The Future of Finance is here – AAT’s new-look flagship event

Launching in June this year, AAT Future Finance 2020 will provide insight and inspiration for forward-thinking accountants.

The work required from the accountancy community is changing. Data input is dead. Accountancy is becoming more forward-looking, and the skills required from the accountancy community needs to change with that.

Learning how to use and interpret data

“I was listening to the data analytics manager in an audit practice presenting very eloquently about how what previously took three days to sample is now taking 15 minutes,” says Mark Farrar, AAT chief executive. “The starting point is further up the value chain in terms of data input and manipulation. You need to know how to use and interpret that data, not how you produce it.” 

Research conducted on behalf of AAT by Warwick Economics and Development (WECD) and the Nottingham Business School at Nottingham Trent University found that innovative technologies such as cloud accounting, artificial intelligence and blockchain will continue to revolutionise the accounting industry.  

AAT Future Finance, 18 – 19 June, Birmingham

Insight, ideas and inspiration for forward-thinking accountants
Gain the skills and knowledge to drive change, make business-savvy decisions and define your role as a finance professional at AAT Future Finance 2020.

Find out more

Keeping up with the changes in the industry

These technologies are transforming accounting jobs, but will not necessarily replace them. Accounting professionals will be challenged to keep up with the rapid pace of change. They will be challenged to develop different skills that will be required for the changing industry. 

“Accountants need to stop just looking at the balance sheet and start to help manage the wider business,” says Farrar. “It’s not just about the financial data – all of the wider business information is available through new technologies. “Accountants can use that information to build a more detailed picture of the health of the business, and use that to create better forecasts and give more accurate advice. Individuals need to recognise that and move with it, or they will be left behind.” 

AAT Future Finance – 18-19 June 2020

It’s why AAT is refocusing its conference towards the future of finance. This year’s conference has evolved from the AAT Annual Conference into AAT Future Finance 2020 – an exciting learning experience designed to deliver insights, ideas and inspiration for forward-thinking accountants. The conference reflects the changing role of the accountant and the emerging digital technologies coming into play.

The programme and what it covers

While there are aspects of the programme that are future-focused, there is always a need to stay in the “now” and provide today’s finance professionals with real, practical CPD updates as well. The programme format has also been shaken up and covers a mix of technical skills (including tax and accountancy standards), soft skills (people management/leadership, presentation skills, influencing and negotiation), and business skills (such as strategy and pricing). 

It reflects what accountants and bookkeepers need as well as providing them with a bit of thought leadership for the future. “When designing the programme, we have ensured that it will appeal to those working in practice, running their own practice and those working in industry – and naturally one of the key benefits of conferences like this is the opportunity to meet and network with other members of AAT,” Farrar says. 

Why it matters 

WECD’s report on “The Impact of Technology on Accounting Technicians and Bookkeepers” notes that specific technical skills (i.e. basic accounting and bookkeeping), will continue to be important in the future. In addition, there are other skills that are also seen as being extremely important. These include communication skills, knowledge of ethics and corporate governance, IT and data analysis skills. 

The report states that “a combination of technical, business and soft skills will be needed for accounting professionals in the future to enable them to successfully deal with new technologies introduced in undertaking their everyday activities and the changing workplaces.”   

Don’t miss these sessions at AAT Future Finance 2020* 

To improve your communication skills: 

  • Mastering people management and team leadership 
  • Become a champion presenter 
  • The power of influencing 
  • Take charge of your finance career 
  • Embracing change in uncertain times 

To improve your technical skills: 

  • Michael Steed’s tax clinic 
  • The importance of strategic management accounting 
  • Accounting standards: essential update 
  • AML compliance: are you doing enough? 
  • The secrets to operational cost savings and efficiencies 
  • Brilliant budgeting and forecasting 

To improve your digital skills: 

  • Riding the digital tsunami 
  • Transforming data in Excel 
  • Cyber security: protect your organisation from attack  
  • Meet the future 
  • Developing your advisory skills 
  • Accelerating digital and data in your finance team 

*Programme subject to change

The content team are the owners of AAT Comment.

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