each offering an opportunity to revolutionise the audit process. The question is, how much further can audit technology advance, and what considerations must firms bear in mind as they journey through this digital transformation? In "Audit Technology Unleashed," our expert panel will engage in a thoughtful discussion of the role of technology in audit, its ongoing evolution, the challenges intertwined with its selection and adoption, and the risks and inefficiencies that surface when technology is haphazardly or inconsistently integrated.
16:15
Keynote: Taking your team on the technology journey | Lola Abitogun, Founder, Alchemy HR
Technology has the power to transform the way we work and can have a significant impact on employee experience, employer brand, and employee retention. However, in order to realise these potential benefits, employees need to embrace the technology and the associated change. In this session, Lola Abitogun will explore why technology is so important for employee experience, paying particular attention to younger workers entering the workforce and the implications of getting this right or wrong. The session will also provide a framework of how to take employees on a technology implementation journey with you, in a non-threatening way that encourages participation and increases your chances on success!
16:50
Closing remarks | Malcolm Bacchus, Deputy President, ICAEW
17:20
Networking and drinks sponsored by Allica Bank
17:30-19:00
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Fancy a chat? We're here for you

If you need to unplug from all things tech and have a chat about something on your mind, we can help you lighten the load during a 15-minute confidential session with one of our very own support officers.

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Carbon offsetting

We recognise that your travel to this event will produce CO2 emissions, which is why we have committed to offset your journey by financing our chosen certified climate projects in areas where we can make the most impact, contributing to several of the UN SDGs. We are dedicated to reducing our carbon footprint and promoting sustainable development.

Our Speakers

Lola Abitogun
Lola Abitogun Founder, Alchemy HR

Lola started her career as a Graduate Tax Advisor and went on to qualify as a Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA) and Chartered Tax Advisor (CTA) during her time at Deloitte. However, having discovered her passion for Human Resources (HR), in 2017, she made the decision to make a career change into HR. She quickly progressed in the HR space and in 2021, founded Alchemy HR, a boutique HR consultancy specialising in helping clients to build high performing HR teams. Her clients include some of the most impressive start-ups and scale-ups across crypto, marketing and fintech industries. Lola also advises employers on how to attract the best young talent. This advice is often unpinned by her Masters degree dissertation research project which focussed on employer attractiveness to Gen Z employees.

Profile image of Will Farnell
Will Farnell Founder of App Advisory Plus

App Advisory Plus is the UK's leading independent directory of accounting integrated apps and software platforms with a highly engaged audience of accountants and individuals who are looking to review and recommend accounting integrated apps and software platforms. Will is author of the Digital Firm, consultant and mentor to accounting firms looking to deliver effective digital transformation in their firms. A regular speaker in relation to how accounting firms can leverage technology to achieve practice growth and delivering consulting services to firms of accountants supporting them in becoming a digital practice.

Nat Pullin headshot
Nat Pullin Head of Practice - Sustainability, Fujitsu

During her time at Microsoft she worked with global organisations to activate their cultural, business and sustainability transformation working on projects such as carbon accounting for assured data, net-zero measurement, water management and inclusive workplaces. In this decade of action, Natalie believes that digital technology has a critical role to play in scaling impact as we broaden the breadth of data collected and move from disclosures to using sustainability data for business activities.

It was really valuable to have this clear space to pay attention to the speakers in real life and to chat to fellow attendees...Wouldn't have got this in a virtual conference.

Analytics Live 2023 delegate

Amazing event as always provided by ICAEW, look forward to the return of in person events.

Virtually Live 2021 delegate

A really thought-provoking and inspiring event which showcases the range of opportunities available for those of us working in practice.

Practice Conference 2019 delegate

There was a great mix of speakers and topics, a chance to listen to the latest thoughts and to reflect on the way forward both personally and for the business.

CFO Conference 2019 delegate

In partnership with

ICAEW works with global companies that support the finance profession to bring you the best events possible.

Headline Partner: MHA

Session Partners: Accounts IQ, Auditel, Blackline, Caseware, Confirmation, FloQast, FreeAgent, Inflo, Tax Systems, Xero, XLedger, Xpedition

Exhibition Partners: Allica Bank, Circit, Howden, Marsh Commercial, Mitigo, MyWorkpapers, Quadient AP by Beanworks, Sage, Swoop, Workday

Supported by: Engine B, Microsoft

MHA Bakertilly logo AccountsIQ logo Allica Bank auditel logo BlackLine logo CaseWare logo Circit logo Confirmation logo Engine B logo FloQast logo FreeAgent logo Howden logo Image of inflo logo Marsh Commercial logo Microsoft logo Mitigo cybersecurity logo MyWorkpapers logo Quadient logo Sage logo Swoop logo Tax Systems logo Workday logo xero logo Logo of Xledger Xpedition

Disclaimer

The opinions expressed by external guest speakers in interviews or other publications included on this website are, by their nature, those of the speaker. They are not necessarily fully endorsed by ICAEW or purport to reflect the official policies and views of ICAEW or its members.

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