Hailed by one member as 'informative, fun and very inspirational', we give you the best bits of this year's Bookkeepers Summit....

The ninth annual Bookkeepers Summit took place on 26 and 27 November 2018 at the beautiful Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel in Heathrow, London. It was two jam-packed days, full of industry insight, regulatory updates, thought leadership and networking. Watch the video below to see what took place.

The most informed and influential minds of the profession shared their insights with us and set out the roadmap for the future. 

The keynotes

Jennifer Warawa, Executive Vice President, Partners, Accountants & Alliances at Sage delivered the first keynote. Sage were the proud headline sponsor of the Bookkeepers Summit. Below are some of her most important nuggets of information: 

"Think beyond aspiring to become relevant. Don't strive for relevance. I want you to be amazing."

"If we want to change our culture, we need to change the conversation. Make a change from what you do today, and move on to become the workforce of the future."

"Advice is about thinking ahead to the future. Become your clients' trusted advisor."

Her top tips: 

Develop tech skills
Develop soft skills
Think critically
Communicate effectively 


Gary Turner, UK MD and Co-Founder at Xero:

"The Bookkeepers Summit is the best community event that we go to."

Gary Turner (pictured below) was inspired by his bookkeeper mother Christine Kincaid to transform the way bookkeepers work. He firmly believes in the 'human at heart' aspect of businesses and that ICB Bookkeepers are a vital part of businesses. You can read ICB's interview with Christine Kincaid C.FICB here.



June Carter, ICB Co-Founder and COO presenting Christine Kincaid C.FICB with her ICB Companion Award

Nick Longden, VP of Sales at FreeAgent:

Nick delivered a keynote about AI and Open Banking - the next wave of digital disruption and said the clock isn't ticking on the profession.

"Even if you've got great toothpaste, you still need a dentist. But you don't want to go somewhere where they just pull out your teeth and give you pain. You want a new-style dentist who can offer an expanded range of services such as tooth-whitening, etc. As ICB bookkeepers, you will be able to offer a wide range of services to your clients."

John Connolly, Chief Product Officer at ReceiptBank

John told us why MTD is making bookkeepers more essential than ever. 

"When you stop being the 'compliance police' for your clients, it frees you up to have bigger, more meaningful conversations."


Caroline Plumb OBE, CEO and Founder at Fluidly

When Caroline Plumb OBE, founder and CEO of cashflow forecasting startup Fluidly, heard about the Bookkeepers Summit, she jumped at the chance to attend as a keynote speaker. Fluidly was recently named one of London's hottest startups by Wired Magazine.

“Use technology to make a superhero version of you.”

The exhibition

The exhibition room was abuzz with members meeting the teams behind their favourite tools. ReceiptBank were demonstrating how to use their software and giving away free scanners, while Thomson Local and Make It Cheaper were there to introduce themselves as new Membership Benefits partners with popular offers exclusive to ICB members. More information about the new Make It Cheaper partnership can be found here and here.


"A valuable source of information, inspiration and networking with a fair balance of coffee, food and fun." 

Lucy Brown FICB PM.Dip

The full list of exhibitors is below:



Receipt Bank







Ideal Schools

Training Link

Zoho Books


Intuit QuickBooks


Make It Cheaper


Practice Ignition


Thomson Local

The workshops

Students and members could choose up to four workshops to attend on each of the two days, meaning they left the Summit with new knowledge, vital tools, and CPD. These targeted training sessions covered everything from AML to Cyber Security, Budget and Payroll Updates, ICAEW exemptions and business development. Particularly popular were the sessions run by members; Starting Your Practice by Paula Veysey-Smith C.FICB, Systematising Your Practice by Jo Wood FICB, and Scaling Your Practice by Claire Packham FICB. 

Scaling Your Practice workshop: Claire Packham FICB


The Regional Huddles

For the first time the Branch Chairs hosted a workshop for each Region of the UK called the Members Regional Huddle which was a friendly, interactive session and enlightening Q&A on all things bookkeeping and ICB.
The venue

Members who attended voiced their approval of the beautiful and welcoming hotel venue and took advantage of their extra time on-site to network and meet up with friends old and new in the hotel's lovely Bijou Bar, conveniently located straight off the main hotel lobby and just moments from all the Summit's main stage and exhibition halls.

"I really like the fact it was in a hotel. It was so convenient having everything in the same place!"

Magali Lovell-Pascall AICB PM.Dip 

The Luca Awards

Three members and Xero MD Gary Turner's mum, were honoured by being made Companions of ICB at the Luca Awards ceremony which took place on the first night of the Summit. Proceedings began with a bang in a Drinks Reception hosted by Receipt Bank, with 290 guests attending the glamorous evening including members, software providers, training providers and sponsors. 26 Luca Award Winners were announced and cheered emphatically, and Jacquie Mount FICB was given a standing ovation when she tearfully accepted her award for Outstanding Contribution to the Bookkeeping Profession. For more information and photos of the winners, please click here.

The survey

If you attended the Summit, there's still time to give us your feedback via the Summit Survey here. 


"The Mecca of Bookkeeping... you have to go at least once and then you’ll want to go again. Such an inspiring event."


"Attending the ICB Summit should be at the top of your "must do" list for 2019!"


"Excellent experience, great presentations, fantastic location. Brilliant to meet up with other bookkeepers who are doing exactly the same as you and learn from each other. I gained inspiration, knowledge and friendship. Best Summit I've attended over the last 7 years!"


The 2018 Bookkeepers Summit in the Press

Read more about it here:
AccountingWEB Blog post by Small Practice of the Year winner Zoe Whitman: Why awards are great for business
Chris Downing, Director of Product Marketing at Sage: Why the ICB Luca Awards mean so much
There was a big buzz about the Bookkeepers Summit and Luca Awards on social media! Check out the stats below.