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 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 the 13th November 8 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!

CPD session and CIPFA education and training update

Around 15 students and employers attended Gateshead Civic Centre on 3 July 2018 for a lunchtime CPD session on five tips for writing about money and five tips for better presentations, which gave an interesting perspective into the many different ways to communicate financial information, both in various written formats and in delivering presentations. This was well received and gave students some good techniques to take away for use in their work, and was especially relevant with regards to the professional experience portfolio (PEP). A copy of the presentation slides can be obtained from the following link: bit.ly/CIPFAgateshead

Following a networking lunch, Aga Jop, Head of Student Services at CIPFA, gave an informative demonstration of the new CIPFA Portfolio system (which will eventually replace the current paper based PEP system), giving students an opportunity to ask some important questions on the practicalities of the new system, and to become familiar with the layout and requirements prior to using it.

North East Accountancy Awards

There were joint winners of the Public Sector Finance Team of the Year Award at the North East Accountancy Awards on Friday 28 June 2018.

Annual Regional Dinner

The CIPFA in the North East Annual Dinner was held at The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on Friday 27th April. 90 CIPFA members and guests attended.

Professional Update Day and AGM

The Professional Update Day and Annual General Meeting took place on the afternoon of 14 March 2018 at Gateshead Civic Centre, preceded by a morning update session for students in the region.

Sixth Form Management Games

CIPFA in the North East's popular Sixth Form Management Games were held at Queen Alexandra College on 9 March 2018, and South Tyneside College on 16 March 2018. Twelve teams and a total of 84 students took part.