What's going on - CIPFA in the North East

Recent events organised by CIPFA in the North East.

The Impact of Brexit on Public Services - Seminar

On 29th September 2016, Gareth Davies of Mazars shared his thoughts on the impact of Brexit with delegates from across the region at a special evening event at Gateshead Council. 

Gareth set out a balanced, informative and comprehensive analysis of where he thought Brexit may affect public services. He used interesting figures, and there was also an economic summary to date of the impact, set against the backdrop of multiple economic problems that existed before Brexit, such as austerity and banking system weaknesses.

Gareth then talked through his analysis of potential impact in public services categories. The impact was broad, deep reaching and bigger than many of us imagined. Particularly worrying is the potential impact on universities, and given the prominence of universities in the North East, there is just cause for concern.

Gareth finished off with some tough questions for our local leaders, and particularly pertinent was “What is our future as a local area outside of the EU?” There were some probing and challenging questions after his presentation, and delegates seemed to be looking for opportunities as well as uncertain negatives as a result of Brexit.

The event was aimed to provide an opportunity for development and networking out of office hours, therefore we’d welcome any feedback on this or any ideas for future events.

Copies of the slides from the event are available.

2016 Golf Day

Congratulations to Campbell Dearden on retaining the Lady Lambert Trophy. Read more.

2016 North East Accountancy Awards

This year was the 10th Anniversary of the annual North East Accountancy Awards, and CIPFA in the North East once again sponsored the Public Sector Finance Team of the Year Award, and there were public sector winners in other categories as well.

2016 Annual Dinner

The 2016 Annual Dinner was held at the Copthorne Hotel, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, on Friday 15 April.

Professional update event

A Professional Update event – Grow Your Personal Development – was held at the Riverside Centre, Durham, on Wednesday 16 March 2016.

Fifth annual regional conference

The fifth Annual Regional Conference was held at the usual venue of the Sage, Gateshead, on Friday 20 November 2015.

Best Possible Value Regional Launch – Leeds

The Future-Focused Finance initiative held four free regional learning lab events in the autumn of 2015 to introduce finance professionals and their colleagues to value and value-oriented approaches to decision-making.

The learning labs were held at various venues around the country, kindly hosted by CIPFA, including one in Leeds on Thursday 19 November 2015. These interactive all-day workshops introduced delegates to materials that can help approach value and better decision-making in a practical, hands-on way.

The aims of the event were:

  • to familiarise delegates with the decision effectiveness framework and tools that have been developed through the work of the Best Possible Value delivery group
  • to make delegates aware of resources which are available to help you put the framework into practice
  • to help delegates think about how to take the approach into their own organisations
  • to allow delegates to get involved in a wider community of practice, both nationally (through the website) but also linking with others locally as small groups.

Much of the day was focused on working through practical examples together.

More information on the event is available on the FFF website.

Pizza and Pre-Seen Event

Students who were sitting the Finance & Management Case Study exam were invited to this free event at Newcastle Civic Centre on 10 November 2015.

Baker Tilly (RSM UK) – Public Bodies Tax Update Seminar

The seminar, on Thursday 22 October 2015 from 9 am to 1 pm, was aimed specifically at those working at a senior level within finance and HR roles across local authorities, police, fire, ambulance and non-profit emergency service providers.

It was extremely informative and was delivered in a very succinct manner and prompted thought into ensuring internal processes and documentation is fit for HMRC purposes. It was a well spent morning with a very decent lunch provided at no cost to members.

The programme covered:

  • how to get it right when you engage consultants and other self-employed workers
  • the private use of emergency vehicles
  • issues with dual or multiple workplaces
  • new VAT refunds for charitable care and emergency support providers impact on the wider public sector
  • collaboration agreements; and
  • recent pension and VAT updates including supplies of staff.

The programme was delivered by Caroline Rai, Tim Bridgett and Scott Harwood from Baker Tilly Tax Team and they invited John Hanratty from Nabarro (an international law firm) to talk around recent pensions updates and the VAT implications flowing from these. In attendance were representatives from the region’s local authorities including both finance and HR, NHS and CCGs (approximately 20 delegates in total).

The seminar was in response to changes in tax legislation and new case law and gave the opportunity to delegates to keep abreast of the current issues. One of the key streams of the seminar was the importance for finance teams to have robust and efficient systems in place to ensure they are paying the correct tax and VAT, and where possible to maximise their VAT recovery and eradicate any unexpected tax liabilities which could adversely affect budgets.

The key actions to take away from the seminar were:

  1. Check private usage of vehicles held by your organisation.
  2. Check contracts and agreements.
  3. Review spend on consultants – how many and much is spent – are they paid directly or through agencies – if paid directly do they have employee rights?
  4. Review collaborative agreements.
  5. Review how may staff working/attending more than one place of work.

Copies of the presentation slides from the day are available.

CIPFA North East golf day 2015

For 2015's CIPFA North East golf day on Friday 25 September 2015, the location was Matfen Hall.

North East Accountancy Awards 2015

Congratulations to Sunderland City Council and Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for winning the Public Sector Finance Team of the Year Award (sponsored by CIPFA in the North East) at the North East Accountancy Awards on Thursday 25 June 2015.