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CIPFA conference update

Tony Era, Financial Audit Team Leader at Wales Audit Office and CIPFA member reports on this year’s CIPFA Student Conference

September 2017

This year saw a return to the fantastic city of Manchester for the annual CIPFA conference, at which a whole day is dedicated to students and attendance is free of charge. This is a unique and fantastic opportunity to meet many different people from all walks of life and at many stages in their careers.
It was my second year as an attendee due to my volunteering with the CIPFA Student Network (CSN). Although I am a fully qualified member of CIPFA, I still personally feel a strong sense of duty towards all PQ students, both in the workplace (across a variety of institutes) and in the wider CIPFA world. While my enthusiasm remains high and I still feel I am able to offer useful support I will continue volunteering with CSN.
The conference began with a few sessions for all attendees and we were welcomed by the new President of CIPFA Andrew Burns. Andrew welcomed one and all, and set out his vision and priorities for his year of Presidency. It was a truly inspiring welcome from someone who I personally met at the very first CIPFA event I attended in 2013, and who is always a passionate speaker and advocate for CIPFA.
Next up was a panel session by three of the most interesting and engaging speakers I have ever seen. Andrew Lilico, Philip Collins and Grace Blakely spoke passionately and frankly about the current political and economic climate.
With my head swimming with new ideas, I headed over to the main exhibition centre for a quick spot of networking on the way to the Student Conference. It was particularly nerve wracking because up to this point we did not know how many students were at the event but slowly and surely our room started to fill up and we had a great audience.
Kathryn Long, President of the CSN, welcomed everyone and the day was filled with thought-provoking and engaging sessions from a wide variety of speakers. Of particular interest were the Senior Manager stories. These sessions are becoming more and more common and I always find them interesting, especially finding out how so many of us are accidental accountants! It truly shows the breadth and quality of the qualification and that it can open up so many pathways.
The conference was closed with a handover ceremony to the new President of CSN, Chris Roberts. We all wish Chris the very best for his year, which will surely include some big changes. The day was capped off with the annual prize awards for students and it was so rewarding and pleasing to see the celebrations after what I know were many months and even years of hard work.
If I might leave you with one thought it is to really encourage you to get involved with one of the many CIPFA volunteer groups. For me it has given me so many opportunities and it really does provide long lasting friendship and development.
CIPFA students wishing to get involved in the work of the CIPFA Student Network are invited to contact csn@cipfa.org.
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Students take centre stage

Part of CIPFA’s regular calendar of events is their annual Student Conference, taking place last month at Manchester as part of CIPFA’s wider Annual Conference.
One of the conference highlights is the annual prize giving for those students whose exam results reflect the best performance in specific modules of the CIPFA Professional Accountancy Qualification (CIPFA PQ).
Friends and family of the winners were also invited by CIPFA to help celebrate the students’ achievements. Congratulations to all the winners, particularly Tess Barker of Grant Thornton, who picked up a total of three awards in this year’s ceremony. The winners were:
• Arthur Collins Memorial Medal (Best overall in SCS and SPF): Tess Barker, Grant Thornton UK LLP
• Richard Emmott Memorial Prize (Best performance in SCS): Tess Barker, Grant Thornton UK LLP
• Eric Gilliland Memorial Prize in SPF (Best performance in SPF): Tess Barker, Grant Thornton UK LLP
• Best performance in FA: Laura Tymon, Kingsbridge Academy
• Best performance in MA: Jeremy Williams, Ministry of Defence
• Best performance in CFR: Katherine Sissons, London Borough of Islington
• Best performance in AA: Sarah Heasley, NHS Leadership Academy
• Best performance in FM: Collins Mitchell, Grant Thornton UK LLP
• Best performance in FM: Laura McHugh, Northern Ireland Audit Office
• Best performance in BCM: Billie Emery, Wandsworth Borough Council
• Best performance in SPD: Linda Major, Self-funding
• Best performance in TAX: Jason Gooch, Nottinghamshire County Council
• Best performance in CGL & PSFR: Nicola Jayne Owen, Isle of Anglesey County Council
• Best performance in CGL: Callum Justice, City of Edinburgh Council
• Best performance in APA: Jessica Hambley, Grant Thornton UK LLP
• Best performance in APA: Hiruni Weerasekera, Grant Thornton UK LLP
• CIPFA International Student of the Year 2016: Batdolgor Chuluun

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