Sponsor and Exhibitors at SYNERGY 2017

Our conference offered a range of compelling talks and workshops from a whole host of industry experts providing our attendees with knowledge and advice to succeed.

Daniel Susskind

Daniel Susskind, Fellow in Economics

Daniel Susskind is a Fellow in Economics at Balliol College, Oxford. Previously, he worked for the British Government - in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, in 10 Downing Street and as a Senior Policy Adviser at the Cabinet Office. He was a Kennedy Scholar at Harvard University.

Daniel Susskind has also co-authored 'The Future of the Professions' which explains how "increasingly capable systems" - from telepresence to artificial intelligence - will bring fundamental change in the way that the expertise of specialists is made available in society. In an Internet society, he suggests, we will neither need nor want doctors, teachers, accountants, architects, the clergy, consultants, lawyers, and many others, to work as they did in the 20th century. Based on his in-depth research of more than ten professions, and illustrated by numerous examples from each, Daniel assesses and questions the relevance of the professions in the 21st century.

Session: Key Note from Daniel Susskind

Neil Butler

Neil Butler, Companies House

Neil Butler has worked for Companies House for over 28 years after previously working in the private sector. He has worked in many sections around the organisation and has developed a wealth of knowledge of the varied areas of company registration. He is the Business Liaison Manager and his role primarily is that of communicating and working with the accountancy and legal professions, business organisations entrepreneurial and educational groups to inform and guide on the many aspects of company start-up, officers responsibilities, compliance and products and services. He travels widely around the UK giving presentations and attending conferences as a guest speaker.

Session: Companies House Update

Rebecca Cave

Rebecca Cave, CTA FCA MBA, Owner, Taxwriter Ltd

Rebecca Cave qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG in Norwich and achieved Chartered Tax Adviser status while working for Robson Rhodes in Cambridge. Her primary role is now as consultant tax policy editor at AccountingWEB. She also writes newsletters for various publishers and is the co-author of the tax annual: Capital Gains Tax, and Capital Gains Tax Reliefs for SMEs and Entrepreneurs, both published by Bloomsbury Professional. She is also edits Bloomsbury’s Tax Rates and Tables.

In her spare time Rebecca serves on the ICAEW Tax Faculty’s Small Business Tax technical tax committee, the CIOT’s Owner Managed Business Tax sub-committee, and the CIOT Mid-Anglia branch committee.

Session: Making Tax Digital Panel Discussion

Paul Shrimpling

Paul Shrimpling, Managing Director, Remarkable Practice

For 14 years Paul has worked closely with accountants in practice helping them improve their processes, their people and of course their profits to achieve remarkable results.

As Managing Director of Remarkable Practice, a consulting practice, Paul helps accountants avoid expensive marketing pitfalls. And then helps them realise their full marketing potential by helping them change their marketing habits.

Paul hopes to encourage to individuals to think, to participate and to take action too. Paul is renowned for bringing passion and enthusiasm and a good degree of grit to his presentations. Expect to be challenged!

Session: Is Making Tax Digital the biggest threat or the biggest opportunity facing your accountancy firm? And what should you do about it now?

Jon Cooper

Jon Cooper, Director CooperFaure Accountants

Jon is a versatile accountant and tax expert with over thirty years’ experience not just confined to the world of accountancy. He has run other companies and understands the myriad pressures from negotiating credit facilities to securing venture capital to dealing with the seemingly endless red tape.

All of which feeds into the CooperFaure Accountants ethos of embracing technology to provide real-time information that adds value to the client’s business. As Making Tax Digital rolls out, the practice sees their role as the accountant evolving. The transactional bookkeeping and reworking requirements will diminish. However, they feel that there is a real opportunity to work with their clients to provide meaningful management information and key performance indicators to enable them to take strategic decisions.

Session: Making Tax Digital Panel Discussion

Nigel Harris

Nigel Harris, Partner, Burton Sweet

Nigel is a partner with Burton Sweet, a seven-office firm based across Bristol and the South West, and runs their Shepton Mallet office. He deals with a full range of business and private tax clients, including medium-sized group audits and charities.

He has a particular interest in practice IT issues and has been a regular contributor to AccountingWEB since its earliest days. He has also written several software guides for the ICAEW IT Faculty, the latest on accounts production software.

Session: Making Tax Digital Panel Discussion

Susan Gompels

Susan I Gompels, OBE FCA, Owner, S I Gompels & Co.

Susan Gompels is Principal in her own Chartered Accountant practice, specialising in general financial and taxation services, and related personal strategic planning. Medical specialists make up a large part of her client portfolio, and she contributed to a wide-ranging postgraduate teaching programme for those entering senior hospital Consultant posts.

For many years an elected member of ICAEW ruling Council, and later chairing Disciplinary Tribunals, Susan serves now within the ICAEW Tax Faculty representing members as they work to manage the changing Compliance and prospective Digital programmes of HM Revenue & Customs.

As founder President of Women in Accountancy, Susan represented the accountancy profession on the UK Inter-Professional Group and founded Workplace 21 Century. She was appointed OBE in 1998.

Session: Making Tax Digital Panel Discussion

John Stokdyk

John Stokdyk, Journalist, AccountingWEB

John Stokdyk specialises in the application of technology in the workplace with the use of effective communication through editorial strategies.

John began his career in print as a freelancer; he has contributed to The Financial Times, The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Evening Standard, Financial Director, Design Week, Computer Weekly, Computing, Mac User, Transport, New Statesman and many, many more. For several years, John also worked as an editorial consultant for Hunt Thompson PR, providing advice, content and media training to clients to that included Silicon Graphics, Cadcentre and Roffey Park Management College.

In 1997 John moved to an online editorial career working with many top online editorial sites within the tax and accounting world. Presently he is the editor for the well known site

Session: The secrets of Practice Excellence

Ben Smith

Ben Smith, UK Publisher,

Ben Smith is the publisher for, the UK's leading online community for accountants. He's been with the site since 2010 and works closely with accounting firms and their suppliers to navigate the numerous regulatory and technology changes shaping the profession. Ben is dedicated to ensuring the site remains innovative, relevant and trustworthy for its vibrant community of accountants and finance professionals.

In this vein, he has been instrumental in taking practice development into new territories with sponsored podcasts, instructional videos and live interactive events such as AccountingWEB's Practice Excellence Live online conference.

Ben is enthusiastic about discussing accountancy trends with anyone involved in the profession.

Session: The secrets of Practice Excellence

Richard Sergeant

Richard Sergeant, Managing Director, Principle Point

Richard Sergeant, is Managing Director of Principle Point which provides specialist insight and business development support for accountants and their vendors. Richard has a particular focus on helping firms develop their cloud services. and is the author of "How to creates your firm's cloud proposition" published in association with ICAS.

Session: Clearing up the Cloud

Alex Falcon

Alex Falcon Huerta FCCA, Director, Soaring Falcon Accountancy

Soaring Falcon Accountancy founder and owner, Alex Falcon Huerta, comes from 20 years of experience in a practice background. But in early 2015, she decided that the time was right to step out on her own and create her own unique take on the cloud practice concept.

Her aim was to work with younger, tech-savvy businesses that had already adopted cloud systems, or had seen the underlying benefits of cloud and wanted to move their business and finances to an online solution. This was also key to HMRC's campaign about Making Tax Digital.

Soaring Falcon Accountancy is an innovative, forward thinking digital firm. Working with startups and established firms to help them grow.

Session: Clearing up the Cloud

Gary Turner

Gary Turner, Managing Director, Xero

Gary Turner is co-founder and managing director at Xero UK, and also oversees Xero's business interests across Europe, Middle East & Africa. Xero is the multi award winning global leader in online accounting software with more than 800,000 subscribers around the world.

Under Gary's leadership Xero UK has scaled from a three person startup with annual revenues of £50,000 in 2009 to what will surpass 200 staff and £25M in revenues in 2017.

Session: A clear view of accounting’s future

Shane Lukas

Shane Lukas, Managing Director, AVN

Shane is the Managing Director of AVN, a business that’s transforming the accountancy profession from traditional accountants in to value adding, business growth specialists. For 18 years Shane has been training and coaching accountants to add more value around the accounts and helping them become a sought after business advisor to their clients.

He’s author of the book - The Business Owner’s Guide to the UK’s Best Accountancy Practices, co- author of The world’s most inspiring accountants and is due to release his latest book - What’s next for accountants in early 2017.

Shane’s known for being a thought disruptor, challenging beliefs and the status quo and helping people take back control of their lives, feel purposeful and worthwhile.

Session: How to deliver greater value with less effort and more reward

Shane Lukas

Caroline Smale FCA , Bishop Fleming LLP

Caroline Smale is a partner in Bishop Fleming LLP, a top 40 firm of accountants.

She has a background in audit and accounts for owner managed business and is renowned for her practical approach. Caroline now heads up the Technical and Training team for the firm and understands the challenges of ensuring staff and clients alike get to grips with a brave new world of financial reporting for small companies under new GAAP.

Caroline sits on the ICAEW Practice Committee and is currently district society President for ICAEW South West.

Session: FRS Technical Update

Alex Tucker

Alex Tucker, Head of Marketing, Sift PracticeWEB

Alex has worked in Marketing since the mid nineties and has run marketing and sales campaigns for global brands including Orange and Rolls Royce. understands the challenges of ensuring staff and clients alike get to grips with a brave new world of financial reporting for small companies under new GAAP.

At Sift PracticeWEB, Alex provides workshops, eBooks, and webinars to help accountants make sure they get the best return on their marketing efforts, and has been a regular contributor to the AccountingWEB Practice Excellence awards and programme over the last three years.

Session: Using Social Media for Growth