CPA CONGRESS 2019 london 9 november


Delegates at Congress 2019 were captivated with content from acclaimed thought leaders who are leading the way with artificial intelligence, digital money and the future of finance. You will find details on the quality 2019 program below. CPA Congress will be back in 2020 with another engaging program.

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Saturday 9 November

8.00AM - 8.45AM
Registration and arrival
8.50AM - 8.55AM
Official opening – welcome address – President’s welcome
9.00AM - 9.50AM
Trends and business impacts
KN1: Bored with Brexit, I am afraid this is just the start

After 35 years working as a journalist including 8 years as the BBC’s business correspondent Jonty Bloom is now free to speak his mind.

Brexit, trade deals, trade wars and the fate of the EU’s economy — after covering these issues and many more on national and international TV and radio, Jonty will now explain what he really thinks the future holds in an increasingly uncertain world.

  • Jonty Bloom
    BBC Business Correspondent One of Radio 4's most respected reporters, Jonty is the BBC’s business correspondent covering all areas of business, industry and economics stories for BBC radio. He has covered OPEC conferences, EU summits and the impact of terror attacks on the world’s stock markets.

    Following an early career in the City, Jonty studied international relations. He then joined BT Citycall a financial news service, before moving across to the BBC where he helped launch Business Breakfast.

    Jonty has reported for the World Service on matters from cross-border mergers to the ramifications for Europe of movements in the US economy. He also writes columns for BBC Online and Accountancy Age.

    Jonty’s reports for The World Tonight, including his work on the influence of the oil industry in the run-up to the Iraq Invasion, have twice won him the Wincott Award for Radio Programme of the Year. He continues to comment on domestic and international economic issues, particularly the Eurozone crisis.
10.00AM - 10.20AM
Morning tea
10.30AM - 12.00PM
Strategy and leadership
K2: From CEO to Whistleblower - Inside the Olympus Scandal

This story is extraordinary. Michael Woodford the newly-appointed president and then CEO of Olympus wakes up to find that nobody is telling him the truth, facing an accounting fraud on a massive scale, approaching $2 billion. Even the chairman and the Head of Compliance and Governance are suspected of being in on it. The CEO faces a terrible dilemma that could put his and his family's lives at risk.  Who can he trust? Certainly, not his own board.

What lessons can be found in his experience about information and transparency in financial flows. Listen to his story, both hilarious and terrifying, as the decision he makes leads to the exposure of the scandal, the crash in the share price, the entire board’s resignation and him having to go around with armed police.

This story will become a major motion picture, but is it so far away from what happens elsewhere? In today's business climate, are the risks of these sorts of frauds more likely? How can regulation work when even the trusted guardians can't be trusted? How much of this is going on right now? What would you do in Mr Woodford’s position?


  • Michael Woodford MBE
    Former President and CEO, Olympus Corporation Born in 1960, Michael grew up in the British port city of Liverpool, and after moving to the south of England spent the next 30 years of his professional life working at Olympus. In April 2011, he was appointed President of the Olympus Corporation - the first Western 'salary-man' to rise through the ranks to the top of a Japanese giant.
    That October he was also made CEO, but only two weeks later was dismissed after querying inexplicable payments approaching $2 billion.

    After his bravery at Olympus, in the United Kingdom, The Sunday Times, The Independent, the Financial Times and The Sun, all awarded him the 2011/12 ‘Business Person of the Year’. This was the first time four national newspapers all chose to honour the same individual. Michael was also the winner of the ‘Association of Certified Fraud Examiners award’ “For Choosing Truth Over Self”, and in 2013 was the recipient of the inaugural Contrarian Prize. Then in 2014, in London, Michael was awarded the International Chamber of Commerce’s commercial crime services special award for “displaying courage and a sense of deep conviction towards the highest principles of corporate governance”. Then in May of 2015, at the Foreign Correspondent's Club of Japan, First Annual Freedom of The Press Awards, he received the “Friend of the Free Press” award.

    Michael has chronicled his unbelievable story in his bestseller true life thriller ‘Exposure: Inside the Olympus Scandal: How I Went from CEO to Whistleblower’.

    Michael is married with two grown-up children and lives in London. He now spends his life writing and lecturing on business culture, and the frailties of human nature in the workplace.
12.00PM - 12.50PM
Personal development
KN3: A New Approach to Mental Health Awareness and Action: Mental Fitne…
Mental Health has become a hot-button issue both in the community and in the workplace. Whilst mental health awareness has been growing, there are still significant barriers to people’s understanding of and influence over their mental health in general, and in the ways that we relate to mental health and mental ill-health.

Drawing on parallels to the way we think about physical fitness, Resilience Agenda founder Hadleigh Fischer will outline how we can re-frame the way we embrace, promote and act on mental health as individuals and as organisations.

Hadleigh will introduce his concept of Mental Fitness as a potential new way to inspire, empower and motivate ourselves, our teams and our communities to be more positive, pro-active and preventative with mental health. Hadleigh’s ideas will be both thought-provoking and immensely practical for making mental health relevant and engaging to each of us.
  • Hadleigh Fischer
    Founder and Managing Director of Resilience Agenda Hadleigh Fischer is the Founder and Managing Director of Resilience Agenda Australia. Hadleigh founded the business in 2017 in his hometown of Melbourne to Change the Meaning of Mental Health. Hadleigh wanted to inspire and empower people to take a new approach to the way they think about their mental health.

    Hadleigh’s passion is to inspire people to think of their Mental Fitness like their Physical Fitness and growing the mental health awareness message around the world by making it more relevant, positive, proactive and preventative to everyone.

    Now living in Basel, Switzerland, Hadleigh is bringing Resilience Agenda’s message and ideas to Europe. He is proud to partner with CPA to inspire change and action on mental health and change the way workplaces and individuals perceive and promote mental health.
1.00PM - 1.50PM
Networking lunch
2.00PM - 3.15PM
Personal development
KN4: Success Horsepower - Accelerate your potential
Take your career to the next level and gain new insight into what it takes to become world class. This talk explores the subject of personal success through different eyes.

Discover the qualities and success techniques that catapulted the British Equestrian Team from Olympic no-hopers to winning Gold in London 2012 and in Rio in 2016. Learn and apply the skills and attitudes that enabled the riders to sustain their success and transform the UK into a leading equestrian.

Discover new ways to think about;
• The power of process
• Resilience
• Self-leadership
• Team work
• Trust and,
• Adopting a growth mindset.

Gain a fresh perspective on what it takes to be world-class and get tips on how to stay focused in a world of distraction.
  • Sophie Bennett
    Speaker, Motivation Expert, Author Sophie Bennett is a bestselling author and a champion dressage rider with a strong business background. She spent over 10 years in the technology sector. Sophie founded, built and sold a telecoms company in the early days of deregulation, authored and program managed multi-million dollar winning proposals for multinationals and led a global content team at Dell.

    Sophie has been studying what drives successful people for over 20 years and has written several books. Most recently she interviewed 50 outstanding performers from business, science, sport and the arts about staying motivated during difficult times as part of the research for her latest book.

    Her eclectic background as an equestrian, peak-performance expert and businesswoman guarantees a unique perspective on overcoming challenges and fulfilling our true potential.
3.00PM - 3.50PM
Operational transformation
KN5: NHS: Digital transformation, data protection and cyber security
Government transformation is impacted by vast complexity, scale and highly constrained budgets. Sarah Wilkinson sees a bright future for digital transformation of services, strategic external partnerships and adoption of new technologies including AI, IoT and data analytics.
  • Sarah Wilkinson
    Chief Executive Officer NHS Digital Sarah Wilkinson is the CEO of NHS Digital, responsible for the vast array of digital and IT elements of one of the most complex organisations in the world. As well as the infrastructure that underpins every aspect, from GPs surgeries to entire hospital trusts, she also ensures the organisation is ready for a future that might hold tailored healthcare, data from wearable technologies and AI diagnosis.

    Before taking charge of the NHS’s technological division, Sarah was the Home Office’s Chief Digital, Data and Technology Officer (effectively the CIO). She had overall responsibility for the computer systems of everything from individual police constabularies, the e-Border system to counter-terrorism stretching from procurement to cybersecurity.

    Sarah originally studied mathematics which led her into risk analysis and in turn to coding. She served as CIO at Deutsche Bank, UBS and HSBC before joining Credit Suisse as Head of Corporate Systems Technology. After over two decades of risk and running IT systems in the financial sector, she moved to Whitehall. With the Home Office Sarah took over IT projects notorious for their complexity, but also for delays and overspends. She was charged with tackling the department’s many problems from an over-dependence on large contractors to failing IT programmes.

    As head of NHS Digital Sarah is responsible for ensuring the security of highly sensitive data, the procurement of multimillion pound infrastructure, and the maintenance and integration of a wide array of systems. She also has to ensure the service is fit for massive future challenges, both structurally and technologically. All within one of the most scrutinised, financially constrained organisations in the country.
4.00PM - 4.20PM
Afternoon tea
4.20PM - 5.20PM
KN6: The Future of Work in a Changing Climate
Our climate emergency is changing everything, from the way we produce energy, how we travel, what we wear, how we invest, what we eat and where it comes from. The next decade will bring many rapid transitions and transformations starting now. Every month matters. Every quarter counts. Weaving together threads from other speakers during the day, this session will look at how our lives might change, both personally and professionally to tackle the crisis. The challenge is not to predict the future of tomorrow, but to stretch the imagination of what is already possible today.
  • Ed Gillespie
    Environmental Entrepreneur and Author focusing on Sustainability and Innovation Ed Gillespie is a keynote speaker, writer, communications specialist, serial entrepreneur and futurist. He is the author of ‘Only Planet – a flight-free adventure around the world’ a book about his circumnavigation of the globe without getting on a plane, which the Independent said “Allow[s] the world’s flaws and beauty to seep into your soul”. Gillespie’s core talent is to take the complex, interconnected, interdependent nature of the many urgent challenges the world faces, from climate change to disruptive competition, and make common sense of them for non-specialist audiences. He often works at C-suite level to help Boards understand big business’s role in ‘self-disruption’ of their own business models, and creating entrepreneurial ‘lifeboats’ of lean innovation.

    Gillespie is a credible and experienced voice on a range of key future-focused issues; from ‘Big Data’, through the future of work and the impact of AI, robots and technology, to how climate action can and must be reframed as seismic opportunity not just catastrophic threat. Professionally Gillespie is known for his own unique brand of authentic ‘insultancy’ – being strategically and playfully cheeky to clients, with judicious wit and wisdom to inspire them to greater heights and aspirations. He is highly adaptable, constructively challenging and pushes audience assumptions of business as usual, opening hearts and minds and then mapping possible practical solutions and opportunities.

    Gillespie is the co-founder of the Global Goals Accelerator, a business programme aimed at delivering the Sustainable Development Goals, the first two businesses supported were Panda Packaging (bamboo and coconut based plastic alternatives) and Agronomex (tackling food waste at the farm gate). He is actively involved in a number of other pioneering ethical businesses as a Director or Investor, from Growing Underground, a renewable energy powered, LED-lit, hydroponic farm in a disused underground tunnel in South London, to Demand Logic – a ‘fitbit’ for buildings. Others include Common Objective (ethical fashion), Engaged Tracking (carbon indices), Poplar (communication platform for frontline staff), Small Robot Company (farming as a service) and Bennaman (alternative fuels).

    Gillespie is a facilitator with the Forward Institute for responsible leadership, a Director of Greenpeace UK, a Trustee of Energy Revolution and alongside fellow futurist Mark Stevenson is one half of the ‘Futurenauts’ doing live shows and podcasts on pragmatic optimism.

    A regular media contributor from the BBC to the Guardian, Gillespie is a sought after speaker, event host, lively compere and trusted Chairperson. Since 2001, he has presented all over the world, from Hong Kong to Bratislava, from Korea to Auckland and by audiences, from the UN and national governments, to multi-national corporations.

    Gillespie was the co-founder of Futerra, a change agency that specialises in business transformation and creative communications and campaigns. For almost eighteen years Futerra has become internationally renowned for its influential and award-winning work on some of the biggest corporate sustainability initiatives. Ed left the business in 2019 to pursue other opportunities.

    Gillespie also designs and hosts bespoke workshops for clients on future-focused sustainability challenges, most recently for Sainsbury’s on carbon and climate change, Unilever on circular economy and a Norwegian business ‘cluster’ on rapidly prototyping new purpose driven sustainable business models.
5.30PM - 6.30PM
Drinks Reception
7.00PM - 9.00PM
Dinner and awards ceremony


  • Economy, regulation and business

  • Finance fundamentals

    Enhance your core accounting and finance skills in the areas of tax, audit and assurance, compliance, financial planning, analysis and reporting.

  • Operational transformation

    Find out how to transform your business using improved processes and management skills, the latest technologies and shared services.

  • Personal development

    Refine your skills and become a highly productive, effective and well-rounded individual.

  • Sector in focus

    Hear the latest trends and opportunities specific to your sector, including corporate, SME, not for profit and public sector.

  • Strategy and leadership

    Become an outstanding finance leader by enhancing the power of innovation, successfully managing change and driving a high-performance culture.

  • Trends and business impacts

    Understand shifts in the domestic and global economy, the regulatory environment, the latest fraudulent activities, and consumer and competitive markets to build risk mitigation strategies.


1-8 Russell Square, London, WC5B 5BE