What's going on - CIPFA in the North East

Recent events organised by CIPFA in the North East.

This page reports back on recent CIPFA in the North East events. For details of forthcoming events, see our regional Front Page.

Newcastle University Careers Fair

A few CIPFA North East Committee members attended the Newcastle University careers fair held on Monday 14 October 2019 at St James Park football stadium, to promote CIPFA as an established professional accountancy qualification and highlight the opportunities open to those wishing to pursue a career in accountancy.

It turned out to be a busy and interesting day with a steady stream of students requesting information on what CIPFA has to offer, with many unaware that we are part of the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies. It was a great way to get increased exposure for the CIPFA brand and qualification targeted to that particular audience.

CIPFA in the North East Graduation Ceremony

We held our first ever graduation ceremony at the Mansion House in Newcastle on Friday 13 September 2019 to celebrate the achievements of our newly qualified graduates, members and prize winners.

The day started with a drinks reception followed by a speech delivered by past president Judith Savage, congratulating newly qualified students and welcoming them to the CIPFA family. This was followed by a speech from Chris Glennie, Director of Education and Lifelong Learning at CIPFA, who gave an introductory address and proceeded to present graduates and prize winners with their certificates.

Following group photos, lunch was provided and an opportunity to mingle and catch up with fellow CIPFA members. Photos from the event can be viewed here.

Thanks must go to those who organised this fantastic and well-received event, in particular Katy Laing and Judith Savage, and to all those who attended to make it a celebration of ongoing success in the North East region.

Congratulations to all our newly qualified graduates, members and prize winners!

CIPFA in the North East Professional Update Day and AGM

The Professional update day 'Empowering Organisational Resilience' and CIPFA in the North Easts Annual General Meeting took place on the afternoon of 13th March 2019 at Gateshead Civic Centre.

The afternoon started with CIPFA in the North Easts AGM, where Jim Dafter began his two year term as President, taking over from Judith Savage.

Margaret Pratt, a past CIPFA President and member of the CIPFA Ethics working group, gave a talk on 'Ethics under Pressure'. Margaret took us through the results of the recent CIPFA Ethics survey, highlighting the worrying statistics demonstrating the extent of pressure to act unethically that many CIPFA members have felt, most notably in the health sector. Margaret shared her own experiences of this, and you can view the presentation delivered here.

Next, Cliff Dalton, Head of CIPFA Advisory Networks, gave an update on CIPFA's review into financial resilience in local authorities. To set the context, Cliff highlighted that around 65% of the UK government's spending is protected or ring fenced, including the NHS, defence and international aid, and therefore most of the cuts to public services have been borne by the remaining 35%, which includes local government. Local authorities have responding by re-imagining their statutory services, tapping into the flexibility of how these services can be provided. Cliff suggested there was a gap in the Codes of Practice CIPFA issues for local authorities, these currently being; The Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting (backward focused) and the Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities (forward focused), but nothing exists to assess 'where an organisation is now'. The new financial management Code aims to address this. The slides from Cliffs presentation can be seen here.

Lastly, Paul Blacklock from Gateshead hospitals, gave a useful insight into the benefits of organisational coaching, how this differs from mentoring and how a 'coaching culture' has been developed at Gateshead Health NHS Trust. One of the key differences between mentoring and coaching is that mentoring focuses on career and personal development whereas coaching focuses on specific development areas or issues at work. Importantly, coaching helps individuals to learn rather than simply teaching them, this bringing benefits to both the individual and organisation. Paul's presentation can be viewed here.

CPD Event – An Auditor Calls... Getting the most from their visit

Presented by Mike Newberry and Phil Wherry from the National Audit Office (NAO), a mix of CIPFA and AAT colleagues gathered at the NAO office in Newcastle in July 2019 for a CPD session on how to get the most from the visit of an external auditor.

This excellent event outlined the role of the auditor along with many tips about how to get the most from the onsite visit. Mike and Phil outlined how best to prepare for a visit, including what can be prepared before the auditors arrive and what to expect when they are on site.

They also looked at what makes good quality accounts, the evidence required to support the accounts along with the pitfalls to avoid. The evening ended with a tour of the NAO offices and a look at their fantastic view over the River Tyne.

Thanks to both Mike and Phil for a very interesting session and for making us all feel very welcome. A copy of the presentation slides can be obtained by clicking here.

2019 CIPFA North East Dinner

Over 70 CIPFA members and guests gathered for the 2019 CIPFA NE Dinner at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Newcastle on Friday 3 May.

Dinner host Bruce Parvin thanked all the guests present for their support of the event, and emphasised the importance of the support of sponsors Mazars and Engie.

In his inaugural speech, new CIPFA NE President Jim Dafter paid tribute to his predecessor Judith Savage. He also highlighted the importance of effective networking and building relationships with colleagues within CIPFA, and particularly within the North East.

Jim also had the pleasure of presenting two awards, the national Dr Hedley Marshall Award to Bruce Parvin for his longstanding service to CIPFA NE region, and the David Clark award to Jason Smith for his efforts supporting the local CIPFA student network and activities.

Speaking about her pride at being CIPFA National President, Sarah Howard reflected on her longstanding involvement with the Institute, from grass roots level, in the original NE Region which stretched from Berwick down to Yorkshire and Humberside prior to the re-organisation in the late 20th century!

CIPFA’s Business Development Manager Dan West then spoke passionately about SANDS, the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death charity that supports parents who suffer the tragedy of losing a child in such circumstances. The fantastic sum of £570 was raised for the charity.

CIPFA in the North East Annual Conference

Almost 100 delegates from across the North East and beyond gathered at The Sage, Gateshead on Friday 23rd November 2018 for the 8th Annual CIPFA in the North East Conference.

Pizza and Pre-seen

On 13 November eight students who were due to sit the Strategic Case Study exam, led by a member of the CIPFA NE exec, got together over pizza to discuss the ‘Speedwell’ advanced material for the exam.  Students found this session was useful to share ideas and cement their understanding of the case.

Women in Leadership Event

The Women in Leadership conference, organised by CIPFA in the North East, was held at Newcastle Civic Centre on Tuesday 6th November 2018. Helen Dodds from Sellick Partnership blogged about the day.

Mini-golf social

As a break from studying, four CIPFA students engaged in a fiercely competitive game of mini-golf at Parklands Golf Course, Gosforth on Thursday 13 September. 

Despite Team JS-JC suspending the laws of physics on multiple shots, Team LB-LL marched on to a deserved victory by five shots over the 18 holes. Congratulations to Laura and Lauren!