The best bits of the tenth annual Bookkeepers Summit

The Keynotes

Kevin Lord, Digital Enablement Manager at FreeAgent

FreeAgent were the proud headline sponsors of the Bookkeepers Summit and Kevin Lord took to the stage to share valuable insights on marginal gains theory. Below are some of his most important nuggets of information;

"The marginal gains from your clients can be made through helping each other. You need to get to the same place, you need to take into consideration what your clients are doing. You need to be confident when it comes to asking your clients questions."

"To maintain engagement on social media, check your feeds daily and respond promptly, follow your clients, their business and industry leaders and don't forget to join in conversations!"

"It's alright to speak to clients on different plaforms. Not everyone uses email, so don't be afraid to branch out to connect with your clients."


Gary Turner, Xero UK's Founder and MD

ICB Personality of the Year and ever-popular Summit speaker, Gary Turner, told a raptured audience about Xero's Transferwse integration for accounts payable and its HubDoc integration for data capture. Gary also discussed the new mileage tracker in Xero Expenses that automatically calculates fuel and mileage expenses to reimburse staff.

'Here at Xero,' Gary said, 'we are dedicated to understanding your work and the challenges you face. We’re giving you peace of mind, supercharged efficiency and insights to help you have more meaningful conversations with your clients.'



John Connolly, Chief Product Officer at Receipt Bank

There was much talk of Receipt Bank's John Connolly being everyone's favourite Summit speaker after his moving and amusing keynote impressing on ICB Bookkeepers the value of creating something amazing with their business and finding their broader purpose. 'Choose choice', the clients who choose to work with you understand what you're trying to achieve and don't just want the cheapest option.  'Choose change' because change is relentless you have to learn to love it. 'Choose Challenge' think big and work with people who share your passion for amazing.

AutoEntry's founder Brendan Woods joins Chris Downing, Sage's Head of Product Management

Following on from Sage's purchase of Luca Award winning data-capture software, AutoEntry, the two tech giants teamed up to present a dual keynote. Brendan Woods and Chris Downing's enthusiasm for bookkeepers and the business of client services was obvious and infectious and the pair treated their audience to an in-depth look at how and into what area ICB Bookkeepers could enhance their offering.


Trent McLaren, Head of Accounting at Practice Ignition, presenting his keynote on Why You Should See Technology as a Full-Time Employee.

Talking us through the value and time-efficiencies of getting your tech stack right, Trent challenged ICB Bookkeepers to think twice when they next hear themselves saying an app is 'too expensive' and to question instead 'too expensive compared to what?' Trent gave examples of how Practice Ignition is using Zapier to create their own integrations between apps to effectively do the work of an employee in less time and for less money.

Ami Copeland keynote

ICB director of communications, Ami Copeland, opening the final keynote session

Ami Copeland, ICB director of communications, opened the final keynote session of the Summit with a tribute to the adaptability of bookkeepers, announcing that ICB members have disrupted the profession and are propelling it forward. Ami spoke about the number of members she'd spoken to throughout the year and at Summit who have rapidly increased their turnover, and welcomed to the stage 'three inspirational ICB members who, like so many of their fellow bookkeepers, are strong and humble at the same time, committed to helping others and running progressive businesses.'



Jo Wood FICB delivering her keynote; How to Run a 6-Figure Business From Your Kitchen Table.

In Jo's candid keynote she discussed how she's learnt from past mistakes and overcome serious illness to set up her latest bookkeeping venture and be the main bread-winner for her family. 


Zoe Whitman MICB presenting her keynote; How to Set More Goals and Be More Productive in 2020

Zoe, ICB's Social Media Influencer of the Year, gave us some practical and insightful tips for finding extra time in the day, sharing a strategy that enabled her to have a baby, run a business and write a book this year. Zoe also guided us through a visualisation and challenged us to create a 90-day Plan for the first quarter of 2020 and stay accountable for it by telling her exactly how it's going.



Sue Lang MICB PM.Dip presenting her keynote; How I Grew my Practice and merged with another ICB Bookkeeper

In Sue's inspiring and informative keynote we learnt about the various stages of her business and how her team regularly had to move into bigger offices as they continued to grow. Sue gave us an in-depth view of the process of merging her practice and how, together with her new business partner, fellow advisory council member Juliet McKenna MICB, she brought all their clients along on the journey.

The Members Panel with Sue Lang MICB PM.Dip, Jo Wood FICB, Zoe Whitman MICB and Ami Copeland, director of communications

Our three inspirational member speakers were joined on stage by ICB's Ami Copeland in the return of the ever-popular Members Panel to discuss everything from how to charge £75 per hour, how to be a progressive employer and how to avoid 'scope creep' and just say no to clients. Despite taking place on the main stage, this closing session felt intimate and personal.

Members immediately took to social media with the #BookkeepersSummit event hashtag to thank Sue, Jo and Zoe for sharing their stories. On most social networks you can follow hashtags, as well as people, to ensure that you're always getting relevant content in your feed.

Jo Wood social


The Exhibition


Our exhibition was abuzz with students and members meeting our twenty exhibitors to find out about the latest innovations, updates and new products. New to the Bookkeepers Summit were challenger banks Coconut and Tide, tax software giant TaxCalc, practice management platform AccountancyManager, new bookkeeping software provider XpressoBooks and our Platinum sponsor Practice Ignition.

The full list of exhibitors is below:



Receipt Bank


Practice Ignition







Training Link

Ideal Schools





Intuit Quickbooks

Accountancy Manager

Xpresso Books


The Silent Theatre

Another new feature of this year's Summit was the Silent Theatre. Donning headphones to get crystal clear reception over the hubbub of the exhibition, ICB Bookkeepers were able to get a closer look at the leading practice software and find out what the future holds for their favourite apps.



The Workshops

Attendees achieved five CPD points for each day of the Summit and had the opportunity to update their technical skills in the following targeted 45-minute workshops:

Financial Statements (FRS105 and 102;1A)
VAT and MTD Update
Payroll 2020 Update
Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Update
Corporation Tax Update
Self Assessment Tax Update
Management Accounting syllabus consultation
Student Revision Workshops on the core syllabus at Level 2, 3 and 4.
Health and Wellbeing coaching session
Members Regional Huddle


 ICB resident wellness expert, Simone Gilbert, hosting her Wellbeing Workshop 


 ICB technical advisor, Jacquie Mount C.FICB, hosting student revision workshops


Regional Huddle

Advisory Council vice-chair, Steven Worrall C.FICB, and Chair, Paula Veysey-Smith C.FICB, taking part in a Regional Huddle 

A big thank you!

The ICB Team loved spending two days with everyone who attended. It was an inspiring and energising celebration of ten years of the Bookkeepers Summit and we look forward to continuing to support you and your career in 2020 and beyond.

ICB Team at Summit

ICB Team with Co-Founders, Garry and June Carter, front and centre

ICB Team at Summit funny


Download keynote and workshop presentation slides here
Find out more about the Luca Awards winners here