In the May blog from Ami Copeland, the ICB CEO reflects on a busy month meeting members, catching up with industry colleagues and celebrating awards winning bookkeepers.

The sun’s out so I’m out! So far this month I’ve visited a thriving, and particularly impressive, ICB practice in Cheshire and celebrated bookkeeping success at the Xero Awards in Manchester. I’ve also stopped in for breakfast at the Shard to discuss AI courtesy of Sage CEO Steve Hare, and now I'm resolutely in the mood for next week's Accountex. 

Inspire Tour In-coming

While I've had the luxury of a busy calendar of events, the team at ICB HQ has been hard at work laying the foundations for a review of our core bookkeeping syllabus. ICB members can have your say when we meet you at the Inspire Tour, which sees the ICB Team head out to six cities across the UK to hear your thoughts on future skills for bookkeepers and to provide you with your recommended annual dose of CPD.

New technology for ICB

We’re not just future-proofing your skills, we’re improving our technology too. We’re busy building the new website which will be launched at this year’s Bookkeepers Summit. You can expect to see a more modern, intuitive and user-friendly website with existing features like AML Online completely revamped and reinvented, and new features introduced such as social networking.
Website wireframe sneak peek
A sneak peek at one of the wrirefarmes for the new ICB website coming Autumn 2024
The new technology is just part of our commitment as a not-for-profit organisation to reinvest your membership fees into providing ever-improving services and support. Our reimagined online presence also supports our strategic objective to raise the profile of the profession, of ICB, and of our members.

Visiting members

And talking of members, I was lucky enough to be hosted by ICB practice Knutsford Admin (Ka) in the beautiful town of Knutsford in Cheshire last week. Practice Owner, Helen Rogers MICB PM.Dip, has been with ICB since 2012 and we always speak at events like DAS and Accountex, but this was my first opportunity to visit the practice Helen runs together with CFO Rebecca Mallon MICB PM.Dip.
Outside Knutsford Admin
Ami at Knutsford Admin's offices with (l-r) Rebecca and Helen
Ka epitomises what bookkeepers do best - providing expert, trusted support to local businesses. Helen took me on a tour of just some of her clients in the market town, including a luxury perfume shop and an historic-feeling wine bar for some refreshing fizz.
What became clear to me is that Helen is a respected and beloved local figurehead whose hard work and passion have helped her build a business of 12 staff and help local businesses grow too.
Knutsford Admin offices
Rebecca and Helen with other members of the team at Knutsford Admin
While I was there I had the chance to find out more about how Helen’s practice is rolling out Xbert for practice management and health-scoring her bookkeepers’ work. There were some really promising-looking AI features that ICB members in Australia have been using for years before Xbert entered the UK market this year. You can read our ICB member review here.

Success at the Xero Awards

1 May saw me once more celebrating Lara Manton MICB who took home the highly prized Small Firm of the Year award at the Xero Awards. Held in a stylish warehouse in central Manchester and full of tinsel bombs, live music, food trucks and other surprises, the Xero Awards lived up to its reputation as the best party this side of XeroCon on 12-13 June.
Lara Manton Xero Awards 2024
Lara Manton accepting her Xero Award
In her acceptance speech, Lara said her win was testament to what one little bookkeeper can achieve and asked the audience to consider the impact bookkeepers are having on the business world. Congratulations also to Lara’s fellow member Leanda Daddow MICB for being shortlisted alongside Lara in the Bookkeeping Firm of the Year category.
ICB qualified bookkeeper, Elspeth Cordray MICB PM.Dip, was also up on stage accepting the award on behalf of A2X, where she now works as Customer Success Team Lead. You can find out more about Elspeth’s exceptional achievements and how she began working for the Fintech in our feature here.
Elspeth Cordray MICB PM.Dip Xero Awards
Elspeth Cordray accepting the Xero Award for A2X

Catching up with Sage

It was fantastic to catch up with ICBers Jo Wood and Tim Chileston on Wednesday morning at the Shard to hear about Sage’s exciting new AI companion Sage CoPilot. Tim is an early adopter and spoke on the panel about how bookkeepers and accountants can embrace generative AI and said how Sage CoPilot, ‘already saves us time and that’s only going to get more impactful.’
Ami at the Sage Shard eventAmi with (l-r) Sage CEO Steve Hare and Tim Chilestone owner of TCS Guernsey
While high above the London skyline at Sage, I had chance to catch up with Tom Herbert, Dan Cockerton, and Graham Hambly  and enjoyed sharing stories from their respective events FAB, DAS and the PQ Awards. Ahead of next week’s Accountex I’m struck by how busy the bookkeeping calendar is this year.
I hope you’ll come to visit us at Accountex where we’re hosting the Bookkeepers Theatre and have a packed two days of great talks for you. We're also running a special promotion for anyone who wants to make a great saving on applying for ICB membership by exemption.
Ami speaking at Accountex banner
Events and time away from the 'office' are not just about CPD and networking, they’re also a great opportunity to be inspired and energised so you can continue to give your all to your work.