Thursday 13 July

Please note that all speakers, content and timings are subject to change

08.15 – 09.30 Registration

08.30 – 09.15 BREAKFAST WORKSHOP – The only way is Ethics

Chair: Margaret Pratt, Past President, CIPFA

Speakers: Anton Colella, Chief Executive, ICAS
Margaret Oliver
Rick Tazzini, CFO Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (Nov 2014-Apr 2017)

As public finance professionals face every greater challenges through budget cuts and alternative ways of working, ethical dilemmas become more common. Whether being asked to balance the unbalanceable or issue an audit opinion with insufficient resources, this session will hear of recent real life case studies and seek to discuss how best such difficult situations can be addressed.

As CIPFA seeks to redraft its current ethics guidance and looks at how best it can support its members, this session will allow delegates a chance to contribute to those increasingly relevant discussions.

09.30 – 09.35 President’s welcome

Speaker: Andrew Burns, Director of Finance and Resources, Staffordshire County Council


Chair: Simon Jack, Broadcast Journalist

Speakers: John Dickie, Director of Strategy and Policy, London First and Global Cities Business Alliance

Richard Holt, Head of Global Cities Research, Oxford Economics

How cities and regions interact with businesses will be a key determinant of local growth. Having clear and aligned strategic priorities and a shared agenda will ensure that the public sector and businesses work together for the benefit of the community. This will require transparency and openness from locally elected leaders and executives. Communities must tap into the expertise of business to help government unlock its place based potential; and together they need to take a long-term view of relationships. So how do local government and businesses deliver transformation and sustainable economic development that benefits both sides and improves wider social outcomes?


10.35 – 11.10 Coffee and networking in the exhibition hall


Chair: Simon Jack, Broadcast Journalist

Speakers: To be announced

The Government’s aim to build one million new homes over the next five years is an ambitious one. In the aftermath of the EU referendum, with doubts about future investment in construction and about developers’ willingness to commit to building new homes, the aim becomes even more challenging. If one million extra homes are to be built, all providers – private developers, housing associations and local authorities – will need to contribute. In recent years local authorities have had a minor role in building new homes themselves, and a more important one in facilitating development by others. The government’s White Paper represents a vital opportunity to revive the successful models of the past, and build more homes, more effectively though unified, well-planned development.


Chair: Simon Jack, Broadcast Journalist

Speaker: Evgeny Morozov, Author and Essayist

Evgeny Morozov, is one of the world’s leading thinkers on the political and social implications of technology.

Governments and agencies are increasingly using data and predictive analytics, IOT and AI – the “fourth industrial revolution” – to develop services and manage demand. But is that all a good thing? Evgeny Morozov takes the view that open, disruptive, and innovative technologies and that open agenda can, in many ways, challenge equality, justice and democracy.

Is the only solution to have our political leaders transfer even more responsibility for problem-solving, from matters of welfare to matters of warfare, to Silicon Valley? This might produce immense gains in efficiency but would this also not aggravate the democratic deficit that already plagues our public institutions?

Read some of his recent work here:

12.10 – 13.15 Lunch and networking in the exhibition hall

12.10 – 13.15 Lunchtime Workshop – 21st Century Financial Management

Chair: Neil Vincent, CIPFA

Speakers: To be announced

How do you know if you are good at financial management? CIPFA’s technology driven online diagnostic tool can give you the answer.


WORKSHOP 2A Performance Tracker: Public Services & Spending

Chair: Gillian Fawcett, CIPFA

Speakers: Julian McCrae, Institute for Government
Richard Douglas, Non-executive Director, NHS Improvement

The economic crisis presents a rare opportunity for the government to make radical changes to its operations and boost productivity. Against the backdrop of a global downturn governments have a window of opportunity to introduce new operating practices that will drive performance and productivity. There is significant value at stake and the critical factors that need to be in place to affect and sustain productivity gains are: a clear mandate for operational change, proper performance targets and transparency and the right skills and capabilities.

WORKSHOP 2B Crossing the Chasm: Is your Community Leaving You Behind?

Sponsored by: ERPaaS


Chair: John Thornton, e-essentials

Speakers: Simon Robinson, Founder & Managing Director, ERPaaS

Ian Herbert, FCMA, CGMA, MBA, FHEA, Deputy Director – Global Sourcing Research Group, Leading Academic in Accounting and Financial Management, Loughborough University – School of Business and Economics

Consumers freely transact 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with applications such as EBay, Amazon, Facebook, Mobile Banking, and many others.  In the workplace, they are presented with archaic tools that are difficult to use and often constrain their ability to do their job.

This workshop considers the impact of automating human knowledge in the form of cognitive intelligence based digital applications that will change the way you deliver back office services.  A knowledge empowered workforce, equipped with digital mobile self-service devices, offers a huge prize in terms of cost savings and efficiencies, and presents you with the opportunity to transform your organisation by taking pressure off scarce key resources.  Find about what it means practically for you and your services.

Consider the organisational impact and leadership decisions facing senior officers and members about the nature of the organisation they will be laying down for the next decade.  Understand the barriers and consequences of failing to progress.  Hear about the leadership challenges posed by these new technologies.  This challenging and imaginative workshop will provide an answer to these questions.  More importantly it will also help you to understand your relationship with the impact of digital mobile self-service and with the public services that you lead.

We’ll pose a number of questions which will be answered in this provocative session:

Do I really need to go to Cloud? Replacing my ERP will cost me anywhere up to £25m worth of costs.  I need to cut costs but are Cloud applications the only answer for Finance, Procurement, HR and Payroll?

Are the costs savings really there?

How is the industry responding and what is the impact for me? And for my community?

How do I go digital without the costs?


How the IT industry is responding to Cloud. What is the impact on me as a customer?

Insight into the structural and operational impact of Cloud and digital mobile self-service on Public Service organisations.

Knowledge of where easy and significant cost savings can be made and efficiencies secured.

First hand examples of where other Organisations are making significant savings.

Understand the major change that is taking place in the IT Industry and the impact as clients and buyers.

Insight into the blockers and barriers and their reality.

How the impact technological changes you make in your organisation today impact your organisation and community of tomorrow.

The minimum you need to do to get started.


Awareness and education.

Open people’s minds to the art of the possible.

Workshop 2C Governance Failures in Public Services

Sponsored by: Zurich


Chair: Sir Tony Redmond, Local Government Boundary Commission

Speakers: Aaron Cummins, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust
Margaret Oliver
Peter Welch, ECA

Public service entities are big business and governance failures attract considerable public attention, and rightly so. Governance failures have the power to taint whole sectors and to diminish trust and confidence in our public services. It is therefore essential that public service entities have robust governance arrangements in place to ensure that public money is protected and that outcomes for citizens and service users are achieved in an efficient, economic and equitable manner. This session looks at governance successes as well as failures and how we can learn from them to ensure that governance arrangements across the public services operate effectively and remain fit for purpose.

WORKSHOP 2D Innovations in Investment

Chair: Sean Nolan, CIPFA

Speakers: To be announced

The sustained period of austerity and developing localism agenda make it essential to reap rewards and prosperity from investment in people and place and requires innovative approaches and new sets of skills.  Joint working, partnerships and investments in less familiar areas make managing risk more important than ever, along with effective project management skills and organisational buy in.  The rewards can be two fold, firstly boosting the local economy, creating jobs and encouraging tourism and secondly generating investment returns, a stable income source and reducing the reliance on other sources of funding.  This workshop explores some of the practical issues around innovative investments.

14.15 – 14.45 Coffee and networking in the exhibition hall


Chair: Simon Jack, Broadcast Journalist


Theresa Grafenstine, Inspector General, US House of Representatives and Board of Directors, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA)

Bernard Jenkin, Conservative Party Candidate for Harwich and North Essex

We live in an era increasingly characterised by a decline in public trust in government. The rise of social media, suspicion around fake news, alternative facts, media manipulation and the associated risk to personal privacy all contribute to a new sense that traditional norms of accountability and transparency are being undermined.

Theresa Grafenstine, Inspector General of the US House of Representatives will address how, in the disruptive environment of the digital age citizens can truly hold government to account? She asks can the ready availability of more and more data and the ability to analyse it speedily and accurately really improve the performance of public services and social outcomes?

In the light of the recent PACAC report ‘Accounting for democracy’ its former chair Bernard Jenkin will look at how Parliament, the people and ministers know how and why public money is spent

Topics covered: digital, data, social media, trust, transparency


Chair: Simon Jack, Broadcast Journalist

Speakers: Anton Colella, Chief Executive, ICAS

Joy Thomas, CEO CPA Canada,

Matt Miller, Finance Director, BAE Systems

Finance professionals are working on a greater variety of activities as service provision becomes more complicated.

The finance function of the future will be defined by flexibility and adaptive process, increasing levels of automation and real-time reporting, exponentially more data available will demand skills in predictive analytics. Finance will be at the centre of organisational performance and to deliver will mean responding to transformational pressures and in public services an entirely new level of entrepreneurship and commercialism.

16.20 Conference close