Meet the Conference Speakers and Hosts!

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Nikki Adams

Managing Director, Ad Valorem Accountancy Services

Conference Speaker

Nikki is Joint Managing Director of 2020 member firm Ad Valorem.

She is passionate about supporting innovation, collaboration and digital transformation throughout the entrepreneurial micro/SME business and accounting sector.

With over 30 years’ experience of running businesses, specialised in working with SME owner-managers/
entrepreneurs, her focus is building highly effective teams by harnessing the power of technology whilst keeping a down-to-earth family feel that resonates with their customers.

Making Ad Valorem one of the best places to work, is one of Nikki’s main drivers. Attracting and retaining talent is a key focus so that they can continue to innovate and keep pace with the technological, as well as technical, changes in our marketplace. They use several profiling tools to assist in developing and bringing out the best in their team ensuring the generations can work well together and complement each other with skills in all areas of business not just accounting.

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Sharon Cooke

Technical Director, 2020 Innovation

Conference Speaker

Sharon is a well-known speaker and consultant within the accountancy profession. Sharon is a Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Tax Advisor and speaks on all technical topics pertinent to accountants in practice, with a particular interest in business taxation. Sharon joined 2020 Innovation as Technical Director in January 2022 and enjoys working with members to help them achieve success in their practices.

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Ian Fletcher

Speaker and Writer, 2020 Innovation

Conference Speaker and Host

Ian is a well known lecturer and business consultant and has gained a reputation for his entertaining style and practical approach to practice management. Ian majors in management issues, specifically dealing with the systemisation of accounting practices. He is the co-author of books on business consulting and adding value.

Matt Flanagan

Matt Flanagan

Appacus Co-Founder and MD @ BlueHub

Conference Speaker

Matt Flanagan is the Co-Founder/
Head Trainer at Appacus as well as MD @ BlueHub. Through his seminars and educational programmes, he helps forward-thinking accountants to get the most out of cloud accounting and the surrounding app ecosystem.

In his signature programme, The App Advisory Scale, he helps firms to build and implement app advisory services that generate additional revenue. Since 2014, he’s worked with leading Top 100 firms such as Taylorcocks, G+E, BHP and Old Mill, as well as many small to medium-sized firms such BluSky and Seymour Taylor.

Matt is recognised as one of the leading voices in the cloud accounting and app ecosystem and is regularly invited to speak by software vendors such as Xero and Dext. 

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Gordon Gilchrist

Speaker and Writer, 2020 Innovation

Conference Speaker and Host

Gordon Gilchrist is recognised as a global leading consultant to accountancy firms in the areas of marketing, strategic planning, practice management, and increasingly, succession issues including buying, selling and merging of accountancy practices.

He trained as an accountant in the UK and later worked with Grant Thornton. He has been consulting with firms in the UK, Ireland and South Africa since 1989 and has worked with three of the Top 4 firms, 75% of the Top 20, and over 2,000 independent firms.

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Lara Morgan

Entrepreneur, Investor & Motivational Speaker

Conference Speaker

Lara is a British entrepreneur with a track record of delivering exceptional accelerated growth. Her investment strategy is pinned to improving life’s journey and she is an inspirational leader with a legacy of building world-class teams and aligning organisations behind a clear strategy.

She practices the art of selling and creating win-win customer partnerships for her brands 24/7. Her specific expertise is in strategy, customer insight and brand development, multichannel and multisite management and organic or M&A / partnership driven expansion.

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Julie Palmer

Regional Managing Partner, Begbies Traynor Group

Conference Speaker

Julie is a law graduate who qualified with Price Waterhouse in 1994. Julie joined Smith & Williamson in 1997 and became a partner in 2001. With Mike Stevenson, Julie set up Middleton Partners offices in Salisbury and Southampton, both of which are now part of Begbies Traynor. Julie is a member of the Insolvency Practitioners Association and is a Fellow of The Association of Business Recovery Professionals. Julie deals with all aspects of Corporate Recovery and turnaround work and takes all form of personal insolvency appointments.

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Michael Roberts

Chief Executive Officer, 2020 Innovation

Conference Speaker and Host

Michael has been CEO of 2020 for nearly 2 years and has enjoyed meeting many of the members over that time.  He is a chartered accountant by background and has worked in auditing, corporate finance and private equity. 

Prior to starting with 2020 he also completed an MBA degree from London Business School.

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