The future of the profession has been a hot topic of conversation for a number of years now, not least at ICAEW where our 2015 Tomorrow’s Practice report continues to shape much of the work that we do to support members and is core to our mission of creating a world of strong economies. But whatever the profession might look like in the future, what we can be sure of, is that it will be shaped by today’s practitioners. It is for this reason that the theme of this year’s annual practice conference is ‘The Future Professional’.
The Future Professional
When we think about the future professional, it is important that we think not just about ourselves but also about what our clients might look like in the future, whether they are new people or have different expectations. When researching Tomorrow’s Practice, many of the findings suggested that understanding client needs and building services which they value, will be key to the practice of the future. For some firms, this may mean offering additional services such as personal finance advice or alternative financing solutions for growing businesses; for others, it may be a re-focusing of existing services to provide more business advisory support or providing cloud based solutions to prepare clients for MTD. But no matter what the future holds, how we approach our own development, to maintain the position of ‘most trusted advisor’, is something that we need to consider now.
As technology starts to automate more of the day-to-day parts of a practitioners role, and so with it is price driven down. The value in personal relationships is then greater. With ever growing numbers of we can communicate with clients, it is imperative that we ensure we are using the right channels to remain front and centre when clients need us. Standing out in a busy market place and understanding what sets your firms and your ‘brand’ apart becomes increasingly important in building a strategy for the future – whether you’re aiming for growth or not.
The practice conference
At Practice 2017, we have a wide range of speakers sharing their experiences of these issues; from the benefits of offering new services, on-boarding clients to the cloud, using social media to setting prices that reflect the value and expertise of your services. You will hear first-hand stories from practitioners like you who have set up their own practices, developed a niche offering and guided their teams to turn a traditional firm into a successful modern practice.
Alongside these sessions, we’ll be running technical updates on both days of the event, to keep you up-to-date with all the recent tax, reporting and regulatory changes. The programme has been designed to cater for every practitioner, so as in previous years, the programme has a ‘pick n mix’ style approach, to allow you to attend the sessions relevant to you and the speakers you want to hear most.
Take a look at the full programme and let us know what the future professional looks like to you. Practice 2017 will be taking place on 16-17 November at etc.venues St Paul’s, London.
For more information and to book visit icaew.com/practice2017