Profession prepares to swoop on the conference season

Representatives of the profession are to descend on Brighton this weekend, as
partners from the Big Four accountancy firms and institute lobbyists prepare to
swoop on the three main party conferences to make political friends and
influence people.

The profession is pushing debates on UK competitiveness, urban renewal and
party tax policies.

KPMG, the ICAEW and ACCA are all set to appear at the conferences, as
politicians rally their parties in locations across the country.

KPMG will be one firm with a significant presence at the conferences. The
firm is sponsoring two talks at the Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton,
which kicks off this weekend. One is entitled ‘Making cities work: What next?’
and the other is ‘Keeping the UK Competitive – The price of success?’

Neil Sherlock, a partner in public affairs at KPMG, is speaking at the
latter, whilst Ian Barlow, senior partner, London, is speaking at a Work
Foundation fringe meeting on migration at the Labour conference.

The firm is sponsoring events for five different organisations at the
conferences: London First, CentreForum, IPPR, Politiea and the Work Foundation.

Francesca Lagerberg, chairman of the tax faculty at the ICAEW, is also on the
bill at the Lib Dem conference, discussing ‘Liberal Democrat Tax Proposals: Who
Wins and Who Loses?’

In line with ACCA’s increased focus on influencing government through its
public policy unit, it is making the same presentation at all three conferences,
where it is looking to encourage a ‘holistic’ approach to policymaking, it said.

‘ACCA speakers will give a “front line” perspective on how service delivery
is impacted by financial decisions and strategy, and discuss how finance cannot
be seen in abstract from policy making,’ the institute said.

ACCA’s new president Dennis Yeates is to speak alongside John Healey,
financial secretary to the Treasury, at the Labour debate, while vice-president
Richard Aitken-Davies will be in Bournemouth at the Tory conference alongside
Oliver Letwin.

ICAS will not be joining the ICAEW or ACCA. An ICAS spokesman said it ‘did
not get involved in party politics’.

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