It’s never been more important to collaborate and share our ideas

March 2021 will not only serve as an anniversary of sorts as it’ll be 12 months since the pandemic began to change our lives, but it will also mark the NHF’s next Finance Conference. Michelle Allott, Finance Director at Together Housing Group, Chair of the NW regional finance forum and member of FPAG, says it’s never been more important to share our ideas as we continue to mitigate the effects of the ongoing crisis.

As finance professionals, we don’t just plan for the year ahead, we plan for the next five years, and even the next 30. We are a resilient breed, but like everyone else, we couldn’t have known that when we prepared our plans last year we would be dealing with a global pandemic that would change everything.

Our future outlook on offices, agile working, cyber risk, and sales programmes were all affected, and if that wasn’t enough our customers are facing debt and uncertainty on a scale we could never have imagined.

That’s why the collaboration and sharing of ideas and experience has never been so important. Although the regional finance forums are useful for this, the NHF’s Finance Conference allows that time away from the day job to learn from others, network, share ideas and gain insight from inspirational key speakers.

I have attended the Finance Conference for a number of years now, whilst working for both small and large housing groups and despite working in the housing sector for nearly 30 years I still learn something new.

There is definitely something for everyone whether it’s learning about the sector, technical updates from the experts (tax, SORP, ESG reporting, digital, capital funding options, VfM metrics and pension strategies to name just a few) or gaining some ‘out of sector’ inspiration from key note speakers. 

I’m also very privileged to speak at and support the conference in other ways too through my involvement in the NHF’s Finance Policy Advisory Group (FPAG).

I’m not sure whether we will be able to share a drink and network together by the time the conference comes around, but I’m sure being the resourceful bunch that we are we will think of something. I hope to see you there.