Press release: New President’s message to members: ‘Digitisation will bring major changes – we will help you through them’

The new President of the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT), Ralph Pettengell, has promised to put additional resources into supporting the Association’s members through what he called ‘the biggest change to the way taxpayers – and their agents – engage with HMRC since PAYE came in 70 years ago'.

In his inaugural speech, made to the ATT’s Annual General Meeting today, the new President said:

“I want to make this a central focus of my presidential year – ensuring we provide relevant support to our members to help them get ready for digitisation. I want us to provide more relevant CPD events, widening skills for those members who are worried about losing income streams. I want to provide more free CPD, especially in the form of webinars.

“I want to look at providing open forums for discussion, so ATT members can talk to one another, share experiences, ask and answer each other’s questions. I want to look at additional papers and qualifications in different elements of taxation, to show our members’ competency in different areas. I want to use as many tools as possible, to spread as much knowledge as possible.”

The new President also had a message for the Government on digitisation, urging them not to rush the changes, and calling for the timetable for ‘Making Tax Digital’ to be revised to delay implementation by at least one year.

In the speech Ralph Pettengell also drew on his own experience in the financial services sector to warn of the importance of professional bodies meeting the challenge laid down by the Government over the rules of professional conduct for their members. And he reassured ATT members that the Association stands ready to respond to any changes prompted by ‘Brexit’, whether in policy formulation or keeping the ATT’s exams and CPD relevant.

The full text of Ralph Pettengell’s speech is attached.

Ralph Pettengell took office as ATT President this afternoon, succeeding Michael Steed. The new ATT Deputy President (succeeding Ralph) is Graham Batty and the new Vice President (succeeding Graham) is Tracy Easman.

Notes for editors

  1. Ralph Pettengell – ATT President
    Ralph was admitted to ATT Membership in 1993 and became a fellow in 2014. He joined Council in 2006 and has served on the Finance Steering Group for many years. Ralph is the Managing Partner of Pettengell Wealth Management LLP, a firm that offers wealth management strategies to High Net Worth Individuals, Family Offices and Trustees. Pettengell Wealth Management is an appointed representative of St James's Place Wealth Management. Ralph has been involved in the financial services industry for over 30 years. He has attained the FPFS, the ACII qualification specialising in Pensions, is a Chartered Financial Planner, holds the ACSI qualification in Investment Management and is a Fellow of ATT.
  2. Graham Batty – ATT Deputy President
    Graham is the ATT’s Honorary Treasurer and chairs the Finance Steering Group and also serves on the CIOT's Finance and General Purposes Committee. Graham qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1983, became an Associate of CIOT in 1986 and a member of ATT in 2005, gaining Fellowship status in 2014. He joined Council in 2012. He is an associate director with a leading accountancy firm and currently specialises in the taxation of charities and other not for profit bodies. Graham has been a member of the Association's Technical Steering Group since 2003 and is a former Chair of both the Leeds and Birmingham branches.
  3. Tracy Easman – ATT Vice President
    Tracy was elected to ATT Council in March 2011. She joined the then Inland Revenue in 1984 to work at the local tax office in Horsham, West Sussex. She remained there until 1989 when she joined a local tax consultancy firm. After 18 months she joined another firm in Horsham and remained there until 2003. She started her own tax consultancy business later that year. Tracy qualified as a member of the Association in May 1993 and became a Fellow in 2012. Tracy has also been an Associate of the CIOT  since May 2000. In 2006 she joined the Sussex Branch Committee and is a former chair of the branch. Tracy chairs the joint ATT/CIOT Professional Standards Committee and has been involved in various working parties for that Committee for a number of years.
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