TGS Digested Week 17Doing business TGS U
Andrew Menzies, TGS Vice-President International Development
Our TGS seminars for May are only a week away. If that wasn’t enough pressure, at the usual short notice we decided to create a simultaneous TGS sporting event for charity so we could walk round the world. TGS Walks Round the World. 40000Km seems ambitious but we have 70 member firms with around 4500 staff so that’s almost 9000 legs! If we each do a little each we can probably walk the distance quite easily. We might even get round the world twice. I won’t spell out the metaphor for you but you can see what we’re getting at. We’re organizing the event with Race Nation set up by British Bobsleigh champ, Will Golder. Many thanks to Rob Rattray at r2 Finance for the lightning introduction to what seems like the best platform for this kind of thing.
I facilitated the TGS Tax Committee this week. If your eyes don’t glaze over at the thought of 45 minutes talking about global tax issues and opportunities in corporate tax, individual tax, indirect tax, VAT, and transfer pricing then sign up for our new LinkedIn TGS Tax Discussion Group and join us for more of the same.
What’s the best way to win new clients? Where do I get rapid responses to my clients’ questions about international tax issues they experience? We have these answers for you. Join our tax group. What? Even if my tax issue is in one of the 50 US states! That’s like a whole other world of complication? Yes, we can answer that kind of question. Join the group.
I spent some time speaking with the avuncular Daniel Hood, Editor in Chief at Accounting Today in the US. I was asking Daniel’s advice to see if TGS coming to America with a ‘think global sustainability’ focus would be more welcome under the Biden administration than maybe it was last year. ESG is big news in the US right now and coincidentally the next edition of Accounting Today has a focus on just that. Many US accounting and auditing firms are looking for training about how best to develop and measure sustainable business practice and how to gain a sustainable competitive advantage (in both senses of the word). TGS U could be the answer for many of them.
Sophie hosted this month’s IBC meeting. What is an IBC? It’s an International Business Coordinator. Why do firms need an IBC? How should they do their IBC-ing and do we have any tools to help? If you don’t know who your firm’s TGS IBC is, reach out to Sophie and she will help you identify the best person for the job and she will train them up to be the best person at the job.
If you’re not a member of TGS but you already have an IBC please reach out to me and we’ll get you signed up as a member of TGS so you can boost your international business referral work.
We’ve been working on our presentations for the regional conferences and working out how we can make them fun, interesting, engaging, and stop people switching off their cameras, multi-tasking, or falling asleep. I’m sure you’re going to enjoy it and I hope you sign up for the TGS 2021 Regional Conferences to see what we came up with.
It is always interesting to learn about international differences and similarities. I learned this week that TGS France Avocats (lawyers, not avocados) will try to keep your business out of court wherever they can through conflict resolution, arbitration and mediation whereas, in Italy, Stefano Faraoni, tells me, you will go to court and his firm are good at that.
Both firms are experts in technology law and will be able to help you with cross-border GDPR issues, draft you an NDA, or any other international contract you may need for a project. I’m almost reaching for a pen and paper to make a Venn Diagram about where similarities, differences, and overlaps are and maybe this is a good task for our next intern. If that seems like an interesting project DM me with your intern application.
A.I. was a hot topic in 2019 and who could forget Doug, the Audit Dog, and the help he gave the Paris audit team? I know, you’ve probably forgotten Audit Doug and the groundbreaking work he did to harness the power of A.I. for financial services. You can watch Doug’s video here. We worked feverishly over our 2019 presentations about possible use cases for A.I. in audit and accounting and invited speakers to our conferences to talk about it. Global media in 2021 has switched to covering the effects of Covid 19 for the moment but A.I. is still there and still a force to be reckoned with. To get back up to speed, I started reading Michael Kanaan’s book, ‘T-Minus A.I.: Humanity’s Countdown to Artificial Intelligence and the New Pursuit of Global Power ‘. It’s a very well explained, non-terrifying and inspirational read.
TGS Live. We’re on a path to get 1% better each time we go live with TGS. There are a lot of parameters so there are lots that can go wrong and there are many passwords to remember along the way as you Livestream from a Zoom meeting to LinkedIn and YouTube Simultaneously. I rely on my laptop to remember the passwords for me but it’s always at the start of an event that the computer will have a think to itself. Is that you, Andrew? Really? What’s your password?
You can have up to 100 participants in a Zoom which is good, there are 740 Million members on LinkedIn which is better and there are 2 Billion potential clients on YouTube. Our audiences are not huge on YouTube yet but we increase with every edition so I think will ultimately be worth the effort of preparation and technological mastery.
Sign up and join us for next week’s TGS Live at 9am CEST, just before we start our TGS EMEA regional event. It will get you warmed up and ready to participate!
Justine and I met with the super-dynamic TGS Transfer Pricing Group to help set up TGS Transfer Pricing Webinar #1. What is Transfer Pricing and how can my firm get involved? We’ve worked out the best way to set up a webinar and we’ve documented this into a fool-proof process. We leaned heavily on the work of F*ckup Nights from the TGS Singapore conference. Do you remember Pelumi and Ibrahim’s excellent presentations? They were created with help from a simple process. F*ckup Nights event organization was excellent. They made sure we knew where we were and what we had to do at every step of the way. Thanks to their work (and Justine’s), if you would like to set up a webinar with TGS (and you do want to because we’re going to come and get you), we’ll be able to help you do it well. You will know where you are every step of the way, your audience will be big and you will be able to use the webinar as ready-made content for your social media (and ours!).
We might F*ck it up at some point, but we make mistakes so gracefully you’ll be happy we did and you’ll be happy that you were part of the experience.
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