Scotland - Famous for its love of bagpipes, kilts and haggis; not quite as well known for being home to just over 700 ICB Bookkeepers. With ICB's Scottish Conference coming up next week, we thought it could not be more timely to feature Scotland as our region of the month. We had a chat with regional chair, Michelle Potter, to find out what Scotland's ICB Bookkeepers have in store for 2012.
Regional Chairs: Michelle Potter, Fraser Reid, Sarah Douglas
How many branches do you have within the region?
At the moment, we have several small groups across the country. In the past we have had CPD meetings in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
How often do you meet?
We currently try to meet twice year, but with the Scottish Conference next week, we are hoping that this will be an opportunity to unite all members in Scotland and get groups up and running to meet on a more regular basis.
What do you discuss?
The format of the meeting is usually determined by the needs of the group. Generally, the meeting will start with an informal networking session, to help members to get to know each other. This will then be followed by a presentation from a specialist speaker. In the past we have had Accountants speaking about various topics from 'what they would like from a bookkeeper,' to 'how to deal with VAT?'
How have you progressed?
Well, we always have room for more people to get involved and we hope that after next week's event and speaking to other members we'll get others on board to help.
What are the benefits for people who attend?
As we are all in the same boat, branch meetings are a chance for members to meet together and network, in a supportive environment. Some members feel isolated and concerned that their questions sound stupid, so informal chats are a great way to ease their minds. We will always try to help, but even if one of us doesn't know the answer, we will find someone (a speaker) who will. The most important thing is that you are not alone and there will always be someone there to help. We are a friendly group and they can always contact either myself Fraser, or Sarah to give them peace of mind.
What makes your region special?
We are confident that after the conference, everyone will see that we are an open, honest and helpful group.
What networking opportunities are there?
Lots!! Nothing better than a niggling worry being eased out by experienced members. Just need to ask. Also we can give ideas to new members to help their business to grow.
What are your visions for the future?
For the ICB to grow in Scotland.