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.
CIPFA NE 2020 AGM
On Thursday 16th July 2020 the CIPFA in the North East annual conference was held remotely. Over 20 attendees heard from our President, Jim Dafter, on highlights from his first year in post. This was followed by a summary of the last financial year by Matt Calvert, the CIPFA NE Treasurer; the accounts were accepted by the executive. Reelection of executive members was also agreed at the meeting, with some non-executive volunteers stepping down. CIPPA NE would like to place on record their thanks and appreciation for the help and assistance by those volunteers over the time they have been involved.
Concluding the meeting, attendees heard from two key leaders in the North East region. John Fenwick from Nexus highlighted the major challenges that the COVID-19 outbreak has placed on Tyne and Wear Metro services and finances. Patrick Melia, Chief Executive of Sunderland City Council, also explained the challenges faced from a local government perspective and how they have stepped up to provide services in such an unprecedented situation. Both interviews can be watched online:
John Fenwick: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyndj5OVBQU
Patrick Melia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVzPoiLd_64
Women in Leadership Event
The second 'Women in Leadership' event was held at Northumbria Universitys Hedley Suite on Tuesday 28 January 2020. Attendees heard from many speakers talking about their work, career and personal experiences, providing invaluable tips and advice to empower women to achieve their goals. Some clear themes that emerged from the event were: the importance of mentoring, volunteering and seeking opportunities outside work such as trusteeships, and how we can learn from history about the courage and determination of other women.
After a brief introduction from Judith Savage, CIPFA North East past president, Jaki Salisbury started the day taking everyone through her career path including setting up a new unitary council in Bedfordshire. The next speaker, Lucy Winskell CBE from Northumbria University, following a similar theme, gave an informative insight into her career to date with key messages echoing those of Jaki. After a short break the Rt. Hon Baroness Joyce Quin took delegates through a fascinating insight into her book 'Angels of the North – Notable Women of the North East', from Suffragettes to MPs to local heroines! The last morning session, presented by Charlotte Windebank, discussed challenges she has faced, from humble beginnings on a boat on the River Tyne to running her own business helping connect young entrepreneurs with established business people.
Following a quick lunch break the afternoon started in earnest with breakout sessions covering topics including 'In conversation with....', financial planning and exploring issues and solutions facing women in the workplace. Delegates then reconvened in the main room for the final two sessions. The first, by Jo Smith, centred around career tips from her experience as a partner in a large firm. The final session of the day by Sarah Salter focused on coaching and provided an entertaining introduction, including music and dancing!
Judith wrapped the day up by thanking attendees, along with hosts, volunteers and sponsors who made the second Women in Leadership event a big success.
CIPFA in the North East Annual Conference
Over 90 people gathered for the 2019 CIPFA NE annual conference at the Sage, Gateshead, on Friday 22 November 2019. The day started with sessions around the Northern Spire and its place in the overall development of a primary access corridor between the A19 and Sunderlands Port area, followed by a NHS update around funding challenges and priorities faced by the health service. The next session focused on the UK economy, highlighting the challenges markets and businesses are facing in an unprecedented period of financial uncertainty. Next up, a representative from the North East Counter Terrorism unit provided an insight into the workings of UK counter terrorism along with some sobering thoughts and advice on how to best protect yourself in the event of being caught up in a terrorist incident.
After a quick lunch and opportunity to catch up with colleagues, the focus moved on to public audit with a presentation from the Comptroller and Audit General of the National Audit Office covering the work of the NAO, updates on the Redmond Review and their own strategic review and a summary of the Code of Audit Practice due imminently. 'Leadership and Kindness' was the subject of penultimate session of the day, looking interactively at how a culture of kindness in organisations can reap rewards in terms of higher staff morale and lower attrition rates, to name a few. The day concluded with an update from the current CIPFA president around financial management. This highlighted how CIPFA is working to help public sector organisations in the current financial climate and the need to look at innovative ways of working, with the recently released FM Code. This is designed to provide an indicator of the financial sustainability of public sector organisations.
Thanks to all those who organised and attended the event which proved very popular and was a great success. We hope to see you all in 2020 for our tenth anniversary.
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.