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AccountingWEB Live Summit 2022
AccountingWEB Live Summit 2022

AccountingWEB goes live stateside

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George Bernard Shaw may have said that we are separated from the US by a common language, but as Joanne Birtwistle discovered at the AccountingWEB Live Summit in San Diego, California, we are all talking about the same things.

12th May 2022
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I’ve taken this month’s column on tour with me. Check out the view from my hotel window right now (see below). As I keep having to remind my family no, I am not on holiday.

I’m here in San Diego for AccountingWEB’s first-ever US summit, held over three days at the resort island of Paradise Point for our US audience on accountingweb.com. It is not a bad place to be doing the day job and yes, I have definitely had worse days at work than these.

San Diego view
San_Diego_JoBirtwistle

I’m telling you this because I wanted to share a few observations about the accounting community over here in the States and I’d also be interested in hearing your thoughts.

As you’d expect there is a lot that is different to our AccountingWEB LIVE Expo in the UK – the accents, vocab, the audience participation in sessions and networking styles. And of course, the session agenda has to be different when it comes to tax and compliance.

The content agenda for the US summit was not created by the UK editorial team but by our US editor and journalists. This is their show. 

But I have been surprised by the commonality with the UK accounting community: the popularity of particular content sessions and topics; the conversations around technology and vendor relationships; and the broader issues being discussed by our delegates at lunch and dinner get-togethers.

Shared interests

When it comes to the content – stripping out tax and compliance – the sessions that are filling the aisles and the conversations that are spilling out from those sessions and into networking spaces are on the same topics you all like to read about online, ask about in AnyAnswers, and learn about at the UK expo and through our webinars.

Let me give you some examples of what’s flying: creating a future-focused firm; enhancing client experience; NFTs and crypto investments; understanding and solving the capacity problem; and fintech trends accountants should pay attention to.

I’m writing this on day two, with another day of content to go but I’m pretty confident the rest of the sessions will play out this way too.

A common language

AWEB has been going for 25 years in the UK and the US site is only a couple of years behind. Yet cross-over between the two has been minimal up until this point. This summit is one of very few examples of the UK and US AWEB teams really collaborating together. 

Certainly you, our UK readers and community have not yet felt the benefit of AWEB’s transatlantic relationships and connections. This is something I’ve been thinking about while over here. 

So here’s my question: if so many of these issues and conversations are the same for accountants and finance professionals on both sides of the pond – and the solutions to many are probably the same as well – should we be working harder to share insights, information and advice with you from a wider pool of experts?

For certain topics, would the articles still work for you if they had an international lens and were location agnostic?

I think we have an opportunity to bring you more relevant content by sharing some of the articles published by our US editorial team. But I’d also appreciate your thoughts on this and to know which topics you think this could work particularly well for – so please comment below or email/message me directly.

It’s something I’d like AWEB to experiment with on my return – sharing more content between the AWEB sister sites, to see how it is received. So stay tuned folks and have a great day y’all!

Replies (5)

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By Hometing
12th May 2022 14:15

That place looks like paradise and a million miles away from the scenery en route to almost every conference I've been to in the UK!

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By ASF
13th May 2022 11:32

Other than sharing my jealousy over the location (San Diego is a beautiful city), I have some doubts over the universality of things. Certainly an international lens makes it more interesting, and does give us a chance to see where there are common issues, but also, having worked with US and UK companies during my career, there are a significant number of differences, such as the cultural mindset and approach to some issues - perhaps most notably legislation, employment, taxation, some accounting standards, "control vs compliance" SOX and SAO, to name but a few. I think it is always good to have a view of how different countries deal with similar issues (maybe not just US and UK), but surely the core of AWEB for us in each country must always remain analysis, information and review of issues on "home turf".

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Replying to ASF:
Joanne Birtwistle
By Joanne Birtwistle
13th May 2022 16:34

Thanks ASF, absolutely, "the core of AWEB for us in each country must always remain analysis, information and review of issues on home turf". This will not change.

I'm just suggesting we share some of the great content we have from our US editorial team with you, when relevant. This will absolutely be as well as the content we already provide, not instead of.

So basically, some more content with an international eye. Also, you are right, anything around taxation, law and compliance would not apply but I do think that still leaves us with a lot of scope and exactly as you said, a view on how different countries deal with similar issues. I'm interested to see how it is received.

Thanks, Jo

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Replying to Joanne Birtwistle:
paddle steamer
By DJKL
16th May 2022 15:59

One can of course buy a book on the topic , I have an earlier version of the undernoted sitting at home awaiting a read once I am retired and I know from experience I can always rely on Prof Weetman's analysis (She taught me at university)

https://www.routledge.com/International-Corporate-Reporting-Global-and-D...

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By Silver Birch Accts
13th May 2022 14:08

My Cuz lives in San Diego, say hi if you see him.

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