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A short update on the UK200Group’s 2017 Annual Conference from Declan Swan UK200Group CEO

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21/11/2017

We have just returned from Newcastle, where we staged the 32nd UK200Group Annual Conference.  It was attended by a record number of member firms, potential members, business partners and software providers. I am now writing to you with an update on last year and a summary of our future plans.  I have also included some announcements that will benefit your firm.

 

Overview

 

Following a very successful meeting of our International Panel on the 15th November 2017, the Conference itself was held across two days during which we heard from a series of speakers on topics ranging from the economy to the finer points of immigration, taxation and digitalisation. Delegates had opportunities to discuss best practice and air their concerns about issues affecting their firms in panel and Q&A sessions.  It is worth noting that our discussion groups were especially interesting and we will publish the output shortly. Moreover, the conference provided informal and formal moments for members to meet and network.

 

Annual Report and Future Plans

 

During my presentation to the conference, I provided a report on our activities over the past year.  This included news that our membership increased by 10% on a like for like basis when compared to 2016.  I reported that we extended our best practice forums and support in the particular areas of digitalisation, human resources and business development. I also highlighted that some of our new initiatives such as the new Management and Leadership Pathways Programme, have outstripped our expectations, and that we have a solid foundation upon which to build the UK200Group going forward. 

 

I also took the audience through our strategic plan for the next three years which placed quality, professional standards and best practice at the heart of our organisation. These will be complemented by more technical guidance for members; more resources and more marketing to help us lever the influence of our brand locally and nationally.

 

Announcements that will benefit your firm

 

As we move into 2018 (the first year of our strategic plan) we announced a number of key measures as follows:

 

1.     From the 1 April 2018, a revamped, more robust Quality Assurance and Standards (QAS) scheme will go live for accountancy firms (Law QAS to follow 2019)

2.     From the 1 April 2018, all members will have access to all Industry Groups bringing high quality materials and promising reach into SMEs/clients

3.     From the 1 April 2018, the UK200Group will become a National Accounting Group within IAPA giving our accountancy members access to their 172 members in c63 countries

 

In terms of more immediate priorities, we are acutely aware of the need to help our members reduce risks arising from cyber-crime and new data protection regulations. With this in mind, we announced that:

 

1.     Our Digitalisation Taskforce has reviewed a range of Cyber-Essentials providers and has selected IASME as the UK200Group’s preferred supplier

2.     We are launching a new forum to provide members with a composite solution to the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). 

 

We will release more information on the above developments in the coming days and weeks.

 

Conclusion

 

The conference’s theme was change, and I think we all understood from the event that the UK200Group is changing. We don’t want to be a good group; our aim is to be a great group.  To do that we need to strengthen our centre, work more closely with our seven excellent business partners and support our members to run ever better practices. That’s why we were delighted that members at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held within the conference, voted in favour of adopting our proposed budget and therefore the afore-mentioned strategic plan.  We will write to you again in the near future to set out what this means to you in more detail.  However, for now, the key message is that the Group is forging ahead with renewed confidence.  We have clarity of purpose and far from being afraid of the future, we are enthusiastically set to embrace change.

 

Should you have any questions about any aspect of this letter, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

 

In the meantime, may I take this opportunity to thank you for your support and I look forward to representing your interests in 2018.

 

Declan


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