Northern Conference 2019

Financial sustainability Governance, regulation and compliance Accounting and reporting Tax and VAT

Thursday 27 June 2019

Manchester Hall
Manchester Hall
36 Bridge Street
Manchester M3 3BT

Building greatness from challenging times

Our biggest conference in the north returns to Manchester. With Brexit a fixed feature of uncertainty in the landscape, it’s crucial for financial managers to possess the latest knowledge to maintain a robust role, and to keep growing and developing strategies at a challenging time.

CFG’s Northern Conference 2019 is the opportunity to find out the latest charity finance and sector news, and the regulatory and technical updates which you need to know. It also provides space to step back and develop room for fresh thinking as our speakers share best practice and ideas in strategy sessions.

The day is a great chance for you to connect with your colleagues in the sector and share issues and concerns, and have your burning questions answered by the speakers. There will also be an exhibition running throughout the day so you can discuss your charity’s key issues with specialists.

Who should come along to the CFG Northern Conference?

This event is open to members and non-members and will have valuable takeaways for those responsible for financial management in your charity, including financial managers, finance directors, CEOs and treasurers.

View the programme for the day below.


Would you like to bring a colleague or trustee along? Whether you're a member or not, you can book additional places on this event for just £99 if you're a charity - to do this, email with your attendee details.


Exhibitors at the event:

Brewin Dolphin



Charity Bank

DE Ford

Edentree Investment Management

HSF Healthplan



Waverton Investment Management


Roberta Fusco, Director of Policy and Engagement, Charity Finance Group

Stella Smith, CEO, Stella Smith & Associates

Ricky Munday, Founder, Inspire Alpine

Gareth Morgan, Independent Chair of the SORP Committee Governance Review

Ryan Parker, Charity Account Manager, DE Ford Insurance Brokers

Marcus Lees-Millais, Consultant, Cass Business School

Helen Stevenson, Head of partnerships, Reason Digital

Fiona Ashcroft, Director of Fundraising, Henshaws

Suzanne Goldsmith, Senior Manager, Price Bailey

Nick Waring, Director of Finance, Women for Women International

Matt Fenton, Chief Executive, Contact

Matt Fenton is Artistic Director/Chief Executive at Contact in Manchester, the leading UK arts venue to place young people at the decision-making heart of the organisation. Matt leads on Contact’s innovative public programme of contemporary theatre, dance, spoken word, music and cabaret for young and highly diverse audiences. Each year Contact delivers a wealth of young people’s creative and leadership activity, including flagship projects The Agency, ReCON Young Programmers, and Future Fires, as well as the Queer Contact and Contacting the World Festivals.

Graham Batty, Associate Director, RSM

Tony Jaras, Associate Director, RSM


Registration and refreshments


Chair's welcome and introduction 

Roberta Fusco, Charity Finance Group


Opening plenary - Twenty five years of regulated charity accounting in the UK: five SORPs and a SORP governance review

Gareth Morgan, Independent Chair of the SORP Committee Governance Review


Move between sessions 


1A- Charity finance update 

CFG will provide an overview of the key issues affecting charity finance, from regulation and governance to all the latest changes in accounting and reporting.

We’ll also look ahead to see what the next financial year will have in store for the sector.

Roberta Fusco, Charity Finance Group


1B- Understanding your income and funding base

Before you adopt a new income stream, have you established whether your funding base is in a position to support change?

This session will offer advice to help understand your current funding structure, and explore how income diversification can help your charity avoid being too dependent on one funding source, or in having restricted income.

Suzanne Goldsmith, Price Bailey

Break for refreshments 

11.40- 12.20

2A: The challenges of reporting – How to build public trust through reporting

Negative media coverage can create challenges for the sector and add to a perception of distrust.

How can we encourage transparency in our statutory reporting, and use this as a vehicle to increase public trust?

David Ainsworth, Charity Finance Group

Charity case study: Young people taking the lead

An introduction to Contact's unique governance model, where young people are at the heart of every level of decision making. An insight into the impact of that model on Contact's public programme, audience & local communities and a demonstration of how supporting young creatives has enabled Contact to diversify our income model, working with a range of corporate, social & charitable partners.

Matt Fenton, Chief Executive, Contact

12.20- 12.25

Move between sessions 


3A: Safeguarding

Safeguarding is once again top of the agenda for the charity sector. In this session we will be looking from both a legal and practical perspective at: what is safeguarding, what duties and responsibilities do charities have, and how can charities protect themselves from areas of potential risk.

Sue King & Joanna Blackman, Wrigleys


3B: Cyber security

Cyber security, data management and fraud are ever changing areas of risk for charities. This session will talk about what the current risks are, give some examples of cyber and fraud attacks, and conclude with how a charity can mitigate against the risks.

Ryan Parker, DE Ford Insurance Brokers 




4A: Tax and VAT

Tax shouldn’t be taxing! Keep up to date with what you need to know for your role and organisation with the latest on the key issues in VAT and tax.

Graham Batty and Tony Jaras, RSM


4B- The introverted leader

A significant proportion of accountants are introverts. We love our spreadsheets, our numbers, our technical publications. But engaging with other people is a chore at best, and terrifying at worst. The business and charity world appears to favour the brashness of the extrovert, leaving the introvert behind. Nick is an introvert, and loves hiding away from people. But it is time for introverts to stand up. This session will – for the introvert – provide some managing techniques based on Nick’s own experiences, and for the extrovert will highlight what introverts can offer to strengthen organisations

Nick Waring, Women for Women International

Move between sessions 


5A: Full cost recovery

Every organisation needs to recover all its costs, and ideally generate a surplus in order to plan for the future. Join this session and learn new approaches you can use to try achieve effective full cost recovery.

Marcus Lees- Millais, Cass Business School


5B: Influencing and negotiation skills workshop

This interactive workshop will provide delegates practical tools and skills for planning and conducting negotiation with a variety of stakeholders, to maximise outcomes.

Stella Smith, Stella Smith & Associates 


Break for refreshments 


6A: Digital on a budget 


Digital is an important aspect in today’s third sector. Smaller-sized charities need to be able to integrate digital into strategy without lots of resource.

This session will look at how to maximise the use of digital in your charity to work for your beneficiaries.

Helen Stevenson Reason Digital

6B: Influencing and negotiation skills workshop (Continued)

This interactive workshop will provide delegates practical tools and skills for planning and conducting negotiation with a variety of stakeholders to maximise outcomes.

Stella Smith, Stella Smith & Associates 


Closing Plenary - Building greatness from challenging times

Ricky Munday, Inspire Alpine


Chair's close


End of Conference 

This conference is kindly sponsored by