Annual Update Conference

This essential residential conference is an ideal opportunity for the general practitioner to keep up to date with a variety of topical issues. Covering key topics over six engaging sessions, supporting you in providing practical advice to your clients and gaining 10 CPD hours.

This conference is 1.5 days and includes dinner and accommodation.


Who should attend the conference

Ideal general practitioners in accountancy. This conference will cover key topics such as the latest in VAT changes, planning tools, corporation tax issues, updates to Audit & Accounts, and so much more over a day and a half.


Including with the conference:

  • Networking opportunities
  • Accommodation over night 
  • Evening Dinner 
  • Breakfast & Lunch


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Full conference agenda

Louise Dunford, LD Consultancy

A fast paced and informative session, covering all the main legislative changes and important cases over the last year or so, where they are relevant to the accountant dealing with SMEs, in house or in practice. Content will include the topics laid out below but may include additional matters that arise in the summer and early autumn. There will be an attempt to assess the implications of the new government on the legal landscape.

  • Summary of ECCTA 2023 provisions, implementation and impact.
  • New cases on directors' duties, articles or shareholders.
  • Recent professional negligence developments, in particular pitfalls before and after engagements.
  • Payroll issues including holidays for casual workers, and holiday pay.
  • Reform of family friendly rights and changes in the hospitality industry.
  • Unlawful discrimination - what is the current state of the law on harassment and discrimination?
  • What changes to company and employment law are planned by the new government?

Pat Nown, Mercia Group Ltd

This session will focus on a selection of key issues and planning points

  • The impact of the FHL regime abolition.
  • Capital allowances and property.
  • Property investment business - topical issues.
  • CGT and business property-getting it right.
  • Land taxes – additional rate and other points of interest.
  • Property problem areas for IHT Business Property Relief.

Pat Nown, Mercia Group Ltd

This session will include a round-up of topical tax developments including:

  • Losers and winners – the non ‘Dom’ shakeup.
  • Other tax announcements from the new government.
  • The transitional year for the self-employed - getting it right.
  • Pensions 2024/25.

Mark Morton, Mercia Group Ltd

The new R&D regime for accounting periods commencing on/after 1 April 2024 and will rewrite the rules which have operated for the last 20 years.

This course will take a detailed look at the new regime and will specifically cover the following:

  • The new R&D Expenditure Credit, the default regime going forward.
  • The new regime for loss-making R&D intensive SMEs.
  • The definition of R&D and the ongoing compliance by HMRC.

James Hurst, Mercia Group Ltd

This session will review the key developments in VAT that have occurred over the past 12 months. This should assist practitioners with identifying VAT issues that may have arisen with their clients and to recommend solutions, thereby helping to ensure clients are compliant with their VAT obligations. The content will include:

  • Budget / Finance Act developments.
  • Changes in HMRC policy.
  • Current themes in VAT.
  • Notable reported cases from the previous 12 months.
  • International VAT in a post-Brexit context.

Peter Herbert, Insight Training

There’s lots going on in the world of accounting and audit with many changes about to take effect. This session will bring participants up to date with all the latest developments. Topics covered will include:

  • Changes in SME company limits – what when and how?
  • Practical implementation issues with the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023.
  • Update on the imminent FRS 102 and SORP revisions and what they mean for SME businesses.
  • Common problem areas in financial reporting.
  • What’s new in audit?
  • The five most common issues arising on audit cold file reviews.

Pat Nown, Mercia Group Ltd

This session will include a round-up of topical tax developments including:

  • Losers and winners – the non ‘Dom’ shakeup.
  • Other tax announcements from the new government.
  • The transitional year for the self-employed - getting it right.
  • Pensions 2024/25.

Conference speakers

Louise Dunford

Louise has been continuously involved in training and consultancy since 1987, both for professional firms and for commercial organisations. She also worked as an associate senior lecturer at the University of Portsmouth. Louise specialises mainly in aspects of practical employment law, company law and on professional negligence, and has published widely in leading academic and professional journals.

She is an associate of Complete HR Ltd, providing practical and pro-active assistance with employment and HR issues for SMEs.


Pat is a tax consultant lecturer at Mercia Group. Pat originally trained and worked in the profession for Ernst & Young, Grant Thornton and KPMG before moving to the University of Derby as their senior tax lecturer. Her time at Derby included undergraduate and professional tax training as well as being involved in examinations and publishing projects for ACCA and other professional bodies.

This led to a ten-year period with the Financial Training Company (now Kaplan) where she was Tax Product Director for the Midlands as well as becoming well known as a prominent exam-based tax lecturer. Over her career Pat has been actively involved in the tax professional bodies including serving as a Council member for 12 years for the Association of Taxation Technicians.

Peter qualified as a Chartered Accountant with an international accountancy firm before working in industry. He has over 20 years of training experience. He writes and presents technical updates for firms of accountants and qualified accountants of private and listed companies. Peter specialises in financial reporting, auditing and practice regulation. Peter also regularly carries out compliance reviews for firms of accountants, which provides him with an invaluable insight into the practical financial reporting and auditing issues that they face.

Mark joined HMRC in 1989 and undertook their full training exams. In 1996 he was made Deputy District Inspector for the Derby area and had detailed experience of all types of Revenue enquiries.

Mark joined Mercia as an experienced lecturer and now provides a wide variety of CPD training around the country. He is also a well known contributor to professional publications and provides technical consultancy to the accountancy profession.

James joined Mercia in October 2022 as VAT trainer and consultant. His role involves writing technical material as well as devising and delivering VAT training courses. James has a wide experience of VAT and indirect tax, beginning his VAT career with HM Customs & Excise (as it then was) before moving to the private sector in 1995 and gaining his CTA qualification. Latterly, he had VAT partner and head of VAT roles in Grant Thornton and Mazars. James was actively involved with the Charity Tax Group for a number of years and has presented on VAT topics for the Charity Finance Group.

Outside of work, music remains a keen interest. Aside from playing jazz on the tenor sax, James is a regular member of the trumpet section of the Leeds Project Big Band.

One Day Conference
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Previous Annual Update Conferences

Explore the programme of our previous Annual Update Conferences:

2023 Annual Update Conference

2022 Annual Update Conference