These are not just any awards, they are ICB Luca Awards

Everyone wants a 525-year-old man

I’ve never known an October like it. Every year we get nominations for our LUCA Awards. Named in honour of Luca Pacioli, the Cistercian monk who first wrote down the principles of double-entry bookkeeping. Every year individuals and organisations jostle to get their hands on the coveted LUCA, the Oscar of the bookkeeping profession. As Sean Evers (now with Fluidly) tweeted after picking up a LUCA Award on behalf of Sage, “This is not just any award; it is an ICB award."

So it is perhaps no surprise that year on year nominations have been growing, particularly in this the 525th anniversary of the release of Pacioli’s work.The Bookkeeping Software of the Year award is again hotly contested with ICB members voting in their thousands. The practice awards have hit record numbers with judges asking for the usual shortlist of nine across the three categories to be extended to give them more time to make their decision.

If you want to find out what happens, I believe there are about a dozen seats left at the LUCA Awards dinner. It is always a fantastic event and really not to be missed.

See the short-list here.

Conference call

I presume you are coming to the magnificent 10th Annual Bookkeepers Summit, which this year returns to the Radisson Blu Edwardian at Heathrow. Lovely hotel, great service and the UK's biggest and best event for bookkeepers. Not only will you be inspired by our keynote speakers and informed by the workshops about everything you need to know, but you will also rub shoulders with the best of the best and have two days packed with fun. It’s good for members, it’s good for students. It’s good for everyone. We honestly always get fantastic comments from people who take part that it really lifts them for the whole year ahead. If you haven’t booked yet, call now and we shall try to fit you in. Say Garry sent you and it might work. 

And if you’re a bit nervous about coming for the first time and meeting so many successful students and bookkeepers – they were all like you once. Everyone would love to meet you and they really are the friendliest group of people and so many of them who first met at Summit are now big friends. We’ll even meet you at the door and introduce you to some of your future best friends. Just mention this to the ICB Team and we’ll sort it.

You can book your Bookkeepers Summit tickets here. Tickets will remain on sale until midnight on Friday 15th November. 

Bookkeepers not spooked by change

I am delighted that whenever I speak to members, you are all so confident in what you are doing and the service you are providing to your very grateful clients and employers. You don’t get phased by anything that's thrown at you – you just get on and sort it out. That’s just what you do; it’s second nature for an ICB Bookkeeper. Making Tax Digital is just one of many examples of prophesied ‘impending doom’ that you have coped with. No fuss. No drama. No IT bogey man for you.

So I have been bemused to witness of late the collective back-slapping in the accounting profession for the ‘huge strides’ they are taking in adapting to the cloud and the new digital profession. Really?  Well once again bookkeepers, it would appear, are ahead of the game. In response to the question in the ICB survey of three years ago, more than eighty per cent of you said you were already working in the cloud. Today my impression is that this figure is very nearly 100 per cent.

The problem for me is how accountants are trying to use technology.  Giving a small business an app and expecting them to do it all themselves is not the answer.  Okay, so they will have a bit of fun for a while, and probably enjoy photographing their receipts but, at the end of the day, they really don’t want to spend their time doing the books. To take this a stage further and suggest that they can complete all of the accounting work and just upload it to their accountants at year-end is, frankly, farcical. AI is certainly moving on but accounts are still not the easiest thing to do, particularly when you are also trying to run a business. I’m not sure HMRC have cottoned on to this one yet; but how many errors, intentional or otherwise, will be lost. What will the cost be to the Public Purse.  And how many new money laundering doors will be opened.  You can guarantee that the crooks are ahead of accountants on this one.

A Commonwealth of bookkeepers

ICB has been re-approved as an Accredited Organisation by the Commonwealth of Nations, which is a partnership of fifty-three countries who have signed up to the Commonwealth Charter, with a combined population of more than 2.4 billion people.  ICB has students and members in forty-eight of them and is working closely with the Commonwealth Secretariat to extend its influence even further.

ICB is one of more than ninety organisations drawn from the fifty-three nations, that support the Charter.  ICB comes under the heading of Civil Society Organisations, which is a grouping of like-minded organisations that want to work together to improve the lives and prospects of everyone in the Commonwealth through such goals as improved access to health, education, better jobs and increasing gender equality.

I'm committed to ensuring ICB continues to make meaningful connections that increase opportunity for others and raise the profile of the profession. I trust you will continue to do the same at a local level within your communities and through the branch network, and nationally at the Bookkeepers Summit and Luca Awards and internationally during the social media storm that is Global Bookkeeping Week. We can all make a difference.

The Bookkeepers Summit

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