IN THIS ISSUE
DECEMBER 2015
MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN

Greetings to All,

This is my first communication to you since my appointment as Chair of AGN International last October.

I am very excited to take over as Chairman of AGN International at this time in AGN's evolution and especially when there is so much activity and developments within AGN. We all now know that our strapline is Excellent, Connected, and Individual. AGN currently has 182 firms in 87 countries and we have fees in excess of 1 billion dollars. Our emphasis on excellence with high standards and great service. This is endorsed by the fact that 80% of our AGN member firms confirm clear external reviews. In addition, 70% of our members' fees include some international work. AGN is today an Association we can be proud of and we can build on the success in the future.

My goal as Chairman can be summarised by these three rules:

Rule #1: increase membership
Rule #2: encourage business among and for members
Rule #3: do not forget rules number one and two


Building on our progress, we will increase the membership of AGN by supporting the CEO and Regional Directors on membership development activities, energising the existing Membership Development Committees by making them more proactive and by mining existing AGN contacts for new members.

We will encourage business for and among members by the various business development initiatives we are undertaking within AGN. In addition to this, I strongly encourage more attendance at AGN meetings as I believe if we meet together and excel in our value "connected", we will do business together.

AGN MEETINGS
AGN meetings were held in Berlin (IFRS Seminar), Punta Cana (CSA), Bratislava (German speakers), Vancouver (NA Tax and SaLT) in the last three months and they were all successful.

The World Congress in Vancouver finished the meeting season in a spectacular way, and thanks to our local member firm Rolfe, Benson, and the AGN staff for excellent organisation of the Congress. "Let's start new and valuable conversations in AGN." (Malcolm Ward)  

I encourage all of you to look at the AGN website for forthcoming meetings, current agreed dates are in San Diego (May 2016), Munich (June 2016), Dublin (September 2016),  Buenos Aires (October 2016), and Las Vegas (October 2016), with the Asia Pacific Regional Meeting to be confirmed shortly. Why not attend a regional meeting outside your own region to network for new business?

INTERNATIONAL BOARD
The Board met in October 2015 and discussed various matters including regional reports from the five regions, membership development, finances (including restructuring of dues), transparency report replacing audit, and budget for 2016. The next Board meeting will be held March 2016 in London.

NEW MEMBER PIPELINE
The new member pipeline is active and our new website contact form is triggering a steady stream of new member enquires in all regions. Three prospective members in North America and one in UAE also attended the World Congress in Vancouver.

CONTACT
Please feel free to contact me at liammcquaid@dcon.ie to discuss any AGN matters.

As 2015 comes to a close and 2016 approaches, I would like to wish you all happy holidays and a successful new year.

Liam McQuaid
Chairman AGN International Ltd.

UPCOMING MEETINGS IN 2016

AP REGIONAL MEETING
Naha City, Okinawa (Japan) - 18-20 April 2016

NA REGIONAL MEETING
San Diego, CA (USA) - 22-24 May, 2016

EU REGIONAL MEETING
Munich (Germany) - 9-11 June, 2016

NA TAX & SALT CONFERENCE
Las Vegas, NV (USA) - 23-25 October, 2016

CSA REGIONAL MEETING
Buenos Aires (Argentina) - 15-17 October, 2016

NA TAX & SALT CONFERENCE
Vancouver, BC (Canada) - 28 - 29 October, 2015

 

2016 WORLD CONGRESS

18-20 SEPTEMBER - DUBLIN, IRELAND
INTERCONTINENTAL DUBLIN

AGN member firm Duignan Carthy O'Neill is excited to welcome the world to their city!

The Congress will feature a technical programme full of rich content, and a social programme to highlight the city.

Today's Dublin is fresh and modern, yet warmed by a sense of Irish tradition. 

See What Makes Dublin Different

Save 18-20 September in your diary/calendar for your trip to the World Congress in Dublin!

MEET THE NEW AGN CHAIR

LIAM McQUAID


ALBERTO ADAMINAS

NEW CHAIR FOR AGN INTERNATIONAL

At the recently held AGN World Congress in Vancouver, 23 October, Liam McQuaid of Duignan Carthy O'Neill (Dublin, Ireland) commenced a two-year term as Chairman of AGN International Ltd, and Randy Redwitz of Robert R. Redwitz & Co. (Irvine, CA, USA) retired by rotation from the post. The newly elected Vice Chair is Alberto Adaminas of Elizalde, Casares & Asociados (Buenos Aires, Argentina).

Liam McQuaid, managing partner of Duignan Carthy O'Neill, has 35 years experience in audit, accounting and business consulting, with specialised expertise in auditing and insolvency, including court liquidations. He joined the firm in 1980 after working with KPMG in Dublin. His experience crosses a wide range of industries including pension funds, financial services, agribusiness, security, leisure, pharmaceutical, printing, wholesale grocery, charities and other not-for-profits. 

Liam also acts as director of a number of client companies and holds technical advisory roles with the Irish Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Financial Reporting Council. His goals for AGN in 2016 are to increase membership and encourage business among and for member firms. 

Alberto Adaminas is a tax advisor, university lecturer and professor, and a partner with Elizalde, Casares & Asociados. He will succeed Liam McQuaid in 2018.

Malcolm Ward, AGN CEO, states, "Our great thanks go to Randy Redwitz for a truly outstanding contribution during his two-year term as International Chairman. Liam will be a formidable successor; we look forward to his chairmanship at this exciting time of progress and development for AGN."
2015 WORLD CONGRESS IN VANCOUVER


2015 AGN WORLD CONGRESS CONVENED IN VANCOUVER

The beautiful city of Vancouver, BC, Canada, was the site for two days of collaboration among AGN International members at the annual World Congress, held 25-27 October 2015 at the Pan Pacific Vancouver. This year's technical programme focused on business development. Presentations from Malcolm Ward, AGN CEO, and Chris White, Business Development Consultant, focused on AGN global business development along with framework and diagnostics, and getting the basics right.

Eighty-three AGN member delegates and VIPs - representing CPA, CA and accounting firms from 23 countries around the globe - gathered for information-sharing on technical and client service topics, along with leadership and knowledge management. All five regions - Europe, Central & South America, North America, Asia Pacific, and West Asia and Africa - were represented at the meeting, which was hosted by the North American region and Vancouver member firm Rolfe, Benson

(Photos below: AGN members from across the globe get down to business learning about each others' firms and business opportunities.)


 
 



 
 
   
 
 
   

 
     

Among the first day's speakers were Malcolm and Chris, as mentioned above. Completing the day's technical agenda was Susan Scott, CEO (Fierce, Inc.), who presented "The Connected Leader: Improving Results Through Conversation".

The second day featured committee breakouts in the morning: International Accounting & Auditing, International Tax Case Studies, and International Business Development. AGN members Pers Aswani  of Hazlems Fenton, Elizabeth Gantnier of Stegman & Company, and Scott Walters of Daszkal Bolton LLP presented to the IAAC on "The IAAC", "How to make Money on Audits",  "Issues Facing Our Profession and Effects on Standards and Rules", and "Cloud-based Accounting: Benefits, Threats and Opportunities".  

The International Business Development Committee met face-to-face for the first time during their breakout session. All committee members, or their proxies, were in attendance. The agenda covered five strategic pillars of the BD agenda, working each of them with the advice of experienced professionals, and with a global approach. The meeting ended with all members committed to active participation in particular actions. The meeting was also a good opportunity to identify the person that can represent the West Asia and Africa region, Mohan Balakrishnan, partner of Al Maqtari Auditing (Abu Dhabi).

After lunch, Rita Hood, Regional Director for North America, presented on "AGN's Knowledge Management System", explaining the infrastructure, capturing and archiving of shared information, and retrieval of that information. Closing the formal presentations was Sandra Ford Walston presenting "Courage: The Cornerstone of Great Workplaces" as a key ingredient in members' business success. The conference was concluded with the introduction of the new Chair, Liam McQuaid, Managing Partner of Irish member firm Duignan Carthy O'Neill and the announcement that the 2016 World Congress which will be held in his home town of Dublin, Ireland in September 2016. 

Malcolm Ward commented: "There have been many changes and developments at AGN over the last 12 months. It was great to experience a sense of excitement and energy from our members, who gained great value from participating in this conference."

NEW DEVELOPMENTS



BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT SPOTLIGHT

Increasing business has been a major theme of all the 2015 regional meetings and the Vancouver World Congress. Our efforts are coming on apace.

Please do take a look at our new Business Development area in the My AGN Members-Only pages: (Route: My AGN / AGN Knowledge / Business Development)

Here you will find support and training to help you increase your effectiveness in pitching for new work, and also some new and valuable diagnostic questionnaire tools to help you increase the impact of your marketing and sales efforts, and especially to make the most of the credentials that your AGN membership provides.

More business development tools are being added over time, so please come back regularly! Remember, we can also help and support with any questions or development/training needs that these tools identify. Please call your usual regional contact or email the AGN headquarters at info@agn.org.

You should have seen by now our new Business Opportunity Bulletin ("BOB") series, which is aimed at starting focused and commercial conversations between members, and provide you with materials to forward to your clients where relevant, showcasing your international thinking and credentials. Take a another look at the BOB series so far: (Route: Login at www.agn.org; see the Latest Updates section and click on the BOB of your choice). 

What are the BOB ideas relevant to your city/region/country? Please let us know, and help generate commercial opportunity for yourself and fellow members, and value for clients. Mireia Rovira, AGN's International Business Development Director, will be delighted to answer any questions on this topic, and also help you develop your BOB ideas.


SYSTEMS UNDER DEVELOPMENT

Our new brand and website went live in the summer. We still have some refinements to make, but the reaction so far has been outstanding. Thank you for your support!

We are now working "behind the scenes" on a major systems upgrade to increase further our efficiency and effectiveness in serving our members. Progressively during 2016 you will see a number of benefits from this important work, including: self-update of certain member records, better support for our global sector specialty initiative, a referred work customer feedback platform, improved support to increase the reach of our knowledge sharing platforms, and a variety of other improvements. Our great thanks to to Mark Pigg in Denver and the others of the AGN team worldwide involved in this project.


NEW MEMBERS

We continue to receive a stream of new membership enquiries, which are assessed thoroughly for standards before being put forward for AGN membership. At the time of writing, we have membership enquires active in USA, Canada, Brazil, UK, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Russia, Italy, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Morocco, India, Pakistan, Zimbabwe & UAE. Additionally, we are expecting to announce shortly development in our  membership in Australia and Slovenia.

We are always keen to receive recommendations from existing AGN members. If you are working with someone overseas (or elsewhere in your own country) who you think upholds our high standards and would both contribute to and benefit from AGN membership, please do speak with our regional AGN contact, or email the AGN headquarters at info@agn.org.

 




IAB PANEL DISCUSSION



BUSINESS MODELS OF ASSOCIATIONS

Recently a panel of four executives from four global associations sat down with International Accounting Bulletin (IAB) to discuss the differences of networks' business models from associations' business models. (IAB is the only global magazine covering the professional services world.) AGN CEO, Malcolm Ward, participated in this discussion expressing his views on the industry's perception, knowledge and recognition of associations' business models.

The article is available on the website: (Route: Login at www.agn.org; see the Latest Updates section and click on IAB Nov 2015; article begins on page 9)



STAFF EXCHANGE


AGN has created a Staff Exchange Program whereby AGN member firms may send their talented staff overseas for a temporary work assignment, and for AGN member firms that wish to accept such temporary staff.

The objectives of this program are:

• Foster the exchange of best practices, knowledge, and skills throughout the association

• Provide member firms with a means to develop staff skills, expose them to new ways of working, motivate them, and ultimately assist them in reaching their full potential 

• Special assignments for projects requiring knowledge of local legislation and/or language of the staff person's home country

• Opportunity to attract and retain best staff (similar to opportunities available in Big 4 firms) 

More information is available on the website; login at www.agn.org then scroll to the bottom of the Members-Only homepage.

AGN'S SOCIAL MEDIA




LOOKING FOR MEMBER NEWS? FIND IT ON AGN'S SOCIAL MEDIA!

AGN has created a new AGN International company page on LinkedIn and it already has over 7300 followers!  Recent updates are shared along with items of interest to the industry. Follow AGN today!

Use AGN's Twitter page to follow news from/about member firms. Member News was moved from the Worldwide Update (which is published quarterly) so that these news items are published 3 or more times per week, ensuring that the information is very timely. Do follow AGN on Twitter!



REGISTRATION TO THE AGN MEMBERS-ONLY AREA

You can register partners, managers and staff so they may access the Members-Only area of the AGN website. In order to do so, contact your AGN regional office and they will set up your staff with individual usernames and passwords.

In addition, your staff will receive email newsletters and other communications from AGN (international and regional updates, invitations to AGN events, etc.)

 

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