Accounting Insight 2018: Improvements in Accountancy

The 21st of November Accounting Insight 2018 took place, an interactive symposium in which different accounting related subjects were debated by a omnifarious speaker panel. By means of this event we tried to cross a bridge between the lectures at the Tilburg University and the ever changing and criticized profession of an accountant.

Since February, our committee has been actively engaged with the organizing of Accounting Insight. Fairly quick there was a realization that we had to change the concept of this event. In the past debates were discussed by all the members of the speaker panel, this year we held one-on-one debates with various point of views from the debaters. That way, there were lots of appealing discussions with enough opportunities from the crowd to ask questions. First of all, we needed to choose a suitable topic and to find adequate speakers based on that topic. The topic ‘Improvements in Accountancy’ was formed by the current events that were aimed at improving the profession of accounting. Arranging appropriate speakers was not always easy because Accounting Insight was planned the same day as the NBA day of accountants. Still, even after an unforeseen cancellation, we managed to get an interesting speaker panel. At the same time, we also secured a good location, remained in close contact with the partners and took care of promotional material.

Soon, it was the 21st of November: first the partners of the event came into the building to make everything ready, after that the participants. The event was guided by Margreet Kloppenburg, a professional speaker who introduced all of the subjects. The debated were then held between Robin Litjens (lecturer Tilburg University), Wytse van der Molen (partner PwC), Marion Denis (external accountant WVDB), Arjan Hassing (partner 3Angles) en Barbara Majoor (AFM).

The first debate of the evening was focused on the future of an IT-auditor. Arjan Hassing and Robin Litjens argued on this. The outcome of this debate was that an increasing part of IT-systems in accounting could cause that RE-accountants take over the role of RA-accountants.

After this subject, there was a debate about the current way of testing by the AFM. Wytse van der Molen and Barbara Majoor spoke about this. This subject occurred as a result of contradictory findings about audit quality from the Dutch supervisor (AFM) and the English version (FRC). —

Thereafter, there was a debate about the revenue model of accountancy firms that was held by Arjan Hassing and Barbara Majoor. Different remuneration structures were discussed. What would happen if all accountants would be paid from a joint bill?

“Recently there was a lot of hype about young accountants that are opening up about a workload that is too high”

Also, the work-life balance came up. Recently there was a lot of hype about young accountants that are opening up about a workload that is too high. This is due the increased regulatory pressure, shortages in personnel and the tight schedules. During the symposium various solutions came up.

The last debate was about the audit-only model. This is often cited as the way to go to increase audit quality. Still, every model has a downside. To get a good overview of the pros and cons of this model, more research is necessary.

The audience was in for a treat with all kinds of different insights in the world of accounting. Later on, there was the opportunity for a closing drink. Afterwards, we can look back on a successful event. This evening would not be possible without our partners, who I want to thank again! Also, I want to thank all the speakers of the evening. Lastly, I would like to thank the members of the committee: Luc van den Hurk, Simone Snel, Wouter Janssen and our coordinator Steven Stroo for organizing this event.

I hope to see you all next year at a new edition of Accounting Insight!