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Getting to know... the Aberdeen members' network

In Scotland we have four members' regional networks, each of which is led by an elected panel. Ian Waugh, President of the Aberdeen Members' Network Panel, provides an insight into the network's recent activities.

The Aberdeen members' network's panel encompasses members from all business sectors and the current membership of Ian Waugh, Albert Fraser, Mairi MacIver, Shona Duncan, Derek Mitchell and Sarah Pumfrett continues to serve its members. 

After providing five years of fine service - including a term as president - Katrina-Anne Arbuckle decided to stand down. In her place, members were pleased to welcome Nathalie Kirk who works for Nexen in the oil and gas industry, one of Canada's largest energy marketing companies.

Professional development
CPD events in Aberdeen continue to be well received and well attended. 2008 saw a 14% increase in delegates from 2007 and 2009 has gone well so far. Programmes are generally tailored to reflect the diverse local membership base and stretch across the gamut of skills that accountants need in the modern workplace from technical subjects such as Excel 2007 Intermediate and Visual Basic & Pivot Tables to personal development areas such as motivation, mentoring and presentation skills.

Back in February, members were treated to a lecture from John Wils on the subject of 'Understanding the Oil and Gas Industry'. The oil and gas industry and its support services are a major source of employment in the Aberdeen area and the Panel's membership continues to be representative of these interests.

With the oil price reaching a peak of over $150/barrel and a trough of $45/barrel, it has been a challenging time for some of the smaller companies. It seems that exploration and production companies have attempted, whenever possible, to retain contractors and staff in anticipation of an upturn. With the recent rise in the oil price to $65/barrel and direct tax incentives introduced to operators in marginally profitable North Sea fields in the March Budget, there appears now to be a renewed optimism in the industry.

Networking events
Aberdeen also continues to host its successful networking events. The recent network dinner at the Marcliffe at Pitfodels had over 100 guests and Mike Brown from Anderson Anderson and Brown gave an excellent after dinner speech.

Aberdeen Dinner 1

Andrew Leck - Head of ACCA Scotland, Mike Brown - Anderson Anderson Brown,
Hazel Burt - ACCA Scotland Past President and Ian Waugh President of
Aberdeen Members' Network at the Aberdeen Dinner.

On a lighter note, guests were also treated to the added bonus of Kevin McMahon of Channel 4's 'Faking It' fame who gave up his life as a PhD researcher to become a magician.

Kevin is regarded as the most successful faker the show has ever had, convincing not only a panel of judges into believing he was a professional magician but also fooling Paul Daniels with his sneaky sleight-of-hand! Now a professional magician, Kevin managed to amaze a room full of eagled eyed accountants with his bag of tricks.

Aberdeen Dinner 4

Kevin McMahon lights up the evening

Professional courses
Back in the real world, Aberdeen played host in May to a Saturday Professional Courses event at the Palm Court Hotel where a full house heard updates on employment law and accounting standards and received insights into tax investigations and opportunities for tax planning. Given its overwhelming success plans are afoot to bring another event to Aberdeen in the autumn.

For more information visit

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