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A photo of the 2024 calendar | AccountingWEB | AccountingWEB's 2024 editorial calendar
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AccountingWEB’s 2024 editorial calendar

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The new year sees the continuation of growth in artificial intelligence and a general election which could result in some radical changes in the tax world.

19th Dec 2023
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 The runaway story of 2023 was undoubtedly artificial intelligence. We expect to see this remain a big topic in 2024, although the conversation is likely to shift away from the hype and focus more on the realities of the technology and the practical uses within practices. 

The oversight of anti-money laundering compliance is going to be under the microscope with the Treasury’s response to the ongoing consultation on supervision expected at the start of the year. Regardless of what direction the government decides, firms can expect to see regulation of AML compliance and costs continue to grow.

Elsewhere, we expect to get clarity on what information will be required as part of the Companies House reform, where small companies will have to file their profit and loss accounts. Another date for your calendars is the roll out of the basis period reforms in April.  

However, the story that is likely to shape the year is the general election expected at some point in 2024. We expect the Chancellor to pull many rabbits out of the hat in the Spring Budget, as tax becomes an election battleground. 

Attendees of the upcoming Festival of Accounting and Bookkeeping will have a front row seat to learning about the ins and outs of these challenges and preparing their practices for success in 2024.  

Here are the big stories and topics to mark in your calendars and look out for on AccountingWEB in 2024. 

January

  • Self assessment season: Many accountants and bookkeepers will be hunkering down in preparation for the long working days and increased workload in January. AccountingWEB will be reporting on the insights and stories from the community and keeping an eye on the HMRC wait times and any other hairy issues.  
  • Focus on wellbeing: The long working days of self assessment season can play havoc on the wellbeing of practitioners. We’ll be exploring ways accountants and bookkeepers can look after themselves during this stressful period. 
  • National insurance cut implemented: The Chancellor announced in the Autumn Statement a cut to national insurance from 6 January. We’ll see how the software providers and payrollers fared in tackling this tight deadline. 
  • 2024 technology predictions: With a tumultuous year of tech behind us, we look at what trends and developments await the accounting industry in 2024.

February

  • What would you do differently?: You’ve just spent January burning the midnight oil filing tax returns, now what? After returning from the ski slopes, it’s time to review their processes and workflows and plan for the year ahead. 
  • Companies House reform: The filing shake-up for small companies is going ahead, but we don’t yet know the technical details and whether the secretary of state will allow public access. 
  • Incorporation vs disincorporation: As concern grows about the Companies House reform and the threat of ‘nosey neighbours’, practice owners are weighing up the options of disincorporation. We’ll be looking at both sides of the great debate.  
  • 2014 Accounting Excellence Awards opens: It’s that time of year again when accountants and bookkeepers craft their award entries as they vie to pick up a coveted Accounting Excellence Award. AccountingWEB will be catching up with last year’s winners and learning the secrets behind their success. 

March

  • Festival of Accounting & Bookkeeping: AccountingWEB will be reporting from Birmingham NEC for the first-ever edition of FAB. 
  • Spring Budget: This is likely to be the last fiscal event before the next general election. Expect plenty of fireworks, tax giveaways and a rabbit or two to be pulled out of the hat. AccountingWEB will be reporting on all the announcements, with the usual analysis from its panel of tax experts. 
  • Final prep for the tax year basis: From next month, basis period reforms will mean that all unincorporated businesses will use the UK tax year of 6 April to 5 April as their basis period for income tax assessment. We’ll be there to see how businesses and their accountants are adjusting. 
  • Spring software shopping season: As accountants emerge, blinking into the light after a busy self assessment tax return season, thoughts turn to how to streamline practice processes, chase late clients more efficiently or boost firm revenues. We’ll examine the software trends in the accounting industry and examine where accountants are focussing their efforts.

April

  • Response to the Treasury’s AML consultation: The Treasury is looking at four potential models to beef up AML supervision, ranging from the creation of a new single AML regulator to strengthening OPBAS. The Treasury’s response could shake the foundations of anti-money laundering supervision. 
  • New tax year: With the end of the start of the new tax year approaching, we will summarise the important PAYE and payroll changes coming into effect on 6 April. We are also set to see the rollout of the national insurance cuts for the self-employed. 
  • Increase to the National Living Wage: When the NLW increased last year, businesses raised concerns about the added strain as they battled the cost of living crisis. We’ll be finding out how businesses are coping as these extra costs come into force. 
  • Two years until MTD ITSA – will the systems and software be ready? The government’s oft-delayed tax digitisation plans are currently due to be mandated in April 2026 for businesses with a turnover of more than £50,000. How likely is this to happen, and what can accountants and vendors do to be prepared?

May

  • Possible election: The tax giveaways in the Autumn Statement left some commentators convinced the government is planning a Spring general election. We'll be looking at the tax measures pledged in each manifesto and track the successes of the accountants standing for Parliament (the Accountancy Party).
  • Growth through client service: Firms have rolled out new initiatives to support clients as they rebound from the tough economic crisis from community funds, specialist coaching skills and ‘Academy’ growth programmes.
  • The realities of AML compliance: Following the Treasury’s response to the AML supervision consultation, we put AML under the microscope and explore how firms can navigate the increasingly burdensome task - and actually turn it into a money maker. 

June

  • Net Zero as an advisory: The transition to net zero has attracted a lot of newspaper column inches, but little is said about the role accountants play in supporting businesses. We’ll look at the mechanics behind this growing trend from the Accounting Excellence Awards. 
  • How and why niching can grow your practice: The debate over whether niching is a viable tactic for growth has long been worn out - but what are the different approaches you can take. We’ll be exploring some of the things practitioners should consider. 
  • Recruitment: Last year’s Accounting Excellence entries showed that firms are applying different tactics in tackling the ongoing talent challenge from growing your own to outsourcing and AI. 

July

  • Spotlight on audit fines: The accountancy watchdog releases its annual enforcement review, where it rips the lid off the fines racked up by large accountancy firms. 
  • The client satisfaction winning formula: From regular client satisfaction surveys to  ‘Awesome Service Meetings’ and dedicated client satisfaction officers, progressive thinking firms have created a winning formula to guarantee client satisfaction. We’ll explore the tools required to demonstrate client commitment. 
  • Class of 2024: We want to hear from new firms that have recently taken the plunge to discover what it takes to start up in practice in 2024.

August

  • Big Four annual results: The end of the month sees the start of the Big Four releasing their annual results. As the accounting powerhouses shed jobs, how do their finances stack up? 
  • The growth paradox: The market is ripe for firms with plans to grow. With firms looking to sell up, the opportunity is there, but the challenge for firms is doing so in a controlled way without creating a capacity crunch. 
  • The progressive side of audit: Last month we put the spotlight on audit fines, while this month we look at how progressive firms are changing the way their people behave, think, interact, and innovate through the use of technology and a people-based approach.  

September

  • Sorry, no vacancies: While some firms are grasping the opportunity to grow, others have decided to maintain a small client base. We’ll look at the benefits of creating a ‘velvet rope’ exclusive client base and how firms are turning this into a ‘one-stop accounting and tax shop’. 
  • How not to start up in practice: After charting the success of our Class of 2024 firms we’ll look at those firms that didn’t survive the rough seas of starting up. For every firm that carves a niche and scales, there are those that didn’t make it past their kitchen table. 
  • Measure what matters: In order to run a successful practice, you need to measure what matters. Whether it’s social engagement or turnaround times, we’ll find out from award-winning firms what KPIs they measure and how their obsession with data has led to their firm’s success.  

October

  • Accounting Excellence Awards: It’s the most glamorous night of the accounting calendar. AccountingWEB will report on the winners from the event and dig into the big trends from the firms at the bleeding edge of the profession. 
  • VFD - where are we now? After the virtual finance director trend exploded on the scene a few years ago, the service has only grown in popularity. We’ll follow up with firms and find out how the trend has evolved into VFD 2.0. 
  • AI reality check: We’ll round up the latest artificial intelligence-infused products hitting the shelves in the accounting industry and ask how much traction these tools are getting with firms at the client coalface.

November

  • Autumn Statement: The second fiscal statement of the year has become as newsworthy as the one in the Spring. We'll be analysing the tax announcements and will be covering all the rumours and predictions in the lead-up to the big day.  
  • The road to self assessment season: As the Christmas season gets in full swing, accountants are reminded of the looming January deadline. We'll be keeping an eye on restrictions to HMRC phone lines and early complaints from the community. 
  • Accounting software verticals – multi-trust academies: While the Department for Education has ditched its goal for all schools to be academised by 2030, the direction of travel is still towards academisation. This brings with it many challenges and opportunities, including a range of new accounting tools to accommodate this burgeoning new niche for accounting professionals.

December

  • Christmas presents for accountant: Beyond an ‘I love spreadsheets’ mug and a calculator, what else can you buy the accountant in your life? Don’t worry, AccountingWEB is here to help you with your Christmas shopping. 
  • 2024 predictions: As the fireworks go off to welcome in the New Year, AccountingWEB looks into its crystal ball and predicts what 2024 may have in store for the accountancy profession. 
  • Community awards: As 2024 comes to a close, we’ll be raising a glass to those who created the news, the stories that got everyone talking and also give a few prizes to those who will be glad to see the back of the year. There will also be some awards for the AccountingWEB users who made the year so memorable with their knowledge and acerbic one-liners. 

If you're an accountant or vendor with something to contribute to the site on any of the above areas, get in touch via the 'contact us' page. These topics are subject to change.