Practice Conference

People and relationships are at the heart of any practice. This conference will focus on how to retain and develop your people to align with your firm’s strategic goals as well as succession planning and exit strategies for retiring partners.

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Full conference agenda

Victoria Kirkhope, Consultant

This session will provide a structured approach to addressing the crucial link between a firm’s strategy and its people, emphasising the importance of engagement, development and leadership in achieving alignment. Topics covered will include:

  • Connecting Strategy and People
  • Engaging and Empowering Your People
  • Your role as a leader
  • Measuring and Rewarding Success.

Margaret Bradshaw, Red Button Marketing

In this session, we analyse why and how taking a process and framework approach saves time and increases efficiency. The session will also include conversation around how communication plays a key part in developing a marketing function that transcends throughout a firm.

The outline of a framework acts as a support structure: just like an audit checklist supports best practice and compliance with clients, a marketing framework supports growth, ideas, opportunities and results for the firm.

Julia Penny, JSPenny Consulting

The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 will fundamentally change identification requirements for company directors, persons of significant control (PSCs) and those filing information at Companies House. It will also introduce requirements for small and micro entities to file their profit and loss accounts. The Act aims to clean up the information on the Companies House register and make it more difficult for criminals to use UK corporate entities to commit crime.  

The session will cover: 

  • An overview of key changes introduced by the ECCTA 
  • What you need to do about the changes to ID requirements 
    • Should you become an Authorised Corporate Service Provider (ACSP)? 
    • Do your AML and onboarding policies need changing? 
  • What you need to do about changes to filing requirements in terms of: 
    • small and micro entities 
    • software providers 
    • clients.
  • Communicating the changes successfully to clients and staff. 

Emily Ellison, Mercia Group Ltd

This session aims to equip delegates with an insight into how UK based accountancy firms are currently expanding their service offerings into advisory areas such as probate and ESG advisory, tapping into emerging opportunities and addressing evolving client needs. This is particularly relevant in the light of the recently announced audit thresholds changes, meaning firms may be looking to replace lost audit revenues in the near future.

Julie Wilkinson, Wilkinson Accounting Services

This session will cover:

  • Five tips on how to maximise the value of your accounting practice on exit
  • How acquisitions can support with an exit goal
  • How utilising economies of scale in line with acquisitions will support an exit strategy – with real life examples.

Hannah Kirby-Suttie, Wilmington PLC

In this session, join Hannah Kirby-Suttie to explore the concept of succession planning, where to start and why it’s crucial to the future success of your business. Take away some practical tools and tips to help you start to map a pipeline of skills and potential to take your business into 2025 and well beyond. 

Lynn Radrose, Mercia Group Ltd

In 2023 the ICAEW issued a new CPD policy which covers the minimum number of hours of CPD to be undertaken by ICAEW members and how much of this should be verifiable and unverifiable. There were also new regulations regarding the firm’s responsibilities regarding monitoring their staff’s CPD. In this session, we will look at the new rules, why they were introduced and what they mean for individuals and firms. We will also look at the landscape of other membership bodies and the likely direction of travel for CPD in the future. 

Conference speakers

Victoria is an experienced Chief People Officer with a proven track record in people leadership. Victoria began her HR career in 2000, later moving into professional services where she enjoyed 20 years with one of the UK’s leading accountancy firms holding the positions of HR & Development Director and Chief People Officer.

Victoria has an MA in International Business and Languages and is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD. She is an accredited Coach with experience of working with individuals in management and executive roles to enhance effectiveness, elevate individual wellness, and ultimately achieve greater professional and personal success. Victoria’s expertise lies in areas such as talent management, leadership development, enabling organisational and cultural change, and creating programmes that drive employee engagement.

Margaret Bradshaw founded Red Button Marketing Training in 2017 with a passion to help businesses get results from their marketing through effective marketing planning.   Having worked in accountancy for 20 years, which involved setting up and growing a marketing department in a regional firm, Margaret identified a gap in the market for clarity around what the marketing process looks like and how it can be visualised in such a way that people can see where to impact and make a difference.  Focused on helping to solve challenges in businesses around the role of marketing, Margaret, with the support of a team has developed award winning training and technology that seeks to solve those challenges and give owner managers a way to build and maintain a sustainable plan. 


With over 30 years’ experience from  a variety of market sectors, Margaret brings motivation, creative marketing ideas and most importantly results to the businesses she works with.  She loves nothing more than empowering people to establish effective marketing and business processes, develop a motivated team and most importantly, grow their business.  

Julia Penny is a Chartered Accountant, specialising in writing about and training auditing and financial reporting. She has over 25 years' of training experience, covering a wide variety of course types, from quick updates to in-depth workshops, and she is renowned for her lively course delivery.

In recent years, Julia has become a social media enthusiast, so do follow her updates on Twitter.

Julia is very involved with ICAEW activities, being a Council and Board member and sitting on the Ethics Advisory Committee. She also sits on the Audit and Assurance Board of the AAT, their equivalent to an audit committee.

Emily is our Technical Services Director responsible for the delivery of our training courses, file review services, technical manuals and consultancy services.  Emily is supported by our team of technical consultants across tax, audit and accounting.  Before joining Mercia in 2010, Emily was with KPMG for nine years working in both tax and audit.

Julie is a highly acclaimed keynote speaker and mentor. Her podcast channel ‘The Build and Exit’ has been hugely popular with 2k listeners in just over 4 months after she launched in 2023. She also did her first television interview at the end of July 23 for NTV talking about her journey of how she transitioned from working in corporate to becoming an acquisition entrepreneur.

 With over 12 years of experience in advising on growth, exit, and valuation, Julie has her own consulting firm (Wilkinson Accounting Solutions) which delivers financial expertise to a variety of companies from smaller SMEs to large corporate firms. Her mission is to ‘save the world from failed acquisitions’ and is passionate about helping other business owners build sustainable growth that will allow them to transition their business from a lifestyle to an asset.

Julie has successfully transitioned from working in corporate to now earning multiple recurring income streams from different methods, including business investments, property and high value metals. Julie also successfully completed her own acquisition in 2023 within her accounting practice and are in discussions on 3 more in 2024. Julie and her team have significant experience in exit planning and acquisitions as Wilkinson Accounting Solutions are working on up to 3-5 deals at any one time in the UK and worldwide.

Hannah Kirby-Suttie joined Wilmington plc in late 2021 as Head of Talent, Development and Engagement. Her portfolio includes learning & development, leadership development, wellbeing, employee listening and communications, as well as talent development and succession. Prior to joining Wilmington, Hannah spent more than 10 years as a learning and talent specialist in the construction and social housing sectors, having previously held commercially operational roles in sales, logistics and customer success. She drives strategic and transformative solutions, experiencing first-hand what it takes to consider and implement modernisation and change of an organisation’s people approach.

Lynn is Mercia’s Product Director and has responsibility for all of Mercia’s products and strategic relationships including with regulatory and governing bodies. Lynn is a Chartered Accountant and has spent the majority of her career in Accountancy Education and so she is uniquely placed to advise firms on technical learning programmes and strategies. 

One Day Conference
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