top of page
Chartered Accountants Ireland Press Releases




1. Belfast man elected president of Ireland's largest accountancy body


Tony Nicholl has been elected President of Chartered Accountants Ireland at its 127th Annual General Meeting in Belfast.


Chartered Accountants Ireland represents almost 24,000 Chartered Accountants throughout the island of Ireland and in 93 countries around the globe. It is the largest, longest established and fastest-growing professional accountancy body in Ireland. Mr Nicholl becomes the first President of the all-Ireland body to come from Northern Ireland since 2011.


Mr Nicholl, who takes over as President from Ronan Nolan, is Managing Partner of GMcG Chartered Accountants Group with offices in Belfast, Lisburn and Portadown. He is a highly experienced forensic accountant and expert witness with over 20 years’ experience gained in some of the largest commercial, matrimonial and personal injury cases in Northern Ireland. He is also a past Chairman of Chartered Accountants Ulster Society.


Mr Nicholl joined Goldblatt McGuigan (GMcG Chartered Accountants Group, Belfast office) in 1985 and was appointed Partner in 1993. He is also set to take over the Chairmanship of the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies (CCAB) next month. The CCAB is made up of five major accountancy bodies in the UK representing 245,000 professional accountants in the UK and Ireland.


Addressing the Chartered Accountants Ireland AGM in Belfast today (28 May 2015), he said:


“Our Institute is one of the few bodies, outside of sport, to retain an all-island status throughout years of political instability and change.  That is something of which members across the island of Ireland are very proud. We greatly value our all-island heritage and our history of working together for the mutual benefit of our economy, our society, and our island.


“Our members, right across the island of Ireland have campaigned for the UK Government to devolve the power to reduce the rate of Corporation Tax in Northern Ireland to the Executive at Stormont – a development which many would expect to improve Northern Ireland’s competitiveness.


“Devolved taxation is only one of many factors required for successful future growth in our economy; however we believe that a reduction in Corporation Tax can be an important catalyst for economic development in Northern Ireland, just as it has been for the Republic of Ireland. 


“We are concerned that the current uncertainty about the possible rate and proposed date of operation for a Corporation Tax cut is impacting negatively on the prospects of significant investment into the Northern Ireland economy. Invest NI confirmed this week that a US delegation has deferred its investment trip to Northern Ireland, and we are saddened and concerned that an opportunity for Northern Ireland may have been missed as a result.


“We need our politicians at Stormont to now make an enhanced and sustained effort to pull together to enable the benefits and rewards of devolved taxation to have a prospect of success. Northern Ireland requires strong leadership and partnership if we are to take advantage of a significant opportunity for our economy and for our society.


“I believe that our members will have an important role to play in assisting Government, investors and the business community to grasp the potential offered by a cut in Corporation Tax, as we move towards 2017. We have a tremendous reserve of experience, ability and expertise to draw on within our membership, and we will use those qualities to support business as we continue to recover from the longest recession in living memory.”


At today’s AGM, Liam Lynch, Partner with KPMG in Dublin, was elected Deputy President of Chartered Accountants Ireland. Shauna Greely, Finance Business Partner with Ulster Bank, based in Dublin was elected Vice President. As the Deputy and Vice Presidents are expected to succeed into the President’s role in due course, Ms Greely is set to become the second female President of Chartered Accountants Ireland, following Margaret Downes who served as President in 1983/84.




Reference: Garry Webb, Chartered Accountants Ireland, phone 02890 435840/ 07841 152045.


Note for Editors:

1. Chartered Accountants Ireland is Ireland's largest and longest established professional body of accountants founded in 1888. The Institute currently represents almost 24,000 members around the world.


2. The combined membership of the five CCAB bodies - ICAEW, ACCA, ICAS, CIPFA and Chartered Accountants Ireland - amounts to 245,000 professional accountants in the UK and the Republic of Ireland (354,000 worldwide).




2. New auditor reporting requirements a step in the right direction –
    Chartered Accountants Ireland


Friday 6 March 2015


Chartered Accountants Ireland today said that the recent changes to how auditors are required to report on company accounts have begun to address some of the criticisms levied at the statutory audit process in the wake of the
financial crisis.   The changes came into effect for financial years ending December 2013. They require auditors of
listed companies - including Irish listed companies – to move away from the traditional boiler plate pass or fail style
audit reports. 


Instead, auditors’ reports must now provide specific information on the company and the nature of the audit process itself. This ranges from detailing the risks encountered during the audit to evidence of a shift in focus or steps taken to resolve issues arising mid-process. 

Earlier this week the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), the independent standard setter for auditors responsible for spearheading the changes, published the findings of its review of the first year of the new requirements.  It found that in general audit firms had embraced the spirit of the new requirements, and indeed, in some cases, had gone significantly further that what might have been envisaged.


Commenting on the FRC report, Aidan Lambe, Director Technical Policy at Chartered Accountants Ireland said; “’Radical and innovative’ are not words normally associated with the auditing profession.  Yet it is clear from the FRC report that auditors have reacted positively to the new requirements introduced in response to criticisms of the relevance of the statutory audit and how little company specific information was traditionally provided in statutory audit reports.”   


Mr Lambe added; ”Clearly the auditing profession has been under scrutiny since the financial crisis and recognises that change is necessary across a range of areas to restore trust and underpin audit quality.  The nature of an annual reporting cycle means that such change can seem to happen very slowly.  Yet further change is already afoot with radical new reforms imposed by the EU due to take effect from mid-2016.  The profession welcomes these reforms as an important contribution to underpinning audit quality and confidence in the statutory audit process.” 




Reference:  Aidan Lambe, Director of Technical Policy, Chartered Accountants Ireland  
                      E: aidan.lambe[at]  
                      T: (01) 637 7307


Note for Editors:

1. The FRC review referenced above is available here: 
    “FRC finds good take-up of new auditor reporting requirements”

2. High res photo of Aidan Lambe, Director of Technical Policy, Chartered Accountants Ireland
    is available from the press office of Chartered Accountants Ireland – Bryan Rankin - (01) 637 7268




3. FRC publishes case study on accounting policies


The Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) Financial Reporting Lab (Lab) has found that investors support fresh approaches to the disclosure of accounting policies. 

Building on the Lab’s recent report ‘Accounting policies and integration of related financial information’, it has published a case study conducted among investors, retail shareholders and analysts.  The study highlights the company’s experimentation with accounting policy disclosure.  


The press release and a copy of the report can be found at this link.



4. Irish Business Enters 2015 Confident But A little More Cautious


     Winter 2014 KBC Bank Ireland / Chartered Accountants Ireland
     Business Sentiment Survey


Main points

  • Irish Business Sentiment Index steady in late 2014.

  • Activity up strongly but firms slightly less upbeat about broader economic climate.

  • Rising output also boosting employment at end 2014.

  • Two thirds of firms to raise pay in 2015 but increases set to be modest.

  • Four out of five firms see themselves in recovery mode in 2015.

  • Roughly half of firms to boost capacity in 2015 with one in ten planning cutbacks.

  • Almost half of businesses expect a modest boost from lower oil prices.

  • Sluggish global economy and domestic uncertainty may be restraining upturn at present.


Irish business sentiment held broadly steady in the final months of 2014, however, this doesn’t signal unchanged conditions, according to the latest KBC Bank Ireland/Chartered Accountants Ireland Business Sentiment Index. Instead, this outturn reflects two contrasting influences that largely offset each other in the past three months. Companies report increased activity and employment levels but this was countered by increasing caution about the general economic climate.  As a result, the KBC Bank Ireland/Chartered Accountants Ireland index edged down to 124.3 from 124.8 in the third quarter. 


A movement of this limited magnitude effectively signals no material change in the business sentiment index as a whole. However, the details suggest some interesting and contrasting developments of late that again emphasise the unusual and uneven contours of the emerging upturn even if domestic spending is now showing clearer signs of recovery.


Speaking on the release of the report, Mr Pat Costello, Chief Executive, Chartered Accountants Ireland noted:


  • “Irish business turned the year on a very strong note with activity levels at their strongest since 2006 and employment trends improving significantly. Further output gains are envisaged through 2015 but companies sounded a slightly more cautious note about the general economic climate, perhaps reflecting greater global nervousness as well as some increased domestic political uncertainty of late. These circumstances as well as the legacy of the recent crisis mean that while a solid recovery is underway it is not simply a case of onwards and upwards for all businesses.”


Mr Austin Hughes, Chief Economist, KBC Bank Ireland, who carried out the analysis, said:


  • “The pick-up in activity over end-year was particularly notable in businesses focussed on domestic spending such as construction and consumer activities. Overall, recovery is clearly broadening but the survey suggests that the overall rate of growth may be easing somewhat from the breakneck speed suggested by GDP data for the first half of 2014. So this year may see improvements across a broader range but possibly at a more modest pace than last year.”  


Mr Costello also noted:


  • “Four out of five companies consider themselves to be at some stage of a recovery cycle. So, roughly half expect to increase either output capacity in 2015 by adding to staff or infrastructure but nearly one in ten are still making cutbacks of one form or another. This suggests the recovery across the Irish economy is still quite uneven. Some assistance is expected from lower oil prices with almost half of firms envisaging a modest positive impact on their businesses but these results also imply little expectation that falling oil prices will lead to markedly stronger spending.”  


Mr Hughes said:

  • “Two in three companies are planning pay increases in 2015 with most of these set to be under 2% and broadly similar to the pattern of 2014. Only a very small number of companies envisage large pay increases. Intense competition in a disinflationary global environment, continuing uncertainty and a caution born of the recent crisis are all acting to constrain average pay growth.”


The KBC Bank Ireland / Chartered Accountants Ireland Business Sentiment Survey reflects the view of chartered accountants working in senior positions (CEOs, MDs and FDs) in Ireland’s leading companies. The Winter 2014 survey was conducted between Monday 5th January and Friday 9th January and the results presented are based on 460 completed responses.


The full survey report is available here.


For further information contact:

Austin Hughes, Chief Economist, KBC Bank Ireland         

T: 01 664 6889


Brendan O’Hora, Director, Communications and Marketing, Chartered Accountants Ireland                      

T: 01 6377298


Mark Leech, Gibney Communications

Work 01 661 0402





5. New export guide to support companies reaching for new horizons


    Export Start Guide will help local businesses to fulfil their potential


29th January 2015


A new guide to support potential exporters based on the island of Ireland is available from today.


The Export Start Guide is a partnership initiative from Chartered Accountants Ireland and two enterprise development agencies, Enterprise Ireland and Invest Northern Ireland.


The Export Start Guide offers comprehensive, practical guidance information for businesses considering new markets and opportunities. Content in the guide includes advice on areas including resources, capacity, evaluating demand, selecting and understanding a market, price expectations and payment, distribution, marketing and export planning.


The guide brings together expert analysis from Invest Northern Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and Chartered Accountants Ireland explaining the main things exporters must consider, some common mistakes that first time exporters make and checklists to ensure that potential exporters get their planning right.


As well as expert advice on export strategy, the guide includes some inspirational examples of companies across the island of Ireland which are already selling successfully into global markets.


Copies of the guide, as well as contacts to help companies take the next step are available for free at


Export Start Guide was launched at the Chartered Accountants Ireland Annual Dinner in Dublin tonight (29th January).


Speaking at the launch, Pat Costello, Chief Executive of Chartered Accountants Ireland said: “In order to make the most of global recovery, we need our best and most innovative companies to export into new markets. We want to create new global competitors and global leaders within our business communities.


“Our Institute comprises 24,000 Chartered Accountants working in over 90 countries around the globe. Our members are an influential body of people. We can, and must, use that influence, expertise and our networks. In particular our 4,500 members working overseas are uniquely placed to encourage and support our best indigenous companies to seek out new horizons, new markets and new opportunities. Export Start Guide can be an important tool in helping to drive business forward on the island of Ireland.”


Julie Sinnamon, Chief Executive Officer, Enterprise Ireland said: "We welcome this Export Start Guide and see it as a valuable resource for aspiring exporters which will help to support their market entry strategies and maximise their
export gains. It provides relevant information and intelligence to help Irish companies develop a competitive edge and win lucrative contracts in global markets".


Alastair Hamilton, Chief Executive of Invest Northern Ireland said: “Our sustained economic growth will only come from businesses developing their global footprint. Supporting first time exporters and indeed more experienced exporters to identify new markets, reach new customers and further develop their partnerships with existing customers is a core part of Invest Northern Ireland’s role and central to strengthening the local economy. I am therefore delighted to welcome the publication of this Export Start Guide which provides a wealth of information to help companies assess their readiness for exporting and devise an export strategy.”




Photos from the launch of the Export Start Guide will be sent to picture desks on the evening of 29th January by Iain White Photography,



Brendan O’Hora, Chartered Accountants Ireland

Phone: 00353 1 6377298, email:


Alan Hobbs, Enterprise Ireland

Phone: 086 8699703, email:


Jennifer Pleavin, Invest Northern Ireland

Phone: +44 2890 698340, email:



Notes for Editors


About Chartered Accountants Ireland


Chartered Accountants Ireland is Ireland’s largest and most long-established professional body of accountants on the island of Ireland. It is a membership body representing 24,000 influential members throughout the globe, with 4,500 members located in 90 countries. Our role is to educate, represent and support our members. Our members work in senior positions in practice and industry. We are committed to restoring confidence at every level of the economy. We work with governments and businesses to raise awareness of the importance of sound financial advice.


Chartered Accountants Ireland was established as the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland by Royal Charter in 1888. Chartered Accountants Ireland is a founding body of Chartered Accountants Worldwide.


About Enterprise Ireland


Enterprise Ireland is the Irish Government agency that works with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales on global markets. Enterprise Ireland partners with entrepreneurs, Irish businesses, and the research and investment communities to develop Ireland’s international trade, innovation, leadership and competitiveness.  In this way, we support sustainable economic growth, regional development and secure employment in Ireland.


About Invest Northern Ireland


Invest Northern Ireland works with individuals, companies and organisations in manufacturing and tradable services which show the ambition and commitment to grow by being more innovative, more entrepreneurial and more internationally focused.


Invest NI’s resources are focused on assisting our clients to improve competitiveness, increase innovation, promote a stronger international focus and create more positive attitudes to enterprise.


Invest NI’s full range of support and services are delivered through local offices in Belfast, Coleraine, Ballymena, Craigavon, Londonderry, Newry, Enniskillen and Omagh, and an international office network.

bottom of page