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14 March, 2024

Insights and Updates from Festival of Accounting and Bookkeeping 13-3-2024 

14 March, 2024

The recent accountancy conference I attended brought to light several critical updates and changes that are on the horizon for the accounting profession, particularly regarding the Companies Act and its upcoming amendments. As we navigate through these changes, it’s essential for all clients to be aware that we are entering a period of increased regulation and compliance, especially with the significant rise in filing fees set to take effect from 1 May 2024. The ease of filing confirmation statements and forming companies in the UK is expected to see a shift, demanding more rigorous compliance efforts from all involved. 

Interestingly, when we compare the formation fees in the UK to those in other countries, even with the forthcoming increase, they remain relatively affordable. Some countries mandate a minimum capital requirement, a step seemingly overlooked in the UK’s approach. While designed to curb fraud, it’s a reminder of the diverse regulatory landscapes across jurisdictions. 

Chris James delivered an enlightening presentation on leveraging LinkedIn effectively and shared insights from his life journey, emphasizing that the path through life and career is never linear. Every interaction holds the potential to lead us in new and unexpected directions. 

Katie King provided an update on the future of AI in accounting, discussing the anticipated advancements in Xero, Jax, and offerings from tech giants like Google and Microsoft. Her presentation underscored the transformative impact AI is expected to have on the accounting industry. 

A highlight of the conference was catching up with fellow accountants and discussing various software solutions and industry trends. Conversations with Rezza, Aron, and others revealed a common concern over the cost of Iris software and the search for comparable yet more affordable alternatives. This highlights a crucial consideration for many firms: ensuring continued access to data when transitioning between software providers, a factor that’s often overlooked. 

I also had the pleasure of meeting Tim, who was keen on exploring Xama for AML training and had a chance encounter with its owner. Additionally, Johan’s engagement with the My Accountant podcast caught my attention, showing the value of staying connected with industry insights through various media. 

While this year’s event was smaller in scale, it provided a valuable opportunity for meaningful conversations and catch-ups, including a personal highlight of visiting my daughter at Aston University, where she’s in her final year. 

Overall, the conference was a reminder of the importance of staying informed, adaptable, and connected within the ever-evolving field of accountancy.