What’s New From AVN

February 2018

Our Keynote Speaker…Will Whitehorn

Will Whitehorn is a non-executive director or Chair of several public and private companies including Purplebricks Group PLC, GVC Holdings PLC, Stagecoach Group PLC, the Glasgow SEC /SSEHydro, The Scottish Gallery.  He has also now joined the board of Clyde Space Limited, the UKs leading space satellite manufacturer, which was recently acquired in a groundbreaking £30 million by AAC Microtec.
Having learned to fly as a 16-year-old RAF cadet and completing an MA Hons at Aberdeen University, he has spent almost all of his working life in the transport and technology industries. Starting out as a helicopter crewman in the North Sea Oil Industry, he went on to become a graduate trainee with Thomas Cook and eventually joined Virgin in 1986 where he established a career as Sir Richard Branson’s corporate affairs advisor and Brand Development Director for the group globally. He helped develop Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Trains and Virgin Media, and went on to become the first President of Virgin Galactic taking the business from a dream to reality. In 2010 he left Virgin to embark on a non exec career and was a founder shareholder in Purplebricks Group PLC.

Will is going to be explaining how businesses need to change in the future, how to create that change, how the Virgin Group did things, and how AVN members can make the change that is needed.

To book your place at the conference just go to www.avn.co.uk/conference


New GDPR Resources in System Builder

You will have received in the post your AVN 2018 Guide – if you want a downloadable version you can download it here.  Along with this, we included a copy of the Guide to GDPR.  You can use this guide with your clients, either exactly as it is, or use the Action Resource in System Builder which has the wording in for you to create your own branded version.

You can find them here…

GDPR Brochure
GDPR Action Resource

If you found these resources useful, hop onto the AVN Facebook page – we’d love to hear your feedback!

How to take the stress out of January 2019

Hopefully January wasn’t too painful for you – if your January was still busier than you would like it, why not revisit the video below?  This is an interview with AVN member Marc Lawson from Business Vision showing you how to change the systems in your business to ensure that January is pain free.


The future of Financial Performance Review

While AVN have a number of software tools, our primary focus is not as a software provider, and there are so many other software providers doing a great job of allowing you to report on your clients growth, that we have decided to discontinue developing our Financial Performance Review software.

Many members are already using products such as Spotlight, Futrili and Xero to produce this key information for their clients.  We are investigating plans to build some additional functionality into AVN Benchmarking in the future to report on your clients key financial numbers.
You will be able to continue downloading it as part of the Advanced Software download until 31st July 2018, and will be able to continue using it until 31st December 2018.


Is AVN GDPR compliant?

We hold your data, and data for your clients and as such have a responsibility to you to ensure this data is protected.

Where does our clients’ and our data reside?
Your client data resides on the Microsoft Azure platform and is based in Western Europe. What this means is that it is GDPR compliant and is located in either Ireland, Germany, London or the Netherlands. Your data is also stored on additional cloud based software that we use for emailing you and invoicing you that is already GDPR compliant or will be by the May deadline.

What IT security measures do you have in place?
As well as the Microsoft Azure firewalls, antivirus, malware protection, and backups that you would expect, we have paid for our systems to be penetration tested. This means that we have paid friendly hackers to try to break into our systems to ensure that they are as secure as they possibly can be.

Have a relaxing February.  Remember if you want to chat with the team about the next steps for your business you can give us a ring on 01246 571191, or email us, or book a meeting at a convenient time for you here


January 2017

Are you tapping into the full support of AVN?

Shane has just created a video guiding you through all the different ways in which AVN can help you on your journey.  It’s only 5 minutes long – just click the link below to watch it.


Do you have MOT days?

We had our MOT last week, and it was fantastic being able to take a step back and look at our business for 3 whole days and make changes to the systems that we have, deleting things that we don’t use, and generally just having a really good tidy up.  It’s amazing how great it can make you feel, having the whole team focused on the business rather than just the business owner.  We plan on having more MOT days in the future, so that we continue to work on our business and suggest that you consider having them too.

GDPR – are you prepared?

It’s the big scary thing of the moment, and with so many different people offering many different solutions it’s hard to know where to start.  We are creating a brochure that you can personalise and give to your clients and it will be in System Builder soon.

Have you booked your place at the AVN Conference yet?

We have some amazing speakers booked so far for the Conference, and the current AVN Firm of the Year Michael Hemme from MDH will be explaining the benefits that implementing and applying for AVN Excellence 6* made to his practice.

February training events for your calendar

Why not book your AVN training now, so that you are ready to kickstart the year working on your practice?  You can Book all of these here
Training at AVN House

  • Clarity – Let’s get started – 27th February – A practical workshop to help you improve your key numbers. This event is designed to complement and assist you completing the first AVN Roadmap – Clarity and help you on your first steps on your AVN journey.
  • Gearing – Preparing your practice for a successful future – 8th February – An interactive workshop designed to enable you to leverage your time, earn more and work less.  The Roadmaps so far have been focused around you – now is the time to start getting your practice to truly work without relying on you being there to manage everything, and allowing it to grow exponentially. This workshop is only available to advance members that have already completed the Value Workshop.

Online training

  • Developing your KPI’s – 14th February – 12pm – 1pm – Taking a look at the measures you should have in place in your practice, to enable you to make the decisions you need to.

Book all of these here

The Bottom Line

Have you noticed when you visited the loo at AVN Head Office that we support toilet twinning?  Each of our toilets has been twinned with another in a part of the world giving people somewhere safe to go to the toilet – the basic of our needs.  If you want to find out more, you can find out here.


Articles ready for you to use
Did you know that while ever you remain an AVN member (foundation and above) all of the content in the articles written by the AVN team which have been put on the AVN website https://avn.co.uk/blog/ can be taken by you and used in newsletters and on your website?  There are dozens of great standalone articles that can be used wherever you need.

Have you started working through the AVN Roadmaps yet?
Jay Chatwani of Lawrence & Co spoke recently to James Miller about starting the AVN Roadmap journey. Even though they have been with AVN for a number of years and have implemented many of the AVN tools and resources, he found the process incredibly valuable – highlighting areas of the business where they may have let some things slip or they can do even better.  Watch the 8 minute video here.  And if you haven’t started on the AVN Roadmap journey yet you can book a call here.
Why your online presence is important
Back in December Shane presented a webinar on the importance of having an online presence, and how you should do this. If you missed it, you can watch the recording here.
As with our cars (and our bodies) every so often it’s a great idea to have an MOT, and as we are in our 20th year we are taking a few days to take stock of where we are and have a bit of a tidy up and a plan.  We are doing this next week from Tuesday 9th to Thursday 11th January.  During this time we will only be responding to urgent phone calls and emails and will respond to all other communication on Friday.


December 2017:

We would like to take this time of year to say ‘Thank You’ for working with us over the last year, and to let you know that rather than sending out Christmas cards, we have decided to provide 250 days of business training to women in Africa, via B1G1.
Our Christmas Opening Hours
We are out celebrating on the afternoon of Monday 18th, and so the office will close at 11.45 on that day.  The office will officially close for Christmas on Friday 22nd December and reopens on Monday 2nd January. And so if you need any help from us then give us a ring before the 22nd.
Join us for our 20th Year Celebrations
In September 2018 AVN will be celebrating 20 years and we would love for you to join us to celebrate.  For those of you at the conference this year you will know we said it would be in London, but the feedback from you is that London is not the place to have the event and so we have managed to secure an amazing deal in Birmingham. 
Come along and join us for an evening of fun on the Monday 17th September at our Gala Dinner, and then at the conference on Tuesday 18th September, for an all-inclusive price of just £197 plus VAT per person – that includes the Gala Dinner, your accommodation, breakfast, and your day at the conference.
Book your places here
New System Builder resources
We have reviewed the Lifetime Financial Responsibility resources and the B1G1 Action Resource in System Builder.  To see new resources that are in System Builder, just open the software and click the ‘What’s New’ button on the home page.
New AVN App Suite
I am delighted to tell you that we have released OnTrack on the AVN Dashboard/Apps Suite (Windows versions only today – keep an eye out for the release of the MAC and IPad versions coming soon).
Uninstall and reinstall
An email yesterday explaned that to get OnTrack on your own Windows Dashboard you will need to uninstall the existing version and then install the new version, which can be found here…

The reports have been reviewed and updated in light of recent changes to tax legislation, and the templates for the reports are in System Builder (just like Time’s Up! and BenchMark) in case you want to change the report template and put on your logo, or change the standard wording that appears on the reports.  (Don’t change anything in the )
All of your clients already on the dashboard will be there.  Just select to add a new questionnaire, complete the questions and produce the reports.  It will automatically save the data against your client.
Other new things on the Dashboard

Book a call – You now have a link to book a call with one of the PGE’s, so you don’t need to worry about storing the booking link anywhere.  Just click the link, choose who you want to speak to and select a date and time that works for you.
What’s new – there is a new link to the What’s New at AVN page on the AVN website – so you can see at a glance the new training resources and tools that have been released.
Coming in the new year…
Membership benefits – so that you can at arrange benefits to use with your team, and offer these same benefits to your clients
SSTW – Web based, so that you can invite your clients to use it and don’t have to worry about copying files onto CD’s or USB’s for your clients.


November 2017:

Welcome to our New Members

Last week was another amazing week at AVN and we would like to take this opportunity to welcome the newest members to our community.

Thanks to everyone involved but especially to Phil Ellerby and Andrew James for sharing their amazing journeys so far at the event. You are Inspiring Accountants.

Remember, if you would like your team to energised and enthused, then bring them along to the March Masterclass.

Following on from the AVN Masterclass we have supported the following projects as our commitment to the UN’s Global Goals.

We have…

  • provided in Cambodia, 52 families with enough seeds for them to grow their own food for a year. This will have allowed the girls in these families to attend school rather than having to search for food.

  • supported 39 families in rural villages with access to clean and safe water for a year. This not only gives them clean water, but also provides them with financial security and ongoing health.

  • helped by providing extra tuition to 13 girls for a period of one year, this allows them to pass their exams and to move on to the next year of schooling which would normally not be accessible for them.

And also special thanks to AVN’s very own Victoria, who managed to find a charity to donate the left over food to so that it didn’t go to waste.

AVN Apps Update

Keep an eye out for the new AVN apps update, which includes OnTrack in the cloud, a link to book your calls with us, and a link to keep up to date with what’s new at AVN.  We will send an email to let you know when this is released.

Have you started your AVN Roadmap Journey Yet?

We now have almost 70% of members on the AVN roadmap journey, some taking great leaps, and others smaller steps, but they are moving their practices forward on the journey they want to take.  Have you started your journey?  If not you can book a call to get started here…bookacall.avn.co.uk.  Remember the roadmaps aren’t just for new members – they are a great way to take a fresh look at your business.

Updated Bank Videos in System Builder

We have updated the bank videos in light of new legislation with regard to promoting advanced tax planning, and have removed the section where Remuneration Tax Planner shows an option of a tax strategy.  The new videos can be found in the ‘what’s new’ section in System Builder. 

Updates for Remuneration Planner and Incorporation Tax Planner

As you know the world of tax changes constantly, and so we have decided that the time is right to stop updating Remuneration Planner and Incorporation Tax Planner and leave the technical calculations to the experts, and so we will not be updating the calculations for the tax year 2018/19.  You will still be able to use the software for the whole of 2018, for the tax year 2017/18, and continue to be able to see any calculations already done for your clients.  

In the coming weeks we will be removing the advanced tax planning option from Remuneration Planner, so keep an eye out for this change.

Shane’s message to stakeholders

If you didn’t attend the conference (or even if you did and want a refresher on what Shane covered) and want an update on Shane’s message to the key stakeholders in AVN, you can find it in the link here.

Online training just for you

You may see the emails coming out from us letting you know of the different training that we offer. If you want a refresher of the content, we put many of the videos on YouTube.  Just subscribe to the channel to get updates from YouTube as they are uploaded.

The most recent were

Our quarterly planning day

On Monday 4th December the AVN team will be having our quarterly planning day, and so if you need help from us, drop us an email or leave a voicemail and we will come back to you on Tuesday 5th.

And remember the AVN Facebook community is always there on hand to help. Recent topics in the facebook group include how to price bookkeeping, and which practice management software to use.

October 2017:

And the AVN Firm of the Year is…


Congratulations to Michael and his team.



Online Training

  • Engaging the younger generation – In this 50 minute training session Andrea Higginbottom talks to Sarah Cripps MD from Salad Skills about her experience in recruiting millennials and how to engage apprentices. She answers many of your common questions and looks at many misconceptions.


September 2017:

Online Training

  • Tools to engage your clients and enhance your business – Tools and strategies to engage your clients and demonstrate how you can provide services that enhance their business. In this session Emma Slack of AVN shows how you can start with the things you already know and are comfortable talking about as an Accountant and develop the conversation into business advisory work. How your team can spot opportunities and use the AVN tools to change you clients perceptions of you and your services and see how you can really help them and their business grow.


August 2017:

Online Training


 July 2017:

Updated System Builder resources


June 2017:

Online Training

  • Connect, Engage, Earn!  Join Emma Slack of AVN as she explores how to connect and engage with prospects and clients in order to show them the value of the services you can offer them to help them get from where they are now to where they want to be. And how connect that value to their investment in your services.


May 2017:

Online Training

AVN Facebook Member Community Group:

We set up the AVN Member Community Group as a forum to help you progress on your AVN journey and create connections with other AVN members helping you to set and reach your goals. It has been incredibly popular and allows AVN members to post questions to the AVN team but most importantly to their peers. There is always a steady stream of new conversations and people have found it valuable to have direct access to other AVN members to air their views, ask questions, share their advice, successes and experiences. There are currently 122 members of the group and that number is steadily increasing. It is a closed, secret group for AVN member firms and their teams only so if you would like to be given access, simply email members@avn.co.uk.

New Action Resource in System Builder:

In a recent query in the AVN Members Facebook community about purchasing another practice, the member who asked received some amazing advice which we wanted to bring to the rest of the membership…so we have!

We have created a new Action Resource – Key things to consider when buying a practice/fees. This is a combination of ideas from AVN members and AVN team.

It includes –

Questions to consider / ask when buying a practice or block of fees

You can use to prepare your self before any meeting with potential sellers

You could also ask yourself these questions before you enquire about any sales

If you are planning to sell any fees or your own practice you may want to prepare for such questions.

We hope you find it of value as you grow your business. We would like to thank all our active members on the AVN Facebook Community as your contributions helped us create this resource.


April 2017:

Software in the cloud:

As you know, the AVN App suite is designed to be the first port of call for the main software resources and updates from AVN.

The AVN App Suite Dashboard currently looks like the screenshot below.

AVN App Suite Dashboard

AVN App Suite Dashboard

The five cloud-based pieces of software (Time’s Up!, System Builder, BenchMark, Remuneration Planner and Incorporation Tax Planner) can be accessed from their respective icons.

There is also an icon to access upcoming live and online training sessions from AVN for you and your team.

The software downloads icon allows you to download the latest version of the AVN software (including Mac, Hosted Desktop and iPad versions of the App Suite).

The UK’s Best Acc entry form’ icon allows you to complete an entry to feature your practice in ‘The Business Owner’s Guide to the UK’s Best Accountancy Practices’

There is also a ‘New Feed’ within the dashboard to give an overview of the latest updates and developments from AVN and the wider community.

New AVN Toolkits:

  • Building a Team That Works Toolkit – This toolkit is designed to guide you through using the TeamMatters software, building a team culture, recruitment of new team members and engaging your team.
  • AVN Roadmap Toolkit – This Toolkit will guide you to the supporting documents to help you achieve your actions and progress through all the AVN Roadmaps. It is designed to help you navigate the tools and resources to embed within your practice and work towards AVNExcellence

Online Training:


March 2017:

BenchMark in the Cloud:

The new AVNBenchmark software is now in the Cloud and on your AVN App suite (the AVN Dashboard).

The software works in a very similar way to the old version but you should find the screens cleaner and easier to use.

The software shares client details with any other AVN product on the App Suite/Dashboard so if you are already using Time’s Up! your clients will already be there for you to BenchMark.

As you requested, the reporting function now allows you to select data by SIC code, Activity code, Geographical Area, and selected date ranges.

We have also made it simple for you to add your own logo and create your own templates (with a simple drag and drop function).

You can also use AVNBenchmark anywhere and on any device that has an internet browser and internet access by just going to benchmark.avn.co.uk and log in using your System Builder password.

And to support you using this tool we have updated the BenchMark Toolkit in System Builder to show you clearly how to use the software and the reports it produces. Click here to take a look.

AVN Toolkits updated:

  • Benchmark Toolkit – to give you everything you need to systematically roll out BenchMark throughout your practice with Clients and Prospects.
  • Time’s Up! Toolkit – to help you to get started with using and customising Time’s Up and implementing the pricing theories and policies it advocates.
  • System Builder Toolkit – to give you everything you need to systematically roll out System Builder throughout your practice with Clients and Prospects.

Online Training:


February 2017:

Online Training:


December 2016:

Online Training:

November 2016:

Updated AVN Toolkit:

  • BBF Toolkit – This toolkit is an overview of what BBFs are, objectives of BBFs, a list of the resources included and the timings for BBFs. There is a library detailing every title, what type of subject is covered, if it is a top 10 BBF and a link straight to the BBFs individual checklist of resources in Systembuilder.net. There is a resources page that has links to the supporting resources in Systembuilder.net

October 2016:

The New AVN Roadmap Journey Launched at AVN Conference!

We have designed 7 Roadmaps to help guide you and your team to take action to create the practice you desire. Each Roadmap is a printed workbook to track your progress, write your ideas, and point you to the AVN resources that will best help you to complete your actions.

The 7 Roadmaps are designed to guide you through the process of achieving 4,5, and 6 Star AVNExcellence Accreditation.

The Clarity Roadmap is designed to start you on your AVN Roadmaps journey. Based on your firm’s specific circumstances, the Clarity Roadmap workbook is tailored to help guide you to take action to create the practice you desire. Along the way there will be actions which you can involve your team members with which will develop their skills and promote a strong team culture within your firm – not to mention free up your time to work on the more important things.

If you haven’t yet started on your Clarity Roadmap journey Click Here to book an initial 30 minute call with one of the PGE Team.

Once you have completed the Clarity Roadmap workbook, for each of the subsequent Roadmap stages, (beginning with the second Roadmap ‘ Positioning’) there is an accompanying Implementation Workshop to kickstart each new step of your journey. You will spend the day at the AVN Head office with like-minded peers – it will be interactive, hands on, in-depth training designed to allow you to hit the ground running and give you the momentum to continue when you go back to your practice.

Roadmap online support sessions. These start after your attendance at the Positioning Roadmap Implementation Workshop. Facilitated by one of the PGE Team, these are 3-weekly online group sessions and are designed to support you as you work through your current Roadmap with focus on the AVN tools and resources that can help you along the way.

Online training:

Updated Toolkit:

  • Marketing Toolkit – The objective of this toolkit is to give you everything you need to systematically roll out the marketing systems throughout your practice with Clients and Prospects.

September 2016:

Time’s Up!:

A new version of Time’s Up! will be released on Monday 14 September. Time’s Up! 1.3 is packed full of new features and benefits for you:

  1. Speed – We’ve dramatically increased the sync speed.
  2. Cross group items – You can now see items that appear in multiple categories and amend the order in which they display.
  3. Default optional extras – You can now choose what appears first in your quotes – for example, PMI, TAS or Optional Extras.
  4. Locking down a quote – You can now lock down a quote so it can’t be changed accidentally once it’s been signed off by a client.
  5. Navigation – It’s now much easier to navigate to other pages within a quote.
  6. Printing – New Print Proposal facility on the Quote Settings screen.
  7. Syncing for Terminal Services users – Improved compatibility for Terminal Services users.

New AVN Toolkit:

  • Time’s Up! Toolkit – to help you to get started with using and customising Time’s Up and implementing the pricing theories and policies it advocates.

Online training:

Your On Demand 24/7 online training:

To support you and your team’s learning we have improved the On Demand training platform within System Builder. We have redesigned this platform to better help your team to understand how AVN can be of use to them. (It would be a great step in your induction programme / training programme). Our newest AVN members can also gain an understanding how the AVN tools and resources can help in the many areas that can help to transform your practice.

The four sections within the training platform are – Introduction to AVN, Quick Wins, Cultivate and Grow and Making it stick. They all have supporting resources, user guides and pre-recorded training videos to help engage, enthuse and get your team on board to achieve your business goals.

All the training platforms can be accessed within System Builder. Click here to find simple instructions to add your team members to System Builder.



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