IAPA's 2018 EMEA Conference, Oslo, Norway, 25-27 May

It was a pleasure to return to Scandinavia, where the last EMEA regional event was held 13 years ago, to reconnect with old business colleagues and meet new ones, whilst enjoying the fantastic city of Oslo and the beautiful landscape that Norway has to offer. 

EMEA Chairman, Ozgur Demirdoven, opened the conference, welcoming over 50 attendees across 14 countries which includes members, prospective members, sponsors and guests. Of these we were delighted to introduce 3 of our newest member firms from Romania, Turkey and The Netherlands as well as 2 prospective member firms from France and Germany. 

  

Above Left:  Ozgur Demirdoven with IAPA's 3 new members. Right: Yapincak Erkan

The main working programme incorporated three professional speakers; Yapincak Erkan from Yasha Consulting and Training Services, U.K. who led an interactive marketing session ‘How to Best Market Your Business and Reach a Wider Audience with Your Services (“Leveraging Marcomms”)’, Susan Olmert from General Electric (GE), USA who presented on ‘Inter-Company Cost Transfer Management & Tax Optimisation for Multinational Companies’ and Desmond Maandag and Erik van der Zee from CaseWare, Canada who led a new ‘Big DataForum showcasing data analytics.  It was a pleasure to have their expertise that enriched our programme.  IAPA also was pleased to welcome Jeremy Hyman, Practice Portal, U.K. and Alfred Pobi and Nazmul Hussain from Silverfin, U.K. as sponsors who showcased their software technology relevant to accounting firms.

The member-led discussions this year focused on how IAPA members can generate more global business within the association. This subject, always a hot topic, sparked much interest and it was a fantastic, interactive session generating a lot of quality discussions that delegates valued and enjoyed enormously. 

    

Kjetil Eide from host firm MPR Revisjon, Norway also gave an insightful presentation on the ‘Challenges and Opportunities in the Nordic Economies.’  Special thanks to Ronald Magnussen, Terje Brevik, Jostein Oyna, Inguun Lovdal Bergh and Kjetil for hosting us in your wonderful city, as well as allowing us to visit the MPR Revisjon offices - right in the heart of Oslo Centre!  Bright, spacious and a very professional set up, thank you for your hospitality and for showing us around.  Lots of office top tips have been taken home by various members!

Above: Delegates visiting the MPR Revisjon Offices, Oslo

MPR Revisjon has also kicked off our new member promotion initiative, i.e.  to provide IAPA with a 90 Second Introductory Video of their firm and services to place on our website and social media.  We hope all our member firms will do this in time - you can see a copy here.  

The 2018 EMEA AGM was a platform for change as members voted for a new EMEA Chairman and Treasurer.  We are delighted to welcome Neal Morrison, McInerney Saunders, Ireland as the new IAPA EMEA Chairman and Jurgen Liebhart as the new IAPA EMEA Treasurer.   The Board was extended to 7 members to include appropriate representation from all the EMEA sub regions in particular the Middle East and Africa.  The current EMEA Board is 7 members:

  1. Neal Morrison, McInerney Saunders, Ireland EMEA Chairman
  2. Jurgen Liebhart, Liebhart & Kollegen, Germany, EMEA Treasurer
  3. Anas Abou el Mikias, FINACS S.A.R.L, Morocco
  4. Mobin Karamat, Al Aziq Al Zailaie, Saudi Arabia
  5. Javier Sanjuan, Abauding Spain
  6. Iris Stark, Stark and Stark CPA, Israel
  7. Seifallah Zaag, M2A Cabinet Mena Audit & Advisory, Tunisia

With networking being a key component to the conference, the ever-popular sightseeing/networking afternoon this year took delegates on a boat trip up the Oslo Fjord, offering breath-taking views of one of the most spectacular regions of the world.  It was the hottest day in Norway for the last 71 years!  The day ended with a wonderful meal in a picturesque fishing village and the evening finished with a quick trip to Oslo’s Ice-Bar…made entirely of ice, even the glasses. The farewell dinner on Saturday was hosted in a unique and intriguing venue ‘The Mini Bottle Gallery’ with the famous “Norwegian Magician” Christian Wedoy.

    

A big thank you to all firms that attended and contributed to the event and special thanks to host firm MPR Revisjon AS, Norway for helping ensure such a successful conference.