The AAT Annual Conference 2018: as seen on social

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It’s the tenth anniversary of AAT Annual Conferences, and there can be no doubt that this year’s event was right up there with the biggest and best yet.

And in an increasingly digital age, our member delegates didn’t hesitate to share their experiences of the conference on various forms of social media, using the dedicated hashtag #AATConference.

Here’s just a taste of how social viewed the celebrations as the AAT Annual Conference moved into its second decade.

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Build-up gathers momentum

Ahead of the Conference, speakers Emma Rose and Andi Lonnen shared member suggestions around the myths of accounting while delegates – some 300 of them – were busy buying tickets, and finding out whether they’d made the shortlist for the Professional Member Awards.

Right around the corner

As the Conference day dawned, our sponsors, speakers and suppliers were keen to let you know exactly where you’d be able to find them!

Come say hi at the randd stand ? #aatconference #randduk #realitycheque

A post shared by randd uk (@randd_uk) on

Hitting the ground running

The 2018 AAT Annual Conference started with members from across the UK descend upon the stunning De Vere Beaumont Estate in Windsor on Thursday 7 June.

And many of you were keen to make your presence felt, as the Conference opened with a Sue Tonks networking session, opening address from AAT President Nicky Fisher, and keynote speech from HMRC’s Penny Cieniwicz.

Work…shop, eat!

The morning sessions continued with our first series of workshops – featuring Karen Thompson on payroll legislation, Duncan Brodie speaking on building a high-performance finance team, ex-AAT President Henry Cooper answering practice questions, and Darren Shirlaw future-forecasting the accountancy landscape. An excellent lunch followed on from these talks.


Oliver Fisher of HMRC’s Making Tax Digital session proved popular after the lunch break. Elsewhere, Shane Lukas of AVN enlightened other delegates on building a £1m practice, Andrew Scrivens gave an IR35 update and Steve Collings discussed minding the UK GAAP.

Cooley and the Gang

The last workshop sessions of the day saw talks from Ian Cooley on GDPR, Sam Ellis talking about being integrated and analytical, Stanley Payne discussing R&D tax credits and Toni Trevett providing an employment law update.

Having a ball

As Henry said, delegates now got a well-earned rest (or walk!), before the glitz and glamour of the evening gala dinner! Selfies appeared to be the order of the day…

Awarding success

The second AAT Professional Member Awards proved the highlight of the evening. Seven awards were handed out, including AAT Champion, Rising Star and Branch of the Year.

A new day dawns

The late night and overcast weather didn’t dampen the enthusiasm for learning as we moved into day two. While Oliver Fisher and Brian Palmer took part in an HMRC Q&A session, Henry Cooper tried something less sedate by hosting around 25 members on a ‘net-walk’ around the hotel grounds.

Full Steed ahead

The first set of workshops for the second day of the Conference saw the return of Michael Steed’s popular tax updates, Lucy from the National Cyber Security Centre discussing minimising the cyber risk, Nomisma providing insights on how to run a 21st century practice and Andi Lonnen saying how to control your personal impact at work.

Changing the world – one accountant at a time

Steve Pipe was up next delivering the second keynote speech of the Conference. As ever, he was engaging and enlightening, talking on the theme of becoming one of the most inspiring and profitable accountants.

Simms City

The penultimate round of workshops saw Richard Simms, along with AAT’s Adam Williamson, provide an update on money laundering regulations, while Xero’s Glenn Foster discussed frictionless finance and Chris Paton delivered a talk on building a clear business strategy. Michael Steed conducted a second round of his tax update.

The final countdown

After another outstanding lunch came the last round of workshops – from Deborah Ashby on Excel, an update from Stephen Rowntree of The Pensions Regulator, and Sam Ellis discussing how data analytics can inform decision making.


With a final opportunity to visit our wonderful exhibitors completed, delegates enjoyed an interesting and engaging panel debate around the future of accountancy. Hosted by Brian Palmer, the panel included 2017 AAT award winner Abul Nurujjaman, Andi Lonnen and Glen Foster.

So long for now

Outgoing AAT President Nicky Fisher then closed what has been a spectacular two day affair. We hope all of our delegates had a great time and encourage you all to give feedback via [email protected]. See you all in 2019!!

Adam Harwood is AAT's Media Relations Manager.

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