What's going on - CIPFA in the North East

Recent events organised by CIPFA in the North East.

Seventh annual regional conference

The seventh Annual Regional Conference was held at the usual venue of the Sage, Gateshead, on Friday 1 December 2017.

Annual Golf Day

CIPFA in the North East's Annual Golf Day was held on Friday 29 September, at Prudhoe Golf Course. George Clark won the Lady Lambert Trophy.

The Big Brexit Breakfast CIPFA North East Event

The ‘Big Brexit Breakfast North East Event’, hosted at Newcastle Civic Centre on 19 September, proved to be a huge success, bringing together both presenters and delegates from different sectors and professions including the Princes Trust, IPPR (Institute for Public Policy Research), Stirling University, Department of Transport, HMRC, National Audit Office and the Guardian. ver 50 delegates attended.

Anthony Zito, Professor of European Policy for Newcastle University, opened the session with a presentation discussing current negotiations and implications and highlighting key areas of challenge faced by the UK and local government and Universities. His core message was:

‘The UK-EU relationship will not end, but the negotiations outcome will be a test for UK governmental capacity at national and local level.’

Following Professor Zito’s thought-provoking presentation, he was joined by a panel of experts including Julia Goldsworthy, Chair of the Brexit Advisory Commission for Public Services, who chaired the event, David Bell, Professor of Economics at Stirling University, and Anna Round, Senior Research Fellow North East, who all contributed to setting out the critical issues and exploring the detail around the implications of Brexit.

Some of the key discussion points were around:

  • Devolution and a view that post-Brexit public service delivery needs to be more responsive at a local level.
  • Whether a move towards a more federal structure would give a sense of identity within geographical boundaries.
  • Universities - how greatly they will be affected due to their reliance of EU students and staff and how they will need to adapt?

The delegates were left with a sobering thought:

‘556 Days until the UK’s formal exit from the European Union!’

Many questions were asked of the panel. Overall the event provoked a lot of interest, with the prospect of possibly more Brexit events to be scheduled as discussions move forward.

North East Accountancy Awards

Congratulations to the Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums Service for winning the Public Sector Finance Team of the Year Award. More details here.

Understanding the Apprenticeship Levy

CIPFA in the North East hosted a session on Understanding the apprenticeship levy on Monday 12 June at Newcastle Civic Centre. The session was aimed at managers and directors in public services, or those with a responsibility for training and development.

Dan Cutts, the senior business development manager from CIPFA, outlined some of the challenges that are to be faced with the apprenticeship levy and opened up a conversation with the group as to how the Apprenticeship levy can be used to address individual organisation's requirements.

Annual Regional Dinner

On Friday 28 April, 90 CIPFA members and guests attended this year’s Annual Dinner, held at a sparkling new venue, The Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Professional Update session and Annual General Meeting

CIPFA members gathered at Gateshead Civic Centre on Wednesday 15 March for the half-day Professional Update session, and the Regional AGM.

Sixth Form Management Games

CIPFA in the North East's popular Sixth Form Management Games were held on Friday 10 and Friday 17 March.

Faster close breakfast meeting

On Friday 10 February 2017, almost 30 CIPFA members from across the region braved snow-laden skies to get to EY's offices in Citygate, Newcastle-upon-Tyne for a breakfast meeting on faster close of accounts.

Raman Sanghera from EY spoke about EY & CIPFA's initiative to support faster close. EY had an assured managed service covering monthly management reporting, final accounts to trial balance, and templates for final accounts. This linked to CIPFA's final accounts closedown 'big red button', which included project management and workflow mechanisms for the closedown process.

Paul Sheffield from BT South Tyneside talked about his experience of a dry run for faster close of accounts at South Tyneside Council. The key factors were:

  • get everyone on board
  • start planning early
  • review your existing timetable
  • build on what you already have
  • but focus on what needs to be changed.