Yorkshire is recognised as the largest county in the UK with vast stretches of unspoiled countryside and home to the Bronte sisters, who produced some of England's greatest literary works. We caught up with Alex Smith, regional chair of Yorkshire and The Humber to see what ICB bookkeepers have been up to so far and what they have in store for us in 2012.
Region: Yorkshire and The Humber
Regional Chairs: Alex Smith
Next meeting: TBC
1. How many branches do you have within the region?
One! Just Leeds branch at present, but we are on the lookout for anyone who would like to start a regional branch in any of the towns or counties of Yorkshire & the Humber. All help & advice offered free!
2. How long has your region been up and running?
Leeds meetings have been running since July 2010 where we had 3 members at the first meeting. 19 members attended our last meeting, so we are definitely getting bigger.
3. How often do you meet?
Roughly every 6 - 8 weeks
4. What do you discuss? (Is It informal/do you have speakers)
We have previously had very informal meetings with members bringing questions for discussion, but at our last meeting we had an excellent presentation from a local accountant, on working with Ltd companies. Going forward, we are trying to have a guest speaker at each session, followed by informal questions & networking.
5. How have you progressed?
We have slowly been growing and have quite a few regular attendees. We are adopting a slightly more formal approach by having the guest speakers, but are also keen to retain the friendly and approachable atmosphere that members seem to like!
6. What are the benefits for people who attend?
Mainly connecting with fellow bookkeepers to share concerns and gain knowledge. It can be a lonely business! Also, we always have nice biscuits.
7. What advice would you give someone who is thinking about attending for the first time?
Come! You will be definitely learning something and will be made to feel welcome. We attract people from all over the region and want to reach out to as many people as we can. If you have a question, bring it with you and don't be afraid to ask! It's always better to get things right and nobody will judge you! It's all entirely confidential too.
8. What makes your region special?
We have a slightly eccentric approach I think. Not perhaps what you would expect, but hopefully better!
9. What networking opportunities are there?
We always have an open session at the end to meet the other bookkeepers obviously and a couple of accountants, plus guest speakers from different disciplines to ask questions of and get to know for future help/ advice.
10. What are you visions for the future?
To have more branches in the region and more attendees! Let us know if you would like to come along!
Each ICB region has its own discussion area within the Forum- just scroll to the bottom of the forum homepage bookkeepers.org.uk/forum to find yours. The UK is split into 12 regions, within which smaller 'branches' are set up to host meetings.
Please note, the Forum regional topics are private discussion areas for ICB students and members so you will need to log in to view them using your normal ICB website login.
This year's conference, the Bookkeepers Summit in London on Wednesday 7th November, will conclude with a Members Dinner where you'll have the chance to get together with fellow members on a table hosted by your local branch.