AAT Weekender; what’s the annual conference all about?

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As I’m sure most of you are aware the Weekender is AAT’s flagship annual conference. The sixth AAT Weekender was attended by AAT students, members and non-members in Reading on Friday the 16th and Saturday the 17th May 2014. 

This year we welcomed over 200 attendees with the common goal of broadening their knowledge, discussing the latest developments as well as providing a good opportunity for all those with an interest in finance and accountancy to network, debate and share ideas.

In an industry sector like ours, it is imperative to keep ahead of changes in legislation, technologies and best practice.  At AAT we want to ensure all those that are part of the AAT membership – whether starting out at the beginning of their journey with us, to a lifelong member, have learning at their fingertips. In this day and age, keeping up with CPD is highly important to remaining at the top of one’s professional game.

All the information you need under one roof

People come together from far and wide (all over the UK and beyond) understanding the benefits of attending the Weekender. The Weekender provides a fantastic opportunity to catch up, listen in and learn about so many subjects in one go – all under one roof. We have a huge array of high caliber speakers.

We opened the Weekender with an outstanding presentation from Ruth Owen, Director General of Personal Tax at HMRC. As you’d probably guess, Ruth pulled in quite a crowd and really set the scene for the two day event.

Something for everyone

Delegates have the opportunity to attend a vast selection of workshops over the Weekender from tax clinics to the discussion on the importance of ethics in the workplace, Q&As on the new financial reporting standards and the importance of budgeting, to name a few! There really is something for everyone and at every stage of their career.

This year, our gold sponsor, Mazars, presented a workshop entitled ‘The Tax Investigations Game’. This workshop proved really popular with it’s insightful look at the world of tax investigations – such a hot topic with tax evasion stories always making the front pages of our newspapers, we could hardly be surprised that there was such a big turnout.

We also had huge interest in the workshop on career building by AAT career coach, Aimee Bateman. Again we were not surprised that people were looking to enhance their skill sets and make their career prospects look brighter.

To end the Weekender with a bang, we held an expert panel debate in which there was a lively discussion about the role of accountancy. Adam Harper our Director of Professional Development led the discussion and commented: “The panel proved a great platform to discuss everything from the impact of regulation on our profession through to emerging technologies and how they will influence the role of accountants in the future. The session finished off with a lively debate around the ramifications of businesses engaging the services of unregulated or non-qualified accountants. This really highlighted the importance of professional bodies and the role they plan in ensuring members are regulated.”

If you missed the Weekender, then you can catch up on a whole host of news via AAT Comment and  the AAT ethics microsite. If you’re thinking about studying with AAT, have a look at some of the benefits our student members receive.

To make sure you are the first to know about next year’s event and receive news of early bird discount, register your interest via this email link.

Madeleine Steele is AAT Comment’s news writer.

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