Topical highlights from the 14th ANTEA Worldwide Conference in Barcelona
Antea is an International Association of independent firms offering audit, consultancy, tax, and legal advice. Dativa & Associates CPA is a registered member of the Association. Following the travel restrictions caused by the Covid -19 pandemic, Antea held conferences virtually for over 2 years. After the relapse of Covid-19 in most countries, Antea organized a physical meeting titled, ‘’The 14th Worldwide Conference” and this was scheduled to take place in Barcelona, Auren International, and Antea headquarters on the 30th of September 2022.
The conference was attended by over 100 delegates from 30 countries, including; Uganda, German, Israel, UK, USA, Italy, France, Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Belgium, and many more.
The Programme commenced with an official welcome covering the latest developments during the year 2022, which entailed; a membership report, strategy, and expansion plan for the coming year as well as updates on ongoing initiatives related to marketing and communication elements.
Within the context of the conference, the Annual General Meeting was held to approve the year-end financials and budget for 2022-2023 and the appointment of new members of the Board as Antoni Gómez, the Chairman of Auren and Antea’s CEO announced his retirement.
The agenda was supplemented by technical sessions ranging from the challenges faced by professional services firms in attracting and retaining talent which was moderated by Mario Alonso from Spain along with Panelists: Magali Micheletti (Luxembourg), Nicolas Zbinden (Switzerland), Clive Caruana (Malta); Leverages for the firms of the future moderated by Carles Mur and Services, marketing tools and actions to attract clients presented by Ofir Angel.
I must say the social programs and technical sessions were well balanced which made the conference even more exciting for the participants as there was a chance to spend time together in a more relaxed atmosphere while enjoying the epicureanism and the beautiful architecture of Barcelona.
Lessons from the different technical sessions held include the following;
Challenges faced by professional services firms in attracting and retaining talent
|Question||Answers from different panelists|
|Do you follow the same strategy for all future professionals in the firm or a specific one for those in Audit?||With the increased diversity, workplaces are multi-generational ranging from Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z, therefore, there can’t be a similar strategy because the demands for each generation differ. Generation Z is composed of young people who are well-educated, and value change, Money and career advancement are so important to them, etc. Unlike the Baby Boomers that are optimistic, and team-oriented with personal gratification and involvement. They seem to be more satisfied with their jobs. The same applies to the attrition rate, Generation Z is so adventurous and always on the move in search of greener pastures which is a rare stereotype with baby boomers.|
|Only economic degrees or are you significantly opening up the spectrum?||By far, economic degrees are significant to the industry but with the evolving nature of work, some companies are now open to the current education trends and taking into consideration professional courses like ACCA, CPA, etc. during recruitment.|
|In what age range are you moving? Do you find younger or older people more valid than in the past?||The current workforce is more age-diverse and offers a large potential to employers. However, a large number of baby boomer cohorts have been reaching older ages and successive generations are of smaller size or grow at a slower pace. Therefore, a combination of young and older people remains so valuable.|
|What is the fundamental motivation for young people to want to work in professional firms?||It is a combination of different aspects like; Creating work teams, assigning a variety of duties, adequate remuneration and reward system, mentoring and coaching, opportunity for travel and learning new things, etc.
|Advantages and disadvantages of teleworking.||Advantages: It facilitates family reconciliation, a Personalized workspace, Better work-life balance, Increased flexibility, and Reduced operational costs.
Disadvantages: Hinders teamwork, Low work Motivation, Unmonitored performance, Distractions from the working environment, and Risk to productivity.
|Do equality and diversity policies, as well as social action policies, help to attract talent?||To a greater extent, Diversity and inclusivity improve employee engagement, which in turn increases retention and collaboration. The policies have also proved to keep employees happy and motivated, in addition to resolving legal issues arising, such as victimization, harassment, and discrimination.|
POSTCARDS FROM TOMORROW: 4+1 Leverages for the firms of the future
|Leverages||Points to note|
|Purpose||Every Firm’s Purpose needs to address three senses; Competence function, social cause, and business intention. Is your business purpose for answering these questions?
|Talent||A new cultural approach should take into consideration diversity, integration, and multiculturality, provide room for conciliation, retain talent with low hierarchical structures, and allow talent to get to partner levels.|
|Customer||Firms are no longer competing only with their competence because Customers keep the same level of expectations for different categories of products and services.|
|Innovation||Innovation is a continuous system designed to facilitate strategic decisions and accelerate the implementation of actions that secure firm transition, New Business Models, and Design of the future. 53% of leader firms say their customers ask them to innovate products, services, and experiences that set new standards.|
Marketing tools and actions to attract clients
- Inbound marketing strategy; This can be in form of content creation, email & lead nurturing, social media, marketing analytics, and automation.
- Networking; Build a strong network of professionals to support and strengthen your own business; Know your network; Be active in your network; Develop long-lasting relationships and Manage all inbound inquiries (phone, email, web contact forms).
- Sales Process and Data; Preparing for prospect meetings, proposals, and continued nurturing of opportunities; Working with telemarketers to follow up hot leads & continually target our prospect data.
- Sponsorships and mentoring
I must commend, this was by far the most informative conference that I have attended. I gained a lot of insight from the various sessions and speakers that can be very helpful at my workplace.
By: Ssanyu Joanitah