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The Live Expo guide for the ambitious practitioner

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How can you change your practice in two days? Find out the secret to accountancy success at AccountingWEB Live Expo and become the practice warrior you always dreamt you’d be. Here is your essential guide... 

19th Nov 2021
Editor AccountingWEB
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Is your practice living up to its full potential? As an ambitious practice leader, you probably spend every waking moment visualising your goals, reciting positive affirmations, making gratitude lists - and doing the odd accountancy and tax work here and there too!

But if clients are still not beating down your door, let AccountingWEB Live Expo help you to achieve your wildest dreams (accountancy-based ones, please).

The Live Expo in Coventry on 1-2 December will be your personal development retreat, with seminars, practical workshops and more that will surely awaken the practice giant within. 

So, if you want to know what else you can do beyond scribbling goals in the back of your software branded notebook, AccountingWEB’s essential guide is here to navigate you through the two day event and pick out the best sessions that will help you to propel your practice to unstoppable growth.  

The first step to Coventry’s Building Society Arena is not a fire walk, it’s making sure you’ve booked to attend the event. So, register now for your Live Expo tickets and you can even book your sessions in advance. 

Meet the gurus

So, you’ve arrived at the Live Expo and it’s time to meet your practice gurus. But these are not other-worldly gurus. These experts will share practical ‘from the trenches’ advice that you can implement in your practice. 

Some of the gurus you can expect to see at AccountingWEB Live Expo are:

Alastair Barlow, Aynsley Damery, Carl Reader, Glenn Martin, Heather Townsend, Jeri Williams, Kirsty McGregor, Lucy Cohen, Mike Crook, Reza Hooda, Sharon Pocock and many more. 

While these gurus won’t expect hushed reverence, they will attract a big audience. So no matter how much you ask the universe, you still have to arrive early to reserve your seat - bowing is optional.  

Top tip: Like any trade show, it’s a good idea to consider what you want to get out of the day before you arrive. On the day before, or even on the journey to the exhibition, take a blank piece of paper and list everything down. Ask yourself: What would you want for your practice if you knew you couldn’t fail? Where do you want your practice to be in three months? Six months? By the end of 2022? This exercise will help you get the most out of the Live Expo.

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Day one highlights for the practice leader

Once you’ve woken up bright and early on day one, and sneaked in your morning yoga and journaling, it’s time to head to the Coventry Building Society Arena to attend the first session of the day. 

As a practice leader you know too well the struggles and stress of January. So head straight to the Any Answers Hub at 10.15am for your self assessment survival guide. Lucy Cohen, Linda Frier and Glenn Martin will be sharing their tips to get through the busy season unscathed. 

Feeling confident that you can power through the usual January blues, take a gentle jog over to the entrepreneurs theatre at 10.45am to find out How to build an online advisory firm. Alastair Barlow, Aynsley Damery, Kirsty McGregor and Sharon Pocock will tell you how they began their advisory journey and how they’ve rolled out these new chargeable services to clients. 

Or alternatively, if you’re interested in building your online brand instead, take a stroll over to the Accounting Excellence Strategy Academy at 10.45am for some Linkedin learnings. The social platform is a proven method to reach new clients - and our panellists Jeri Williams and Reza Hooda will share some practical tips on how the professional networking site helped them grow their practices. 

Now you’re feeling empowered to grow your business, don’t go far from the Accounting Excellence Strategy Academy as at 12pm you’ll hear how you can cope with sudden growth

Or if you’re looking for some entertainment while you slurp back your lunch protein shake, take your seat in the Entrepreneur Theatre at 12noon to witness the Timesheets debate. Alastair Barlow, Lucy Cohen, Aynsley Damery and Reza Hooda duke it out on the management tool.  

If your phone has been buzzing away in your pocket with clients chasing you, check in at the Entrepreneur’s Theatre at 2.30pm as there is a session on saying no to clients and staying sane. So, turn off your phone, set your boundaries and have some me time.

After a busy day, like any retreat, you deserve a little R&R. There is no better session to provide this than the wellbeing in the workplace session at 3.45pm in the Accounting Excellence Strategy Academy. Find your inner zen and pick up some self-care techniques from Lucy Cohen and Lianne Weaver to help manage those demanding clients and business challenges. 

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Day two highlights for practice leader

It’s going to be another jam-packed day, so make sure you arrive at the exhibition centre feeling refreshed and ready as we start the day talking big hairy audacious goals - perhaps the biggest for a practice leader: smashing the £1m barrier. Make a beeline for the Accounting Excellence Strategy Academy at 10.45am to hear how multi-award winners Alastair Barlow, Aynsley Damery and Carl Reader scaled their firms. 

Or, if getting new business is your Live Expo goal, the Entrepreneur Theatre has a masterclass at 10.45am with Della Hudson, Reza Hooda and Phil Sayers all on hand to dish out business tips, tactics and strategies to grow your client base. 

You just have enough time to take a swig of coffee before it’s time to grab your seat in the Accounting Excellence Theatre at 12 noon to learn how targeting a new niche or becoming a super specialist could open the doors to referrals. 

But you’re not done just yet! There is one transformational strategy left to share in the Entrepreneurs Theatre at 2.30pm: The rise and rise of the virtual FD. It’s the biggest trend in accounting for 2021 and you’ll hear from virtual FD super achievers Glenn Martin and Jo Wood on how they’ve transformed their practices through offering these services. 

And breathe... It’s been a busy two days so finish off your AccountingWEB Live Expo adventure with the second wellbeing in the workplace seminar in the Accounting Excellence Academy at 2.30pm. This time Lianne Weaver is joined by Kreston Reeves’ Emma Chesson to talk about managing your team’s mental health - you can’t have a successful firm without looking after your staff. 

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Can the exhibitors help with your strategy?

You’re probably feeling empowered and have a good idea of where you want to take your practice in the year ahead and what you need to do to get there. So, put some time aside to catch up with the vendors exhibiting - you might find the answer to your practice growth problems there. 

Obviously, a good place to start would be with the Expo’s premium partners: 

  • Dext [Stand D1] fetches accurate business data and turns it into actionable insights.  
  • FreeAgent [Stand E20] is a UK-based award-winning online accounting software for small business owners and their accountants and bookkeepers
  • IRIS [Stand F1] offers accountancy solutions to simplify the lives of business and practice accountants by making them more effective and productive.
  • Sage [Stand E1] offers fully integrated solutions for bookkeeping, payroll, tax and compliance 
  • TaxCalc [Stand D10] comprises of tax, accounts, company secretarial, compliance and practice management solutions
  • Xero [Stand E10] is a cloud-based accounting software platform for small businesses with over 2.7m subscribers globally.

As a practice leader you might also be eager to take in the practice management software options dotted around the show floor.

After you’ve done the tour of the premium partners, it’s worth catching up with other practice and project management tools such as AccountancyManager, BTCSoftware, Capium, Connect4, Nomisma, Practice Ignition, Satago, SmartVault, TIM, Wolters Kluwer, Xama technologies and many others. 

If you’ve been inspired to beef up your advisory work, Clarity, Fathom, Fluidly and Silverfin are some of the stands it might be worth stopping by. 

If you’ve had a realisation at the Live Expo that you need to lighten your load so you can focus on the business, perhaps you need to take in the outsourcing offerings on the exhibition floor, with vendors such as Diamond Outsourcing, GI Outsourcing, Outbooks and QX Accountancy services. It’s also worth wandering over to the PracticeWeb stand to see how they can help with your digital marketing strategies. 

And if after attending the wellbeing sessions you want to invest in your team’s L&D, it may be worth paying a little visit to Aspire

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Time to go home

So, you step away from the Live Expo retreat with a clear direction, your practice goals set for 2022 and enough swag to be overspilling with gratitude, and it’s time to head back to the office to put all your plans into action. 

But there are so many more sights and experiences that we didn’t have a chance to highlight in this itinerary. There are also sessions on upselling to your client base, flexible working and starting your own practice

If tax is more your thing, read our essential guide with a selection of all the can’t miss tax events at the show. Or if you are looking to use the Live Expo to get on top of your MTD preparations, we also have an essential guide to help you plan your trip. 

What practice sessions will you be attending at the Live Expo? As a guru might say, speak your truth...

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