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Welcome to the 20:20 Innovation webinar series. The themes of the webinars are a mix of general and technical topics to suit the needs of all Russell Bedford members. You can access the webinars either live or through the recorded version, with no limit.

Our team has been working hard to make sure you make the most of your 20:20 Innovation training, which is why from February we will be using the market-leading webinar platform Zoom for all our 20:20 Innovation events!

2024 Practice Management and Development Webinars

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Retention and Recruitment - How to Work With the Best - 1st February

12pm to 1pm GMT - John Borland

Objectives

Understand how to overcome the challenges of retaining and recruiting quality people in our modern world. Dispelling some of the out-dated myths about what makes firms attractive and creates company loyalty, whilst discovering what truly is most influential for your current and future staff.

Key topics

During this session, we will be taking a deep dive into the 4 C’s vital to know for attracting and retaining talent whilst ensuring focus on key considerations such as:

  • The basic human psychology behind retention and recruitment and how to use it to your advantage
  • The importance that connection plays in recruitment
  • How well your current processes are working and what needs to change
  • Dealing with the staff you don’t want to retain.

Who should attend

Partners and managers in practice who are involved in the recruitment process and dealing with the retention and development of current team members.

Slides

Strategies for Practice Success in 2024 (UK version) - 2nd February

12pm to 1pm GMT - Ian Fletcher

Objectives

The world is shrinking and becoming smarter as a result of new technologies and Artificial Intelligence (AI). 2023 saw continuing geo-political problems and economic uncertainty. So, what should accountancy firms do to take advantage of this disruption? In this webinar we will outline strategies for success and illustrate them with examples of firms who are leading the way.

Key topics

  • Industry overview;
  • Setting a strategy for success;
  • Winning formulas to embrace technology;
  • Educating clients on your range of services;
  • Winning new and exciting clients; and
  • Being different!

Who should attend

Partners and managers who are looking to stay ahead of the competition by increasing revenue and improving efficiency.

Slides

Strategies for Practice Success in 2024 (International version) - 9th February

12pm to 1pm GMT - Ian Fletcher

Objectives

The world is shrinking and becoming smarter as a result of new technologies and Artificial Intelligence (AI). 2023 saw continuing geo-political problems and economic uncertainty. So, what should accountancy firms do to take advantage of this disruption? In this webinar we will outline strategies for success and illustrate them with examples of firms who are leading the way.

Key topics

  • Industry overview;
  • Setting a strategy for success;
  • Winning formulas to embrace technology;
  • Educating clients on your range of services;
  • Winning new and exciting clients; and
  • Being different!

Who should attend

Partners and managers who are looking to stay ahead of the competition by increasing revenue and improving efficiency.

Slides

Productivity Maximisation - Cutting out the Distractions - 1st March

12pm to 1pm GMT - Billie Mcloughlin

Objectives

Discover ways to amplify productivity in your accounting practice. This session is designed to shed light on distractions you may not be aware of and offer robust strategies to counteract them for you and your team, as a result, enhancing efficiency.

Key Topics

  • Understanding the true impact of distractions on productivity.
  • Discover some of the most popular productivity techniques.
  • Explore the benefits of a distraction-free work environment.
  • Practical strategies to eliminate common distractions in an accounting setup.
  • Implementing technology to aid focus and reduce interruptions.

Who should attend

Those who often find their workday disrupted by numerous distractions and want to reclaim their focus to achieve their productivity potential, from trainee up to partner level.

How to Structure your Team for Tomorrow - Pyramids and Diamonds - 18th April

12pm to 1pm BST - Gordon Gilchrist

Objectives

Knowing what your firm’s team and client propositions will look like & knowing your firm’s succession plan will give you a strong guide to as to how your firm might best be structured. Knowing whether your firm is best structured as a Pyramid or a Diamond will provide the best platform to support the partners’ vision for their future

Key topics

  • How to go about understanding your team's goals. Once we know our goals, we can start to think about the skills and experience that our team members need to have in order to achieve them.
  • What is the ideal size of our team? The size of our team will affect the way we structure it. If we have a small team, we may be able to get away with a more informal structure. However, if we have, or intend to have, a large team, we will need to have a more formal structure in place in order to keep everyone organised and on track.
  • The current talent market and whether to recruit trainees or experienced team members. Why some firms are choosing to recruit experienced team members (or even tempt them back from retirement) and create a ‘diamond’ firm structure, with school leavers or other types of trainee coming in for future succession purposes.
  • Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of our team members allows us to think about how to best utilise their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. We may, for example, conclude that we need to outsource or offshore to cover certain skills and facilitate personal development of certain team members.
  • Knowing our own culture affects the way we structure your team. If we want a culture that is very collaborative, we might want to have a more flat structure. However, if our culture is more hierarchical, we might best be served to have a more traditional pyramid structure.

The best team structure for us will depend on our specific needs and goals. By considering the factors above, we can start to develop a structure that will help our team achieve its goals and our practice to thrive.

Above all, the 4 disciplines of execution will provide a framework for success.

Who should attend

Partners in practice who are interested in team motivation and a successful client proposition.

Marketing Your Firm - Strategy and Execution - 1st May

12pm to 1pm BST - Dave Goodyear

Objectives

Find out how to make the most of your marketing for your firm. This session will explore the development of a strategy in-line with business objectives while conceding the various marketing channels for you to explore and utilise.

Key topics

  • Understanding your needs
  • How to create an effective marketing strategy
  • Understanding the marketing channels available to you
  • What to do and what to avoid
  • How to effectively execute your marketing plan

Who should attend

For partners and managers in practice looking to either take their marketing to the next level, or just need to know where and how to start.

Mindset - Progress over Perfection - 10th May

12pm to 1pm BST - John Borland

Objectives

Is your inclination to be perfect actually getting in the way of your success and progress? This seminar will increase your self-awareness of your perfectionism, and shift your mindset to empower you to make the progress you truly desire.

Key Topics

  • Understand what ‘being perfect’ really means for you
  • The triggers of your perfectionism.
  • When being perfect is helpful and when being perfect is a hindrance.
  • Stopping your perfectionism from getting in the way of your progress.

Who should attend

Anyone who considers themselves a perfectionist or has perfectionist tendencies in their work.

Being an Effective Manager - 4th June

12pm to 1pm BST - Sharon Cooke

Objectives

While firms may use the term “manager” differently, most firms will have a level of staff that are involved in reviewing the work or others, dealing with clients, managing assignments and generally ensuring that the technical work progresses as smoothly and profitably as possible.

Balancing these different (and sometimes conflicting) pressures can be a real challenge, and so the course aims to highlight the key areas a manager needs to deal with and offer practical ideas to deal with them.

Key topics

  • Setting expectations
  • Knowing your own limits
  • Drafting and controlling the budget
  • Communicating the approach
  • Managing the people and processes
  • Deciding which areas should be reviewed
  • Dealing with problems
  • Sharing skills with the team

Who should attend

The course will benefit anyone currently reviewing the work of others as well as those seeking to progress to this role in the near future.

Review Skills - Effective Review of Work Created by Humans or AI! - 26th June

12pm to 1pm BST - Sharon Cooke and David Norris

Objectives

Accountants are regularly presented with information that someone or something has produced – be that a junior member of the team, an external expert or generative AI. This course aims to provide practical guidance for individuals when faced with such information to enable them to perform an effective review. It will also consider the role of firm-wide procedures to ensure a suitable level of quality control is maintained.

Key topics

The course will cover a range of issues around the efficient and effective review of a variety of work, including tax, accounts and specialist advisory projects. Topics will include:

  • Understanding risk, based on the preparer and the purpose of the work
  • Targeting review time
  • Developing an approach to review
  • Documenting review
  • Review feedback / training tips
  • Drafting procedures for the firm
  • Interaction of Quality Control and Practice Assurance

Who should attend

Partners and managers in practice who review work before sending on to clients.

How to Make Your Practice More Efficient with Integration and Automation - 1st July

12pm to 1pm BST - Billie Mcloughlin

Objectives

Explore integration and automation and how it is essential when trying to achieve a seamless, efficient, and profitable accounting practice. This session will highlight tools and strategies to optimise workflows, saving both time and resources and enhancing team and client satisfaction along the way.

Key Topics

  • Fundamentals of tools required and how to choose them to achieve a streamlined workflow – from clients’ cloud data through to our working papers (and compliance checklists), tax and accounts software and the final output to the client.
  • Identifying potential areas in accounting processes that would benefit from automation, with a key focus on onboarding; from issuing quotes and engagement letters through to the required anti-money-laundering (AML) processes and setting the client up on your customer relationship management (CRM) system.
  • Best practices to ensure data accuracy while automating tasks.
  • Establish the return on investment (ROI) from efficient processes and reduced re-keying of data.
  • Meeting and exceeding client expectations through swift services, added-value reports, proactive advice and enhancing team satisfaction and performance at the same time. Including how to achieve ‘Real Time Information’ for your clients.

While this webinar will touch on AML processes, this is from an efficiency point of view. Our separate AML webinars (see the Risk and Regulation category) should be referred to for the nature of the required processes.

Who should attend

Accountants keen on refining their processes, reducing repetitive tasks, and boosting efficiency through integration and automation.

How to Attract Great Clients and Lose Less-Great Ones! - 16th July

12pm to 1pm BST - Gordon Gilchrist

Objectives

With guidelines from various Institutes and Associations of accountants (in 2022 for ICAEW), the importance of measuring client satisfaction has moved up a notch – not that that should have been a reason, but knowing what your best clients care about, how they rate your firm, whether they are thinking of leaving you and what other services might the be interested in buying seems like invaluable information – information which you can obtain, quickly, efficiently, and cost effectively

Key topics

This webinar will address:

  • How to go about carrying out a client satisfaction survey and give you quality information about your top clients - – a methodology that most importantly, typically gets feedback from 95% of your best clients
  • Benchmarking your own client survey against some of the best independent firms in the world
  • What have other firms done successfully to improve areas of weakness
  • Communicating the results with the entire team and ensuring everybody is on board

Who should attend

Anybody in the practice who is interested in understanding what clients care about and how they rate maximising the value of the business, care about making money. Knowing what can be done (which requires nothing more than knowledge and the right attitude!)

Being a Successful Partner or Sole Practitioner - 25 September

12pm to 1pm BST - Billie Mcloughlin

Objectives

Explore the world of leadership in accounting and overcome the challenges that come with running a practice, satisfying clients, and managing a team. This webinar will dig deep into the challenges and opportunities of running a practice and aims to help attendees gain the knowledge needed to thrive as a partner or a sole practitioner.

Key topics

  • Understanding the responsibilities and rewards of leadership roles.
  • Strategies for client acquisition and retention that will help your firm grow.
  • Explore the best practices of recruiting and models to build your firm on.
  • Identify when to delegate and how to do it.
  • Learn how to lead teams effectively and embed a positive firm culture.
  • Tackling common hurdles and finding out how to overcome them.

Who should attend

Current and aspiring partners, as well as sole practitioners aiming to establish, nurture, and grow their own accounting firms.

LinkedIn Tips and Tricks to Broaden Your Network - 1st October

12pm to 1pm BST - Ashley Leeds

Objectives

During this session, you will gain a better understanding of the power of using LinkedIn as part of your social media marketing strategy. You will learn what you need to do to optimise your personal LinkedIn Profile, how to get better reach with your activity and why creating content isn't just for influencers or creators.

Key topics

People buy from people who they know, like and trust and using LinkedIn with purpose is a fantastic and easy way to build your personal brand so that people know you, like and trust you. When they know that, you’ll get a steady stream of warm leads to your practice.

  • Optimised Profile
  • Framework to use LinkedIn with purpose.
  • Content Ideas
  • Confidence in creating content.
  • Reaching out strategy

Who should attend

Partners, managers, and client-facing staff who hear all this talk about LinkedIn, but are not sure where to start. This session will also dispel those myths that LinkedIn is just another place to find a job.

Stress Coping Techniques - Workplace Tips - 6th November

12pm to 1pm GMT - Dr Hazel Harrison

Objectives

This session explores a new way to think about stress. Unpicking the latest stress mindsets research, Dr Hazel will share the different types of stress responses available to us, consequently providing you with a set of practical ideas to take this learning forward and develop your own resilience toolkit.

Key topics

  • The latest stress mindset research
  • The main stress responses available to us and how to utilise these
  • Practical steps to shift into a ‘stress is enhancing’ mindset when needed

Who should attend

Everyone!

Strategy for 2025 - Competing Against Luck - 13th November

12pm to 1pm GMT - Gordon Gilchrist

Objectives

Of course we could all do with a bit of “lady luck” but we certainly can’t rely on it! As Gary Player famously responded to a voice from the crowd after a brilliant bunker shot “you lucky so & so”, he said to his caddy “It’s a funny thing you know, the more I practice, the luckier I get”.

This webinar will identify the factors that can increase our chances of being lucky – “The more we practice...”!

Key topics

  • Focusing on the things we can control – “we can only worry about the things we can control”
  • Growth strategies
  • Profitability – sustainable to support successive generations
  • Value of the business – the current environment demand is outstripping supply so firms are more valuable today than ever. Do we take advantage? How? Buy, sell, merge? Understand and take advantage (or not) of the typical Private Equity model
  • Team – Doing whatever we can to build and maintain team loyalty – perhaps the most important strategy?
  • Technology – The emergence of Generative AI such as Chat GPT is changing the playing field for both opportunity and risk
  • Risk management – there are so many more risks to consider nowadays, some within our control, some down to luck - Cyber risks, GDPR, (websites, working from home etc) HR, political correctness, economy, interest rates, etc.
  • Persistence pays.

Who should attend

Partners in practice who are interested in succession planning, including the option of selling up

Tax Refreshers and Updates

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International Tax Refresher - Spring - 21st March

12pm to 1pm GMT - Jeremy Mindell

Objectives

The objective is for participants to understand the tax and social security consequences of employees moving across international boundaries.

Key topics

  • Residence
  • Relocation packages
  • Attribution of earnings between different jurisdictions
  • Tax Protection versus Tax Equalisation
  • Social Security challenges
  • Use of Double Tax Treaties
  • Analysis of Expatriate packages.

Who should attend

Professional staff, HR Managers and others who deal with international assignments.

International Tax Refresher - Autumn - 19th September

12pm to 1pm BST - Jeremy Mindell

Objectives

The objective is to update participants on International Tax developments in the past 6 months.

Key topics

Autumn 2024 will see some significant elections including in the UK and the USA. The course will look at potential changes in the International Tax system as a result of potential changes of government. It will also include:

  • OECD changes
  • BEPS 2.0
  • International Tax Cooperation and Compliance
  • Transfer Pricing latest developments
  • Permanent Establishment recent rulings

Who should attend

The seminar will be of interest to anyone who deals with International Taxation either as an advisor or in-house.

Auditing and Accounting Refreshers and Updates

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IFRS Update - 23rd April

12pm to 1pm BST - Clare Jones

Objectives

To cover all recent developments in IFRS and any topical issues within the current economic environment. This session will include any commentary from the interpretations committee (IFRIC) and an overview of the IASB current project plan and timetable for future developments.

Key topics

  • The latest amendments to existing IFRSs
  • New IFRIC interpretations
  • An update on the current IFRS work programme
  • An overview of IFRS S1 and S2

Who should attend

All levels of staff involved in preparing and/or auditing financial statements prepared under IFRS.

IFRS 15 and IFRS 16 Refresher - Revenue and Leases - 14th May

12pm to 1pm BST - David Potts

Objectives

IFRS 15 and 16 remain two of the more challenging of the recently issued IFRS, this session is designed to help auditors and preparers meet this challenge. The objective is to consider the practical application problems presented by these IFRS and to explain, workable and acceptable solutions.

Key topics

  • The 5-step process central to IFRS 15
  • What is a performance obligation and valuation issues.
  • IFRS 15 – problem areas, variable consideration, and multiple deliverables for example
  • IFRS 16 – scope, what is a lease.
  • Valuation of lease liabilities and right of use assets

Who should attend

Accountants and auditors at all levels involved in the preparation of financial statements in accordance with IFRS.

Audit Quality - Getting it Right First Time - 3rd June

10am to 12pm BST - Julia Penny

Objectives

Audit quality is a must and with the new quality management standards in place we have a risk-based framework to guide us. But quality is also about a mindset, or culture. How do we ensure that everyone is doing the right thing?

Key topics

  • ISA 220 Quality Management for an audit of financial statements
  • Key aspects of ISQM
  • How to obtain efficiency and quality in:
  • Creating a culture of right-first-time
  • Creating an action plan to implement learnings
  • Pre-audit preparation
  • Plannin10am to 12pm GMT - Julia Penny
    g an audit
  • Fieldwork
  • Review
  • Completion

Who should attend

Audit Partners and managers, or those responsible for managing or reviewing elements of an audit file.

Goodwill - Impairments under IFRS 3 - 11th June

12pm to 1pm BST - Clare Jones

Objectives

This session will focus on the recognition of goodwill in a cash generating unit and the practical impairment considerations for entities applying IFRS requirements. With economic uncertainty and the impact of climate change, impairments continue to be a relevant and often challenging area for entities.

Key topics

  • Recognising goodwill in a cash generating unit (CGU)
  • Applying the impairment principles of IAS 36 Impairment of Assets to a CGU
  • Considerations of the key assumptions used in measuring the recoverable amount
  • Overview of the key disclosures
  • Key differences with UK GAAP

Who should attend

All levels of staff involved in preparing and/or auditing financial statements.

Audit (ISA) Update and Refresher (International version) - 4th July

12pm to 1pm BST - David Potts

Content coming soon!

Audit Quality - Root Cause Analysis - 17th July

10am to 12pm BST - Julia Penny

Objectives

ISQM 1 (the IAASB’s international quality management standard) requires that Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is performed whenever a deficiency is identified in the monitoring activities (eg cold file reviews). But do you really understand how to undertake a root cause analysis and drive quality improvements in your audits?

Key topics

  • What root cause analysis (RCA) is
  • When RCA is required
    • What is a finding and what is a deficiency.
  • How to undertake RCA
    • Asking “Why, why, why?”
    • Considering category of problems identified
    • Identifying solutions to the root causes
    • Recording and tracking implementation of solutions
    • Examples to illustrate the process.

Who should attend

Audit partners and managers, in particular:

  • Those with responsibilities for monitoring quality within the System of Quality Management for audit and those who are expecting to undertake or supervise root cause analysis.
  • The person with ultimate responsibility for the system of Quality Management for audit, which is the most senior person in the practice.
  • Those carrying out cold file reviews who wish also to be able to conduct root cause analysis.
  • Partners in other areas of the business with a responsibility for quality will also find the course useful.

IFRS Common Disclosure Problems - 3rd October

12pm to 1pm BST - Clare Jones

Objectives

To summarise the most common disclosure problems encountered by preparers in producing a fully compliant set of IFRS financial statements. Being aware of the impact of the changing current economic environment on financial statement disclosures.

Key topics

  • Common disclosure weaknesses identified and discussed by accounting regulators
  • Key disclosure issues identified by audit file reviewers
  • Awareness of disclosures impacted by the current economic environment

Who should attend

All accountants and auditors of all levels who are involved in the preparation and/or audit of IFRS financial statements.

Data Analytics and Advances in Tech for Accountants and Auditors - 9th October

10am to 12pm BST - Franki Hackett

Objectives

Participants should come away with up-to-date knowledge of the latest technology in data, analytics, and AI that accountants and auditors can use to improve efficiency and add value to their firms or clients.

Key topics

  • what new forms of AI like CoPilot, GPT and LLM mean and how they are relevant to automation and audit
  • practical examples of the latest applications and how they enhance the service to clients and improve efficiency
  • benefits both for the accountant and the client when a data-driven approach is taken.
  • guidance on implementing a data-driven approach to accounting and audit

Who should attend?

Managing partner, partners, practice manager, auditors, client managers and those with an interest in practical uses of analytics in a firm.

Deferred Tax - IAS 12 Accounting and Auditing - 22nd November

12pm to 1pm GMT - Clare Jones

Objectives

To understand the key principles in accounting for deferred tax applying IAS 12 and its relationship with the tax reconciliation note in the financial statements.

Key topics

  • The concept of deferred tax and the impact on the financial statements
  • Accounting for deferred tax on temporary differences in common areas, e.g. property, plant and equipment
  • The relationship with the tax reconciliation note
  • Recognition principles of deferred tax assets
  • An overview of the presentation and disclosure requirements in the financial statements

Who should attend

All levels of staff in involved in preparing or auditing financial statements prepared under IFRS.

Risk and Regulation

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Cyber Attacks and How to Protect your Firm and Clients - 8th February

12pm to 1pm GMT - Paul Newton

Objectives

  • Cyber security can be scary, lets take away some of the fear
  • Your people can be massively proactive in helping you stay secure
  • We should take security seriously but need to make sure it doesn’t stop us from doing our jobs.

Key topics

  • Cyber Security
  • Physical breaches leading to cyber breaches
  • Can a Mind Reader steal your information?

Who should attend

  • Owners of companies
  • Managers of people
  • People with access to important client data
  • Those in charge of people and security issues.
Slides
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