Now that the Certified Practising Accountants (CPA) Congress is over, Corality’s Director Dr. Liam Bastick shares his thoughts on his Australian world tour of accounting congresses.
So how did it go?
Three months on and off travelling to Brisbane, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney simply flew past. I presented to nearly 800 CPAs in total and met a lot of interesting people.
Who was the most interesting person you met?
Ironically enough, it wasn’t a CPA or one of the keynote pioneers of industry speakers. It was someone I must admit I had never heard of before I was lucky enough to meet him: Tony Mowbray, survivor of the deadly 1998 Sydney to Hobart yacht race and solo around-the-world sailor. He was a very humble man, but a powerful, highly motivational speaker. I like to think I am highly passionate about financial modelling, but I can’t hold a candle to his enthusiasm for sailing! He presented for nearly two hours and it only seemed like five minutes…
What did you present?
I was fortunate to be able to present on a whole raft of topics:
- The Three 3R’s of Financial Modelling (Risk, Return and Ranking) – this session concentrated on considering what is best practice modelling, and how to identify and mitigate for modelling risks in Excel
- Key Driver Analysis – a high level overview of how to determine and quantify what the key drivers of a business are using scenario, sensitivity, simulations and real options analyses
- Cash Flow Management for Critical Decision-Making – this seminar discussed the pitfalls of concentrating on one or two financial statements at the “expense” (pun intended) of the third – typically, the cash flow statement. I went through the why’s and wherefore’s of weekly cash flow forecasting
- Excel Secrets and Shortcuts – as bastions of financial modelling best practice and experienced Excel professionals, you’d like to think we’d be asked to present a session like this..? I found this great fun – nearly 100 accountants in room, laptops at the ready, learning a truck load of new tips and tricks
- Forecasting Techniques and Financial Modelling – almost a stats course! This proactive session discussed useful Excel functions that can help management accountants and other finance professionals forecast objectively from historical data – and then demonstrated some of the pitfalls!
With so many sessions, I was surprised to see that many of my courses booked out. It appears as if the world after the financial crisis now has a much stronger focus on business analytics, financial modelling and risk and forecasting techniques.!
This biggest sign of this was the “Forecasting Techniques and Financial Modelling” course. This was quite a technical session and I expected take-up to be lower than for the other symposia. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong – it was over-subscribed by more than a factor of two! I’ve had so much positive feedback on this session that Corality will be adding it to our list of training courses in the New Year. Please let me know if you are interested as we are more than likely to focus on in-house delivery and only run a limited public schedule.
Aside from writing the new Corality course (see above), I will be heading off with CPA again in the New Year – to Newcastle for definite and maybe a few more destinations too. Corality is also making inroads into the other accounting bodies at the moment – and there may be further announcements in the near future. Watch this space!