flinder CEO curates strategy and growth stream for AccountingWEB Live Expo


Having been a multiple winner with flinder and more recently judging for AccountingWEB, flinder CEO Alastair Barlow, knows what it takes to drive change and growth through nimble, effective strategy. Who better to lead and curate this year’s strategy and growth content stream for AccountingWEB Live Expo in the upcoming sessions.

Speaking about the event, Alastair commented, “I’m super excited about the subject and the direction we’re going in along with the speakers to share their experience and insights. We’re bringing in examples from leading firms in the profession and wider. Every accounting firm will be able to take away a huge amount from this event.”

Insider track on the evolution of accountancy

“flinder is a progressive firm that has experienced significant growth. Much of this growth is from fresh thinking and core design principles that aren’t influenced by what was done yesterday. Driving the strategy and growth sessions I think gives us the opportunity to elevate the profession and apply ideas and principles from outside the accountancy. I look at accountancy through a different lens – I don’t feel constrained by what’s already been done before and I’m continually challenging the status quo. At flinder, we often do things against the grain. Accounting leaders should be delivering on the business side of accountancy, expanding its services, building brand value and I am very passionate about that,” Alastair says.

“I would like to see accountancy evolve to being much more on the client’s agenda and what they need. I hear this so many times, but in reality, accountants just pay lip service to it and they still operate on their own agenda.”

Changing the old guard

He goes on to say, “Accounting firms are too often thought of as a committee, in the sense that there are too many people at the table and in the end, it becomes too bureaucratic, too bloated. We’re seeing this model challenged much more, especially with more Private Equity money coming into the profession which is driving more efficient leadership and operating models. I plan to bring that ethos and voice to the event sessions.”

What to expect from the AccountingWEB Live Expo 2022

Alastair will be hosting a well-curated speaker line-up, at the following event sessions:

The New Advisory Pitch: Discover The new services that can drive growth

3:30-4:15 pm, Wednesday 30th November

Location: Theatre 3

Alastair will be introducing four accounting leaders as they pitch to the audience the services they offer for 10 minutes, each service different from the others, bringing a wealth of inspiration and ideas for growth!


Richard Bertin (Founder and CEO, All in Place): Personal financial planning
Peter Ellington (CEO, Triple Bottom Line Accounting): Environmental, Social and Governance (GBS)
Bobby Lane (CEO, Factotum Group): Global Business Services (GBS)
Stephen Pell (CEO, ICONAC): Business management

Think Small, Grow Big: How and why niching can give you the strategic advantage in 2023

10:00am-10:45 Wednesday 30th November

Location: Any Answers Community Hub

In this session, Alastair will be speaking to a panel of proven experts to explore the benefits of specialising and the advantages of niching as a viable tactic and a strategic trend.


Aynsley Damery (CEO & Founder, Clarity)

Maire Pegram (Managing Partner, UHY East)

Stephen Pell (CEO, ICONAC)

Growth Through Acquisition: The buyer, the advisor and the founder

10:00-10:45 am Thursday 1st December

Location: Any Answers Community Hub

No matter if you are looking to get bought out or looking to buy, acquisition is a big topic for 2023. Alastair speaks to a leading panel of accountants to offer their insight and experience on both sides of acquisition along with Paul Surtees, CEO and co-founder of Capitalise and ex-Executive Director at Goldman Sachs.


Will Farnell (Founder, Farnell Clarke)

Jeremy Fearnley (Group Head of Mergers & Acquisitions, Azets)

Paul Surtees (CEO & Co-Founder, Capitalise)

Turning Vision Into Reality: How strategy can supercharge your business

11:30-12:15 Thursday 1st December

Location: Keynote Theatre

Sam Edwards, Senior Manager at PwC’s boutique strategy consulting team, Strategy&, will deliver a keynote on how he guides his clients from strategy to execution, as well as his experience with private equity transactions and accountancy sector mandate. This will be an inspiring session, offering practical advice on how to turn strategy into reality with one of accounting’s leading strategists.

What is a COO? (And why does every accounting firm need one?)

12:15pm-1:00pm Thursday 1st December

Location: Theatre 3

Alastair will be examining the fast-growing role of Chief Operating Officer (COO) and why it is an important role for ambitious business accountants but also for the ambitious, progressive accounting firm. He will be speaking with Paula Benoit, COO for Xeinadin, about her experience and what the role can mean for today’s accountant. This session will also offer one CPD point for attendance.

Workshop – flinder: Inside their operating model

2:30pm-3:00pm Wednesday 30th November

Location: Networking Zone

This will be an incredible opportunity to get under the skin of flinder as Alastair will discuss the operating model and how flinder builds and runs the smart finance function® and data analytics for fast-growth and complex businesses. The session has sold out when presented to larger firm networks, so it’s a chance to attend this intimate version at this event and put questions directly to Alastair. This session will be facilitated by Ellie Dignam (Head of Digital Advisory, BHP).

Workshop – the power of brand

3:30pm-4:00pm Thursday 1st December

Location: Networking VIP Area

Marketing has never been more popular with firms, as accountants seeing the power of SEO to cut through old loyalties and drive new audiences and ultimately fees. But what are you actually offering? This ‘whistle stop workshop’ will show you how a brand can help communicate the essence of your firm, your proposition and your point of difference. Join Angela Brown, Director at Meteoric Marketing (responsible for flinder’s recent successful rebrand) and PracticeWeb’s Creative Strategist Mark Jones who will take attendees through a series of exercises and mini-workshops to start them off on the journey to a brand-new world…

Alastair offered these final thoughts about the upcoming event: “There’s a huge opportunity to network and engage with incredible content and grow your knowledge base; challenging your understanding of what it means to be in accounting now.

Without being at this event, you’re missing on what others are doing in our world. Getting serious about your business means being at this event.”