ATT Welcome, September 2017

Exam successes

The last four weeks seem to have flown by. As I write these pages in advance I had not actually been appointed as Deputy President at the time of the last article, so I guess you can call this my real debut.

I would like to pass on my sincere thanks to Ralph Pettengell for his Presidential year and give a big welcome to Jeremy Coker who takes over from me as ATT Vice President.

You can read Ralph’s valedictory speech in this edition and further highlights of the ATT AGM can be found on the ATT website.

In addition to my personal thanks, I know all of ATT Council wishes to thank Ralph for his hard work and leadership in the last 12 months. Ralph was the first President who works exclusively in the financial services sector and it strikes me as I look at ATT Council, what a wealth of knowledge and what a wide and varied range of experience we have. I know it is the same with our steering groups. We are so fortunate to have such a dedicated team of volunteers who are supported by the great team of staff at Artillery House.

The ATT is an educational charity and we have recently seen the results of the May 2017 ATT examinations published. My congratulations to all of the successful candidates and my commiserations to those who have been unsuccessful this time; do not give up, I know how hard it is to keep going at these exams but your day will come, I am sure.

To those who have been successful in their final exam and have two years’ experience, you can now apply to be members of the Association and I look forward to welcoming some of you to one of our Admission Ceremonies. These are amazing evenings for our new members and their families held at the House of Lords.

I just about remember sitting my exams given how long ago they were, so I know the hard work that is needed to pass them. Such was my focus on passing the exams that I did not consider the work involved on the ‘other side’. The Education Team at Artillery House includes Roz Baxter as Director of Education and Jude Maidment as ‎Education and Examinations Manager together with Sue Short, our Chief Examiner, who leads her team of examiners.

We now have two steering groups covering education and exams, which is a sign of the importance that we attach to our role as an educational charity, The Education Steering Group is led by our new Vice President, Jeremy Coker, and oversees our educational strategy. The Examination Steering Group oversees the administration arrangements for the exams and is chaired by Natalie Miller, an ATT Past President, who took over from Ronnie Fell earlier this year. Both of these steering groups and the team at Artillery House deserve our thanks for all of their hard work.

This month I have had the pleasure of attending the 40th Anniversary Event of Sussex Branch. I may be a little biased having been Branch Secretary and Chairman of this branch but what a lovely day it was. In addition to the current CIOT and ATT Presidents, John Preston and Graham Batty, Past ATT President Natalie Miller and some staff from Artillery House, the reception was also attended by almost all of the past Sussex Branch Chairs. We realised that Sussex Branch has provided a Past CIOT President, Gerry Hart, and two ATT Past Presidents, David Stedman and John Kimmer (who you may remember was our Technical Officer until his retirement a few years ago). My thanks to all of my friends on the Sussex Committee who made the day such a success.

In the post on my return from holiday was a letter from The Pensions Regulator regarding auto enrolment and the workplace pension for a new employer I had set up before I went away. The staging dates are coming along now for smaller employers so if you have clients who are employers, remind them to check when their staging date is as there are penalties for non-compliance. The Pensions Regulator website is a useful source.
In July’s issue of the Technical Newsdesk, Charlotte Ali, our Professional Standards Officer, wrote about the changes to the Money Laundering Regulations. Please remember to review the changes so you are up to date with the new rules on client due diligence.

My final reminder for the month: the 2017 ATT/AAT Mastercourses start in October and these are being held across the country. If you have not already booked your place please visit our website to see where and when these are being held.

So, now back to my desk and the Tax Returns that need to be completed. If you have already had your summer break, I hope you had a good time but if you are about to go away, have a lovely holiday!