This time of year is often referred to as conference season (ACCA has its own virtual event for members – see below), but for Barry Saitch FCCA, the shows are all year round. As finance director of ExCeL London, Saitch oversees one of the busiest venues in the UK, welcoming over four million visitors last year. He talks about the expansion plans that are well underway at the Docklands site, and the importance of outreach with the local community. Read the interview.

A couple of decisions from government this month have been met with dismay by the profession: the withdrawal of its corporate governance reforms, and the omission from the King’s Speech of the planned regulatory reform (which would have included the creation of a regulator ‘with teeth’ – Arga). With ironic timing, the FRC fined KPMG for its failures in the audit of Carillion. ACCA welcomed a number of measures in the chancellor’s autumn statement, although it acknowledged that payroll providers are now under extraordinary pressure to plan and deliver changes to National Insurance, payroll and pensions in record time.

In tech developments we look at the rise of the large language models (LLMs), which underpin artificial intelligence. This might sound far from your current experience, but we learn that smaller companies will soon have access to the technologies involved as the major tech companies develop the expertise and provide customised AI applications more widely.

We also hear from three ACCA members who have made the leap into data analyst roles, where many of the skills needed make it a natural fit for professional accountants.

As we head towards ACCA’s CPD deadline, don’t forget that ACCA’s annual virtual conference ‘Accounting for the Future’ offers free CPD units and is available on demand, as is our Virtual Public Sector Conference. 

Further information