From 7th to 9th June, staff members Wajid Hassan and Manuel de Jong were in the Scottish city of Edinburgh to attend the Business Leadership Forum. This international conference offered great opportunities for networking with fellow attendees from as many as 19 different countries, and there were engaging speakers to stimulate reflection on the contemporary themes of the economy, technology and human resources. What did our colleagues take away from this conference? Over to Wajid and Manuel.
The power of that personal connection with colleagues in other countries
In our international practice, we exclusively work on international tax, accounting and auditing issues. For this, the knowledge and expertise of our PrimeGlobal colleagues are indispensable. It’s great if you can actually meet those colleagues at a conference and build a personal connection with them. That translates into better collaborative work and therefore more added value for the clients we serve together.
The economy: we’ll need to get used to a new economic reality – one in which inflation is standard to some extent
Alex Brandeth, a Manchester-based asset manager, took us through the key economic developments, including inflation. Over the course of 2023, inflation is likely to continue levelling off, but to some extent, it will feature permanently. Due to factors such as rising interest rates and deglobalisation, this is the new economic reality we will need to get used to.
Technological developments: artificial intelligence
Jeremy Hyman talked about ChatGPT, focussing on the practical aspects of this technology and outlining the opportunities it offers for all sectors. He then showed us how you can use ChatGPT to perform specific analyses, using Excel spreadsheets that you copy into the tool. It takes us a relatively long time to draw up a proper schedule or divide up tasks, or to work out which customers will be most important to the company over the coming months or years, but with the right data, it takes ChatGPT just a few seconds. In these times of increasing staff shortages and a lack of time, more data-driven solutions could present opportunities.
Various speaker presentations and round table sessions were devoted to this topic and we reflected on the ever-increasing challenge of finding good staff and retaining them. Several factors play a role here: staff shortages, a new generation entering the sector, remote leadership with many colleagues working from home, and so on. One of the main conclusions we took away from the sessions was that personal attention and even bespoke consideration are becoming increasingly important in terms of staff retention and securing the loyalty of employees to the organisation. In particular, a flexible attitude from the employer when it comes to work-life balance or working from home is important for Generation Z now entering the sector. In addition, technology offers the opportunity for reducing repetitive work and giving people a more challenging and satisfying set of tasks.
Are you running into international tax or accounting issues, either in your private life or professionally? Why not contact one of our staff at International? Through the PrimeGlobal network to which our firm is affiliated, our employees can solve any issue anywhere in the world for you.