Digital Accountants…Getting Connected 

Conference
Monday 23rd March 2020
Time: 9:30am
Location: Ashley Building LT004

Staffordshire University is the ‘Connected University’ that meets the needs of its students, businesses and society both in the UK and internationally. The conference focuses on the areas of contemporary accounting and finance, hence the title … “Digital Accountants … Getting Connected”.

At Staffordshire University Business School, the accounting and finance courses (both undergraduate and postgraduate) have always been at the frontier of the digital revolution in terms of contents, platforms and delivery. The conference will bring together practitioners, academics and consultants to deliver and engage our students with a wealth of their knowledge and expertise in a range of areas such as, Financial Technology, Taxation, Auditing, Islamic Finance, Charity Organisation and Management accounting. The aim is to support learners in building an advanced level of critical awareness and reflectivity which are necessary for a successful career in the 21st Century.

We are pleased to announce that this year’s keynote innovative, globally experienced and industrial speakers are Karen Staley; Sally McGill; Abdel-Haq Mohammed; Al Bahloul Mohammad; Simon Harris; Rick Jones; Julius Ejechi; Glenn Parkes; and Sarah Ralph.

Our speakers will speak on areas such as:

  • Oracle Cloud
  • Financial Technology (Fintech)
  • Contemporary Audit
  • Customer centricity in Modern Business
  • Charity Engaging Digitally with Financial World
  • Islamic Finance in Modern Society
  • Auditing in Digital age
  • HMRC’s digital tax returns: A practitioner’s perspective.


Sally McGill

Chief Financial Officer
Staffordshire University

Sally is responsible for the on-going financial sustainability of the University working with a range of internal and external stakeholders to ensure that the organisation is able to respond to key opportunities as they arise.  As a member of the Executive, Sally contributes to the strategic and commercial leadership and management of the organisation.

Sally is a graduate of Durham University, where she studied modern languages, and holds a master’s degree from Sheffield University in Information Technology Management.  She is also a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and has been active within the British Universities Finance Directors Group for many years, most recently as Chair.  She has also been a School Governor and Trustee for a Multi Academy Trust in the North East of England.


Prof. Mohammed Abdel-Haq

Professor in Banking and Assistant Vice Chancellor, University of Bolton

Mohammed Abdel-Haq is a founding member and CEO of a newly formed, FSA regulated, Merchant Bank based in London. He is a private equity investor and Director of a number of UK companies. He was MD and Global Head of HSBC Amanah Private Banking and CEO of Barwa Capital (UK) Ltd. He is Vice President of The Disability Partnership, and a Trustee of the NGO Forward Thinking. In 2011 Mohammed was appointed Chairman of the UK Ministerial Advisory Group on Extremism in Universities and FE Colleges.


Karen Staley

Director at GEENS Chartered Accountants and Registered Auditors

Karen specialises in all aspects relating to the firm’s varied and extensive corporate client base, from the relatively small owner managed to the larger more complex corporate entities. She works closely with her clients in supervising their routine accounts preparation and audit and corporate taxation matters. She is the firm’s senior statutory auditor and her audit team also looks after statutory and non-statutory audits and regulated client compliance work such as solicitors, pension schemes and our clients within the financial services sector. She also advises landed estates and trusts on all matters relating to accounting and tax. She qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1998 at Geens and became the firm’s first female partner in 2003.


Dr. Mohammad Albahloul

Lecturer in Accounting, University of Salford

Dr. Mohammad Albahloul is a Professionally Certified Accountant and a graduate from the University of Manchester. His research focuses on the international characteristics of accounting profession, auditing and accounting education. Prior to joining Salford University, he worked as International Management Consultant re auditing and accounting profession enhancement and curricula development. In particular, he has gained a valuable consultancy experience in accounting and auditing reforms including projects management in UK and overseas. 


Sarah Ralph

PwC – Corporate Finance

Sarah attended Staffordshire University to study Accounting & Finance on their two-year fast track course, where she achieved a first-class degree and obtained employment with PwC on their One Deals graduate scheme in 2019.  Sarah is currently working within their Corporate Finance division and is studying towards her ACA chartered accountant qualification with ICAEW, which she will complete by the end of 2022.  Within her role, Sarah specialises in M&A transactions, with a leaning towards the Retail, Consumer & Leisure sector.


Simon Harris

Chief executive, Stoke-on-Trent Citizens Advice Bureau

Simon Harris is currently the Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Staffordshire North & Stoke-on-Trent, a post he has held since 2002. Prior to that he held a number of operational management roles in the same organisation, which he joined in 1985. He was a Board member at Staffordshire Housing (now the Honeycomb Group) from 1990 to 2014 and is a Trustee of ASIST (Advocacy Services in Staffordshire), having been Chair from 2003 to 2013. He currently sits on Citizens Advice’s national Equality Committee and the Stoke-on-Trent Hardship Commission.

Julius Ejechi

Lecturer in Accounting and Finance, University College Birmingham

Julius Ejechi is a Lecturer in Accounting and Finance and Programme Leader BSc Finance and Accounting at University College Birmingham (UCB). He is currently a doctoral student and a Visiting Teaching Fellow in the School of Finance and Management at School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His research interest includes accounting for climate related risks; impact of fintech on business financing, economic growth and financial inclusion; economic impact of further education colleges, universities and alternative higher education providers; and valuation and tax modelling of oil and gas assets and renewable energy investments.


Rick Jones

Customer Experience Expert

Rick has explored behind the scenes with several of Britain’s most accomplished customer experience brands including Lexus, Prêt a Manger, Microsoft, Mandarin Oriental, and has worked with Customer Experience thought leaders in both the U.K. and U.S.A.In 2012, Rick set up his own business and has provided Change Management services to Nationwide Building Society, Coventry Building Society, Barclays, Capita, and online Bank, Aldermore. Rick is an accomplished speaker and coach who transfers his passion for customer experience to audiences through real life situations and explanations, achieving memorable light-bulb moments which act as a mechanism for sustainable focus.

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Organiser contact details

Mayowa Akinbote mayowa.akinbote@staffs.ac.uk 01782 294164

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