December Issue 2023
Accountancy Plus
The Official Journal of CPA Ireland
Switch Your Perspective; the letter O in the word YOUR is a smiley face; large white arrow pointing down
Navigating Ethical Dimensions of AI and Upholding Integrity in Accountancy
CPA Ireland logo
Accountancy Plus
December 2023
CPA Ireland

17 Harcourt Street,
Dublin 2, D02 W963

T: 01 425 1000
F: 01 425 1001

Unit 3,
The Old Gasworks,
Kilmorey Street,
Newry, BT34 2DH

T: +44 (0) 28 3025 2771

Patricia O’Neill

Chief Executive
Eamonn Siggins

Editorial Adviser
Róisín McEntee

Technical Adviser
Phyllis Willoughby

Jenn Brennan
T: 087 203 4202

Caitriona Minogue
T: 086 843 0622

Published by
Nine Rivers Media Ltd.

President’s Message

President’s Message

Welcome to the December 2023 edition of Accountancy Plus.

headshot of Mark Gargan
As 2023 is coming to an end, I would like to highlight some of the exciting and innovative projects which CPA Ireland has been working on over the past year.

Sustainability Micro-credentials

As the new European Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive is coming into effect from 2024, it is crucial to stay ahead of the curve and for you to show your commitment to sustainability. Your clients will expect you to help them navigate these new ESG reporting requirements.

To help you in this regard, in September 2023, CPA Ireland launched a series of stackable micro-credentials in Sustainability. These credentials cover Sustainability Reporting Standards, ESG Challenges, ESG Strategies and Sustainability Assurance. You have the option to take individual micro-credentials and complete an online assessment, or you can opt to take all micro-credentials to gain an overall certificate in Sustainability.


Are highly integrated performance measures beneficial? by Professor Breda Sweeney

Are highly integrated performance
measures beneficial for decision making by senior management teams?
By Professor Breda Sweeney
Expectations that organisations measure and manage multiple dimensions of performance continue to increase with attention now focusing on how traditional indicators of performance can be expanded to incorporate indicators of ESG performance.
For example, Kaplan and McMillan (2021) have reimagined the balanced scorecard to incorporate a more holistic view of performance. The challenge however with multiple dimensions of performance is that they can lead to trade-offs, and it becomes difficult to attend to all dimensions of performance. For example, a medical device firm may have objectives to reduce product cost and increase on-time delivery. Scheduling of production to increase on-time deliveries and avoid order backlog may require employee overtime which results in higher labour costs with consequently higher overall product costs.

Tools such as the Balanced Scorecard and Performance Prism stress the importance of interlinkages between whatever measures of success are considered critical and advocate the use of an integrated set of key performance indicators (KPIs). Performance measures that are more integrated enable an understanding of how activities link to each other and impact on strategy. In the above example, increasing on-time delivery may be important for ensuring a good firm reputation which in turn will impact on the volume of business and profits. If, however, on-time delivery is not valued by customers and has no impact on firm reputation, then this may not be an area to invest additional resources. For other firms, employee absenteeism may be a critical success factor as reducing absenteeism may impact positively on efficiency, product quality, and employee health and wellbeing, which in turn will improve profitability and ESG performance.

CPA Profile
Ian Quinn

CPA Profile
Ian Quinn

Ian Quinn

Title: Financial Controller
Company: Kia Ireland
Qualifications: CPA, Diploma in Corporate Governance from UCD Michael Smurfit Business School and a Diploma in Risk Management, Internal Audit and Compliance from Chartered Accountants Ireland

Why did you decide to start out in a career in accountancy?

I attended O’Connell’s School in Dublin, and I had an inspirational teacher named Michael Finucane who made accountancy and business studies enjoyable and easy! His influence was significant as a number of classmates have since gone on to make a career for themselves in audit, tax and other finance roles. After two years in DIT Aungier Street studying Business Studies, I decided that the world of accountancy was for me.
Why did you choose CPA Ireland as your qualification route?
In 1996, I joined a practice where 2 of the 3 partners were CPA qualified and many of the trainees were also studying CPA in Griffith College. Their experience and influence had a significant bearing in choosing CPA.

More importantly, there were 3 people at partner, director and manager level in the practice that positively influenced me in my development as a Trainee Accountant. They also qualified as CPAs at an early age and that encouraged me to complete my CPA exams as quickly as I could. I gained my CPA qualification in 2000 at the age of 23.

Conducting a Scenario Analysis by Sheila Stanley
Conducting a Scenario Analysis
By Sheila Stanley
IFRS S2 Climate related Disclosures requires companies to conduct a climate-related scenario analysis and report on them. This analysis will play an important role in the identification of climate-related risks and opportunities, the development of the company’s climate-related transition plan, assessing the climate resilience of the company’s strategy and business model, and identifying the anticipated financial effects of climate-related risks and opportunities. Many SMEs that will begin reporting under IFRS S2 for the FY2024 reporting period will find themselves conducting their first climate-related scenario analysis in the year ahead.
What is a climate scenario analysis?
According to the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), a scenario is a description of a path of development leading to a particular outcome. Scenarios are hypothetical constructs, not forecasts, predictions, or sensitivity analysis. While scenarios are not intended to represent a complete description of the future, they do highlight central elements of a possible future, and focus attention on key factors that will drive future developments.

Climate-related scenario analysis is a tool that enhances critical strategic thinking and allows companies to explore alternatives that may significantly alter the basis for ‘business-as-usual’ assumptions.

Conducting a climate scenario analysis may seem a daunting task for companies that are doing it for the first time. The good news is that IFRS S2 has provisions for proportionate reporting in relation to climate scenario analysis.

Law & Regulation
Law & Regulation News
Law & Regulation News
Important amendments to the prescribed format of liquidators Section 682 Reports to the CEA with effect from 1 October 2023.
The Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Dara Calleary, TD, has signed into law the Companies Act 2014 (Section 682) Regulations 2023 (S.I. No 474 0f 2023) (the Regulations).
Employer Obligations under the Protected Disclosures (Amendment) Act 2022
The Protected Disclosures (Amendment) Act 2022 amended the 2014 Act, and sets out to protect workers in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors from retaliation if they speak up about wrongdoing in the workplace.
From Size to Risk:
Rethinking Regulation to Prioritize Impact
Regulation is often considered as a burden, but it is the bedrock of a safe society. Striking the right balance is key.

Policymakers currently rely on simple metrics (quantitative criteria) such as turnover, balance sheets, number of employees to categorise and define enterprises. This determines how EU law applies to them. But in today’s world of climate urgency, multiple tensions and disruptive innovations, these metrics fall short.

UK fines Equifax £11m for role in major cyber-security breach
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined Equifax Ltd more than £11 million for failing to manage and monitor the security of UK consumer data it had outsourced to its parent company based in the US.

The breach allowed hackers to access the personal data of millions of people and exposed UK consumers to the risk of financial crime.

In 2017, Equifax’s parent company, Equifax Inc, was subject to one of the largest cybersecurity breaches in history. Cyber-hackers were able to access the personal data of approximately 13.8 million UK consumers because Equifax outsourced data to Equifax Inc’s servers in the US for processing.

The UK consumer data accessed by the hackers ranged from names, dates of birth, phone numbers, Equifax membership login details, partially exposed credit card details, and residential addresses.

Law & Regulation
Anti-Money Laundering (AML) by Kevin Kerrigan
Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Achieve compliance and drive efficiency with AML Software
by Kevin Kerrigan
AML compliance obligations are onerous. The procedures to onboard and maintain Client AML files are mundane, repetitive and can often appear disproportionate. This can lead to procrastination, client friction, panic at your next AML inspection and ultimately non-compliance with regulatory requirements. More and more accountants are looking at AML software to drive efficiency, compliance and improve customer experience. So, what are the options, benefits and where should you start?
Start with some basic questions
A great place to start is by asking two basic questions: “What do we need?” and “What do we have?”. Asking these simple questions helps set target outcomes. It also allows you to clarify your starting point.

With respect to specific AML requirements, I often use the 5 Pillars of Compliance as a tool to help accountants understand the policies, controls and procedures they need to put in place to achieve compliance. The 5 pillars and underlying elements should help you answer the “What do we need?” question.

The Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies – Ireland (CCAB-I) has developed detailed guidance to help accountants understand their AML obligations within the Irish legal framework. This is another valuable resource when working to further understand your needs and requirements.

Law & Regulation
Navigating Capital Reduction in Business Sales: Avoiding Pitfalls by Brendan Ringrose

Navigating Capital Reduction in Business Sales: Avoiding Pitfalls 

by Brendan Ringrose

In the world of takeovers and share sales, advisers face a common challenge. Buyers seek core assets and business from the target company but are keen to dispose of non-core assets beforehand. Pre-sale reorganisation becomes crucial to divest the non-core assets and pave the way for a successful transaction. Brendan Ringrose, Partner in Whitney Moore Law Firm, specialising in Corporate transactions, discusses the legal issues.

During takeovers or share sales of a target company, professional advisers often encounter a common challenge. The Buyer identifies the core assets and business of the target company but requires the disposal of non-core assets before proceeding with the transaction. This necessitates a pre-sale reorganisation to divest the non-core business and assets prior to the sale. For example, a company might operate a core software development business alongside non-core assets, like an office building used by the target. The Buyer insists on disposing of the office building before finalising the sale, typically achieved by transferring the non-core asset to either the target company’s shareholders or a company owned by them.

In this process, shareholders of the target company should consult taxation advisers to understand any potential liabilities, including capital gains tax and stamp duty. In some cases relief from these taxes may be claimed, subject to specific exceptions and conditions. However, there are legal questions to address such as whether the disposal constitutes a distribution. According to section 123(1) of the Companies Act, 2014 (as amended), a distribution is “every description of distribution of a company’s assets to members of the company, whether in cash or otherwise,” with certain exclusions like bonus shares or preference share redemptions. This is a description rather than a definition but in general, a distribution may arise where a company transfers an asset to a shareholder (or an entity controlled by a shareholder) for which it receives less than the market value of the asset. Nonetheless, deciding on the market value or relevant value for the asset can be uncertain, requiring consideration of Section 119 of the Companies Act, 2014.

Law & Regulation
The International Equal Pay Movement by Sandra Quinn
The International Equal Pay Movement and EU Directive on Pay Transparency: Impact on Irish Business and Recruitment of Senior Finance Professionals
by Sandra Quinn
In an era of increasing awareness and advocacy for gender equality in the workplace, the international equal pay movement and the European Union’s (EU) Directive on Pay Transparency have taken centre stage in addressing the gender pay gap (GPG). This article explores the significance of these developments, their implications for Irish businesses, and how they relate to the recruitment of finance professionals in Ireland.
The International Equal Pay Movement
The international equal pay movement is a global initiative aimed at eliminating wage disparities between men and women. It is founded on the principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value, irrespective of gender. The movement recognises the importance of closing the gender pay gap, which persists in many parts of the world, including Ireland.

The reasons behind the gender pay gap are multifaceted, including factors like occupational segregation, lower representation of women in leadership roles, and maternity-related issues. The international equal pay movement seeks to address these disparities.

The international equal pay movement is not confined to a single country or region but encompasses global efforts to promote wage equality. Organisations such as the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and UN Women play significant roles in advancing this movement. Their initiatives focus on policy changes, data collection and analysis, and awareness campaigns to highlight the importance of equal pay.

Law & Regulation
Solicitors Accounts Regulations by Eamonn Maguire
Solicitors Accounts Regulations
by Eamonn Maguire
The new Solicitors Accounts Regulations (S.I. No. 118/2023) came into operation on 1 July 2023. This new suite of regulations replaced the Solicitors Accounts Regulations 2014. The Law Society has a responsibility to: 1) protect the public, 2) protect clients’ interests, specifically clients’ moneys, 3) protect the reputation of the legal profession, 4) minimise claims on the Law Society’s Compensation Fund and 5) protect solicitors’ client accounts from becoming a gateway for proceeds of crime. As such, the accounts regulations need to be specific in their purpose and broad in their application.
The last fundamental review of the Solicitors Accounts Regulations took place in the late 90s and culminated in the adoption of the Solicitors Accounts Regulations 2001. The Solicitors Accounts Regulations 2014, which directly preceded the current regime, were a consolidation of the 2001 regulations and a number of amending statutory instruments issued during the intervening period.
Review of regulatory regime
In 2019, the Law Society’s Regulation of Practice Committee identified that the regulations required review and, where appropriate, would benefit from being updated.

A working group was established to identify amendments to the regulations which would copper-fasten the Law Society’s key responsibilities of protecting client moneys and the Law Society’s Compensation Fund. Such protections remain the primary purpose of all the accounting regulations mandated by the Solicitors Acts 1954 to 2015.

Finance & Management
Finance & Management News

Finance & Management News

Regional Enterprise Plan for €145 million scheme to promote economic growth across all regions
On 26th October 2023 the Regional Enterprise Plan National Oversight Group, the Steering Committee Chairs welcomed the new fund of €145 million aimed at accelerating economic growth and sustainable job creation across all regions of the country.

The scheme will be administered by Enterprise Ireland and is already open for applications. Co-funded by the Government and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the funding will capitalize on existing regional enterprise partnerships and complement priorities set out in the nine Regional Enterprise Plans.

€1.2 billion Ukraine Credit Guarantee Scheme via Credit Unions
Thirteen Credit Unions represented by Metamo, the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) and the Credit Union Development Association (CUDA) have joined the €1.2 billion Ukraine Guarantee Scheme as lenders.

The scheme was launched at the beginning of this year and facilitates loans for working capital and medium-term investment to assist businesses with liquidity and in improving energy efficiency.

Ukraine Credit Guarantee Scheme
The main features of the scheme are as follows:

  • This is a scheme for SMEs, primary producers, and small mid-caps (defined as businesses with up to 499 employees). SMEs are expected to be the main beneficiaries.
  • To qualify for the scheme, the borrower will have to declare that costs have increased by a minimum of 10% on their 2020 figures and that the loan is being sought specifically as a result of difficulties being experienced due to the Ukraine crisis.

Finance & Management
Leadership Insight – Kelly Mackenzie

Leadership Insight
Kelly Mackenzie
Please provide a brief history of your career.
I am the founder and Creative Director of White Bear a brand and creative agency based in London and Dublin. I started the agency nearly ten years ago having worked across the globe starting my career in Dublin back in 2007.

In Dublin I worked with wonderful Irish clients like An Post and VHI. Having cut my teeth in the Irish design world I then took the leap to move abroad to Sydney, here I worked in Imagination and Landor, some of the largest agencies in the world. I developed my brand and experience… and really enjoyed the weather!

Deciding it was now time to get serious I moved to London. During my time there I really honed my branding skills and started playing a more strategic role in brand creation. I rebranded Cornetto Ice Cream, the first rebrand they had embarked on in over 50 years and worked closely with Lloyds of London, Unilever and The National Gallery before I left to set up my own agency. I had at this stage gotten to a point in my career where I felt I’d spent enough time working in other people’s agencies and building other people’s dreams that it was now time to go and build my own. So, I set up White Bear.

AIB partners with the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland by AIB
AIB partners with the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) to provide the Growth and Sustainability Loan Scheme to SMEs across Ireland
by AIB
Implementing sustainable growth can bring extra costs to a business, and in the current economic climate this may be difficult for many SMEs. This is why it is so important for AIB to find ways to support SME customers by providing financial support to allow them the opportunity to fund their business goals.
AIB is aware of the bravery it takes to run a business and is committed to supporting you and your business. AIB has partnered with the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) to provide a range of solutions for SME and Agriculture customers.

AIB now has loans under the Growth and Sustainability Loan Scheme, the latest SBCI loan scheme for both green and non-green lending for SMEs in Ireland. The Scheme is being introduced to encourage SMEs to invest in their businesses, drive productivity gains and to accelerate the transition to a more environmentally sustainable SME base.

June Butler, CEO of SBCI said “The SBCI welcomes AIB’s participation in the Growth and Sustainability Loan Scheme, as it means that Irish businesses, farmers and fishers have increased access to longer-term, lower-cost finance to fund their sustainable growth. Many businesses need the longer-term finance of up to 10 years made possible through the Growth and Sustainability Loan Scheme, to invest in strategic and ultimately sustainable growth. Loans provided by AIB will be at reduced interest rates and will be available unsecured up to €500,000.

Financial Reporting News

Financial Reporting News

Update on FRC financial reporting consultations
The UK’s Financial Reporting Council have published FRED 84 Draft Amendments to FRS 102 – Supplier finance arrangements. The exposure draft proposes to introduce new Disclosure requirements to provide users of financial statements with additional information about an entity’s use of supplier finance arrangements and the effect of such arrangements on the entity’s financial position and cash flows. The proposals are based on amendments issued by the IASB in May 2023.
Public sector needs to prepare for sustainability reporting and assurance challenge
Across the globe momentum is building for sustainability reporting and assurance in the public sector. The IPSASB decided to move forward with the development of public sector specific sustainability reporting standards beginning with a Climate-Related Disclosures standard. Finance and audit professionals working in government, public sector bodies and supreme audit institutions – Auditors-General’s offices, Courts of Accounts and similar (SAIs) – can demonstrate leadership on this agenda, driving action to progress transparent reporting and assurance of expenditure and actions to address sustainability challenges.
ESMA publishes three reports including the annual public statement setting out the 2023 European common enforcement priorities
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has issued three reports.
FRC sets out reporting expectations amidst ongoing economic uncertainty
The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) recently published its reporting expectations for companies amidst a period of high interest rates, persistent inflation and ongoing economic uncertainty.
IAASA Audit Committee Briefing 2023
IAASA recently hosted its annual audit committee briefing and topics included focus on sustainability reporting, IAASA regulatory updates, an audit committee panel session, audit committee education topics and cybersecurity.
Financial Reporting updates and observations during 2023 by Phyllis Willoughby
Financial Reporting updates and observations during 2023
by Phyllis Willoughby
As we approach the end of 2023 this article aims to take a look back at financial reporting updates and observations during 2023. Firstly, we will take a look at the most recent reports/observation papers issued by both the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA). Secondly, we collate findings from CPA Ireland’s quality assurance monitoring reviews. Thirdly we will look at key updates and consultations regarding IFRS and FRS 102 and finally an overview of the new Sustainability Reporting Standards.
FRC Review of Corporate Reporting alongside IAASA observations paper on Financial Reporting Issues

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) recently published its reporting expectations and monitoring findings for companies amidst a high period of interest rates, persistent inflation and ongoing economic uncertainty. Most frequently raised issues and areas of focus included:

  • Impairments, judgments and estimates as this reflects the ongoing economic uncertainties companies need to factor into their financial reporting and the need for detailed explanations to help users understand the positions taken.
  • Companies restating cash flow results.
  • Review of Directors’ remuneration particularly regarding targets and performance against them
Irish SMEs need to address ‘investment gap’ by Mark O’Rourke
Irish SMEs need to address ‘investment gap’ if they are to weather turbulent economic environment
by Mark O’Rourke
With considerable uncertainty persisting in the global economic and political environment, the rise in insolvencies so far this year in 2023, and the return of the 13.5% VAT rate in the hospitality sector, it is understandable that Irish SMEs are precarious about their outlook. Despite this, however, Irish businesses are remaining positive and pragmatic when it comes to their growth and investment intentions for the rest of 2023 and into 2024.
Recent research by Bibby Financial Services echoes these wider economic indicators. Our 2023 Global Business Monitor shows that overall, Ireland’s outlook remains positive despite high prices and interest rates continuing to drag on growth. At 90% on a measure of confidence, Irish SMEs are, alongside Germany, the most bullish of nine countries surveyed about their business prospects. This confidence doesn’t, however, extend to the global economic environment, with half of Irish SMEs (51%) believing the global economic conditions are worse now than during the pandemic.

The good news is that growth feels achievable to Irish SMEs, with 72% saying they expect sales to increase in the next six months. They see attracting new customers (67%), building new supplier relationships (36%), taking on new staff (24%), renegotiating with existing suppliers (23%) and exploring new distribution channels (21%) as the key opportunities for the year ahead.

Taxation News

Taxation News

PAYE directions for non-resident employees of Irish private sector employments
The Tax and Duty Manual – PAYE Exclusion Orders – has been amended. A new paragraph (5.7) has been inserted concerning the treatment of employment income paid to non-resident employees of Irish private sector employers who perform duties both inside and outside the State.
Enhanced Reporting Requirements
From 1 January 2024, employers who pay any of the expenses/benefits below to their employees will be required to report those benefits to Revenue.

  • Travel & Subsistence
  • Small Benefit Exemption
  • Remote Working Daily Allowance

To report these expenses/benefits, Employers and Agents will need Enhanced Reporting Requirements (ERR) permissions.

Employers will automatically be assigned ERR permissions via their existing ROS certificate. ERR permissions will not automatically apply to any sub certificates under the Employer certificate. The Employer must log into their ROS permissions screen to assign ERR accessibility to any sub certificate.

An additional Agent permission has been created to allow Agents to report ERR on behalf of their clients. Financial Agents will receive the ERR permissions automatically via their existing ROS certificate.

Non-Financial Agents will have to apply to Revenue for the ERR Agent certificate under their existing TAIN.

Revenue’s public consultation on Modernising Ireland’s Administration of Value-Added Tax
Ireland’s system for administering Value-Added Tax (VAT) needs modernizing. Revenue recently issued a consultation paper to stimulate discussion and garnet views from across the breadth of Ireland’s VAT community about the benefits, challenges and opportunities presented by VAT administration modernization.
Budget Highlights 2024 by Mairéad Hennessy
Budget Highlights 2024
by Mairéad Hennessy
Budget 2024 was announced by the Ministers for Finance and Public Expenditure, Michael McGrath and Paschal Donohoe, on 10th October 2023. It was acknowledged by the Ministers that the annual Budget is about striking a balance between addressing the needs of citizens and businesses today and also planning for future needs.
This year’s Budget comes at a time when geopolitical tensions, inflation and supply chain challenges are reshaping the world economic order. This year’s Budget marks a step change in how we plan for the future as a country so as to put the economy in the best position possible to remain resilient against this uncertain backdrop.

The main announcements in Budget 2024 are:

Personal Taxation
Income tax rates

There were no changes made to tax rates for 2024. The standard income tax rate will remain at 20% and the higher rate at 40%.

The Standard Rate Cut Off Points (SRCOP) for 2024 have been increased as follows:

In Practice News
In Practice News
Sector Specific and Non-EU European Sustainability Reporting Standards
The European Commission has put forward a number of proposals to reduce the reporting burden for financial market participants in their recently announced Work Programme for 2024. One of the proposals is 2-year delay of the date of adoption of the sector specific ESRS and the proposed standard for non-EU companies with business in the union, currently required to be adopted by July 2024.
IAASB approve auditing standard for less complex entities
The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board have approved their standard for the audit of less complex entities. The standard is expected to issue following approval by the Public Interest Oversight Board of the IAASB’s due process, which is anticipated in December 2023.
FRC to strengthen auditor reporting requirements of breaches of laws and regulations.
The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has launched a consultation to strengthen auditor requirements to detect and report material misstatements from non-compliance with laws and regulations and to clarify instances auditors should report such breaches, and other significant matters, to the relevant regulators.
CPA Ireland Bye Law Amendments
Updated changes to Bye Law 7, 14 and 15, will become effective from the 1st January 2024. The main changes are laid out as follows:

Bye Law 7-Quality Assurance (QA)

Addressing of Quality Assurance recommendations

7.7-An emphasis is now placed on the requirement for firms and relevant individuals to take all reasonable steps to ensure that recommendations arising from quality assurance reviews are implemented within a reasonable period.

QA review selection process

7.12.1- The process for selecting firms and individuals for a QA review adopting a risk-based approach was expanded to incorporate those who were non-compliant with their obligations as a designated person under the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 as amended and where information was received from other regulators.

QA Shortened cycle

7.12.2-A QA review cycle of a firm may now be shortened where:

  1. two consecutive Grade Bs are scored by a firm in an audit review,
  2. where there is a failure to demonstrate adequate improvements within a reasonable time frame in any review area; or
  3. in any circumstance where there is a heightened risk associated in line with risk criterion.

Review Grades

7.17-Grade categories were expanded to introduce a “no grade” category. This is to be awarded where it is not possible to assess the adequacy and appropriateness of the quality of the engagement files undertaken by a firm or where a firm will not engage in the review process. This new category of grade also applies to Anti-money laundering, Continuous Professional Development and Investment Business reviews per Bye Laws 7.17.2, 7.17.3 and 7.17.4.

Thematic Reviews

7.23- The Bye Law was expanded to allow the completion of thematic reviews. Such reviews will undertake an assessment of a particular focus area and its implementation by firms and/or relevant individuals. These may occur on an ad-hoc basis and will be undertaken separate to the standard QA cycle review process.

IAASA Highlights Matters For Management by Maurice Barrett
IAASA Highlights Matters for Management, Audit Committees and Auditors to Consider for the 2023 Reporting Screen
by Maurice Barrett
Each year, the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA), Ireland’s accounting enforcer, publishes its Observations paper setting out key areas that warrant scrutiny by those preparing, approving and auditing financial statements.
The Observations paper is primarily addressed towards preparers, Audit Committee members and auditors of listed entities preparing IFRS financial statements. However, the messages in the paper have a broader application extending to non-listed entities and to entities applying UK-Irish GAAP and could usefully be applied by all entities.
Continued uncertainty in the economic outlook
Entities will prepare their 2023 financial statements against an uncertain economic backdrop with regional conflicts, increased interest rates and inflationary pressures all contributing to that uncertainty.

The following business headlines from the website for a single day in November 2023 illustrate the level of uncertainty:

The Professional Dilemma by Ben Rawal

The Professional Dilemma
by Ben Rawal
Meeting your line manager’s expectations are an important aspect of being successful in your role. However, how would you respond if your boss asked you to undertake a task that was morally or professionally inappropriate? In this article, Ben Rawal shares his own experiences and offers some tips on how you could deal with a similar problem.
Almost 20 years ago, I was applying the final touches to an internal audit report, having reviewed the effectiveness of the financial and operational control framework at one of our clients. I was in the early stages of my career as a part-qualified accountant and was keen to impress my line manager and the business partner team in pursuit of promotion and stardom.

As the audit neared completion, I met with the client to deliver my feedback prior to the report being issued. There were no significant control weaknesses. In fact, it was one of the strongest control environments that I had audited during my brief career, and I was pleased that I could give this feedback to the client. As per our standard reporting timescales, they would receive a draft report within ten working days. I remember leaving the client’s premises with a feeling of positivity having genuinely believed I had undertaken a good job.

Mind the Gap: Leveraging the Strengths of an Intergenerational Workplace by Dr Mary Collins
Mind the Gap: Leveraging the Strengths of an Intergenerational Workplace
by Dr Mary Collins
For the first time in working history, we have 3, 4 if not 5 generations working side by side – this is creating lots of exciting opportunities but also significant challenges. What is a workplace generation?
According to Pew Research Center (2020) a workplace generation is ‘a cohort of individuals born during a specific time period who share common experiences, values, and cultural influences that shape their attitudes and behaviours in the workplace.’

During my time as Head of Talent Development in Deloitte, I started to notice general differences in the drives and motivations of the graduates at the time (Gen Y) and realised we needed to flex and adapt our approach if we wanted to get the best from this powerful young generation. I went on to complete my doctoral studies in this topic and developed a framework to engage the youngest workplace generations. Over the last 10 years, I have been researching and writing about this topic and the challenges seem to amplify year on year as organisations face managing multiple generations under one roof with the added challenge of the hybrid workplace for most organisations.

The workplace has evolved into a melting pot of generations, each with its unique set of drives, motivations, and values. To harness the strengths of this intergenerational workplace, it is essential to first comprehend the distinct characteristics and expectations of each generation. In this article, we will delve into the four primary workplace generations: Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y (commonly known as Millennials), and Generation Z (known as Centennials). We will explore their respective values, motivations, and how organisations can leverage their strengths to create a harmonious and productive work environment.

Specialisterne Ireland and the untapped talent pool by Specialisterne

Specialisterne Ireland and the untapped talent pool
by Specialisterne
In today’s job market, there is a pool of finance and accounting graduates eagerly seeking employment opportunities. They have finished their degree, done up their CV, applied to many companies, completed the interviews, and then hit a wall. The traditional interview is a significant barrier to employment for neurodivergent people. Many will end up unemployed or underemployed – doing a role that does not match their qualifications or ability. Why?
Firstly, in case you don’t know, let’s explain what we mean by neurodiversity. It means that there is a difference in an individual’s brain function and behavioural traits. It is regarded as a normal variation. It is estimated that 15-20% of people in Ireland are neurodivergent, which includes conditions like autism, ADHD, dyslexia and dyspraxia.

Alarmingly, Ireland has the lowest rate of employment for people with disabilities in Europe at just 32.6%.

Getting back to the traditional interview and traditional hiring practices. Why don’t they work for neurodivergent people?

The emphasis on social interaction and communication skills presents a challenge. Many neurodivergent individuals struggle in this area, often underselling their achievements, having difficulty with eye contact or succumbing to interview anxiety. These same people might have a love of data, they might enjoy routine tasks that others find boring, they might love the nitty gritty detail that others shy away from. Sound like a great employee? Unfortunately, they can’t get past an interview.

Mindset Shaping and Goal Setting for Exam Success by Edel Walsh
Mindset Shaping and Goal Setting for Exam Success
Edel Walsh
“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t – you’re right” – Henry Ford

This is a belief that many people live by, and it all comes down to your mindset. If you believe you can do something or achieve a goal, more often than not you will be successful. The opposite is also true. If you tell yourself, you can’t do something it can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Believing in yourself, and having confidence in your capability to do something, can often be the tipping point between success and failure. When it comes to exams, having a positive mindset before you sit the exam will help you feel at ease and more able to approach the exam effectively.

Mindsets are powerful beliefs. There are two types of mindsets, the Fixed Mindset and the Growth Mindset. Carol Dweck, in her book “Mindset” says a fixed mindset is essentially a belief that your intelligence, talents and other abilities are set in stone. A person with a fixed mindset believes that they are born with a particular set of skills and that they can’t change them.

A growth mindset on the other hand is the belief that a person can develop their talents and achieve their goals through hard work, effective strategies, and support from others.

How to help your clients build the perfect tech stack by Frankie Jones, Pleo
How to help your clients build the perfect tech stack
by Frankie Jones
The benefits of building the right tech stack from the beginning are endless, from helping you scale seamlessly to better meeting your customers’ needs. But it’s never too late to turn yours around. We sat down to catch up with one of our Pleo Partners, Graham Dyer, Director & Head of Digital Accounting Solutions at AAB Group. The business delivers Audit, Accounting, Tax, Payroll, HR, Consulting and Advisory Solutions to help companies at every stage of the life cycle. Here, Graham explains how AAB Group helps clients pick the right tools to transform their processes, so you can help yours do the same.
What are the 3 biggest challenges you encounter with your clients’ finance tech stacks?
According to Graham, the biggest difficulty is that swapping tools isn’t simply a system change, it’s a process change. So, training clients and their teams in change management is vital for a seamless transition.

As an accountant, you need to communicate to people who’ve been doing the same thing for 10 years that, in some cases, now it’s time to do things differently.

“The key is to make sure people understand why the change is happening and that the benefits, while they might be painful in the short term, will become apparent in the long run. It’s all about playing the long game,” recommends Graham.

Navigating Ethical Dimensions of AI and Upholding Integrity in Accountancy by Mark Butler
Navigating Ethical Dimensions of AI and Upholding Integrity in Accountancy: The Interplay Between Ethics
by Mark Butler
Integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) in accountancy has sparked unprecedented transformations. While AI offers countless benefits, it is accompanied by complex ethical considerations that necessitate a nuanced approach.
In this extensive article, we will delve into the ethical dimensions of AI in accountancy and explore the intricate interplay between ethics and AI. Furthermore, we will address the critical issue of cyber security, delving into how AI can bolster security and the dangers it presents in the wrong hands. We will reference insights from the “HLB Cybersecurity Report 2023” ( to underscore the relevance of ethical considerations and the impact of AI on cyber security in the accountancy sector.
The Ethical Landscape in Accountancy
AI’s growing role in accountancy introduces several ethical concerns that accountants must address. As AI becomes an integral part of financial processes, it is essential to navigate these ethical challenges to maintain the profession’s integrity.

  1. Bias in Financial Decision-Making:
    when not carefully designed, AI systems can inherit biases in their training data. These biases can result in unfair or discriminatory financial decisions. According to the HLB Cybersecurity Report 2023, 63% of surveyed businesses expressed concerns about AI bias and discrimination.
Harness the Future Through the CPA Metaverse, School of Innovation by Patricia O’Neill & Aisling Mooney
Harness the Future Through the CPA Metaverse, School of Innovation
by Patricia O’Neill & Aisling Mooney
CPA Ireland is the first Professional Accountancy Body in the world to leverage virtual reality (VR) technology to create a gamified, experiential training programme. From idea germination to the launch of the CPA Metaverse, the team behind this exciting and innovative programme grew from being complete VR novices to patient facilitators. The learning curve has been steep but the journey has been exciting and worthwhile.
The metaverse is a virtual world being built in the extended reality (XR) space that combines augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR). Users in this virtual space can interact with other users and things in one or more computer-generated worlds using specialized technology that is quickly becoming ubiquitous.
(Harvard Business Publishing, November 2022)

At the Skillnet Ireland Convention in April 2022 Susan Talbot of the Immersive Technology Skillnet and Camille Donegan, Director of Eirmersive cited that the retention rate for learning through immersive technology is 75%. This figure in itself is impressive but, when compared to the 5-10% retention rate for classroom learning, it is exceptional.

It is clear that the opportunities presented by immersive technology are extraordinary.

Institute News

Institute News

Response to Budget 2024
CPA Ireland has broadly welcomed Budget 2024 and CPA Ireland President Mark Gargan described it as a pro-SME Budget which includes positive steps to support SMEs, which are the backbone of the Irish economy.
CPA 2024 Graduate Programme
One of the services we offer at CPA Ireland is a Trainee Placement Service (TPS), which assists candidates in securing trainee accountant positions with relevant employers in Ireland.
CPA Ireland extends Mutal Recognition Agreement with the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA)
The Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland (CPA Ireland) and the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA) entered into a mutual recognition agreement (MRA) in November 2015.
CPA Ireland launches sample financial statements
CPA Ireland have issued updated Sample Financial Statements to assist members and firms navigate disclosure and reporting requirements for their clients.

The samples are also a useful tool to support the ongoing training of staff and the production of high-quality financial statements.

speech bubbles
Can you help us reignite the accountancy profession?
In the past few years there has been a steady decline globally in the number of the younger generation entering the accountancy profession. At CPA Ireland we want your help to change the perception of an Accountant and raise awareness of the diverse career opportunities available both nationally and internationally.

CPD News

CPD News

Full Day Tax Courses to Refresh your Tax Knowledge
CPA Ireland have a number of full-day tax courses in the first quarter of 2024, providing a comprehensive update across all tax heads.
Sustainability Micro-Credentials – Get your Digital Badge Now!
In today’s rapidly changing world, it’s crucial to stay ahead of the curve and demonstrate your commitment to sustainability. In September, CPA Ireland launched a series of sustainability micro-credentials. Online Stackable Sustainability Micro Credentials are a flexible way to acquire specialised knowledge and skills in the field of sustainability. They allow you to choose and stack multiple credentials together, creating a personalised learning pathway that aligns with your unique career goals and interests.

Save the Dates for 2024

CPA Tax Conference 2024

Date: 7th March 2024
Location: Online
CPD Credit: 8 hours
Cost: €225 (non-CPA members €275)

CPA Annual Conference 2024

Date: 30th May 2024
Location: Hilton Kilmainham, Dublin & Online
CPD Credit: 8 hours
Cost: €225 (non-CPA members €275)

Irish Accountancy Conference 2024

Date: 7th March 2024
Location: Online
CPD Credit: 8 hours
Cost: €225 (non-CPA members €275)
Student News

Student News

Newly Qualified Members

Congratulations to all our newly admitted CPA Ireland members who were conferred on 9 December in the O’Reilly Hall, UCD. We wish you every success in your future career as a CPA. The March 2024 edition of Accountancy Plus will include a special feature on the conferring ceremony.

Training Records

Students are reminded of the requirement to log their training and submit it to the Institute for review. All training must be submitted through MyCPA and submitted to your mentor for approval each quarter. The final date for submitting training completed in 2023 will be 31 January 2024.
Examination Success

On behalf of CPA Ireland, we would like to congratulate all of our students who were successful in their exams in August 2023.

Special congratulations to our prizewinning students who each achieved first place in their CPA examinations in 2023 (April and August sittings).

Study Support Materials
Students are reminded of the wealth of study support materials available on the Syllabus and Study Support section of the CPA Ireland website

These resources include, for each paper:

  • Detailed Syllabus and Learning Guide
  • Past Papers and Suggested Solutions
  • Relevant Articles
  • Examinable Material
  • Educators’ Briefing

Two new recently recorded webinars have been uploaded to this section of the website:

Information & Disclaimer & Publication Notices
Information & Disclaimer

Accountancy Plus is the official journal of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland.

It acts as a primary means of communication between the Institute and its Members, Student Members and Affiliates and a copy is sent automatically as part of their annual subscription. Accountancy Plus is published on a quarterly basis.

The Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland, CPA Ireland is one of the main Irish accountancy bodies, with in excess of 5,000 members and students. The CPA designation is the most commonly used designation worldwide for professional accountants and the Institute’s qualification enjoys wide international recognition.

The Institute’s membership operates in public practice, industry, financial services and the public sector and CPAs work in over 40 countries around the world.

The Institute is active in the profession at national and international level, participating in the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies – Ireland – CCAB (I) and together with other leading accountancy bodies, the Institute was a founding member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) – the worldwide body. The Institute is also a member of Accountancy Europe, the representative body for the main accountancy bodies The Institute’s Offices are at 17 Harcourt Street, Dublin 2, D02 W963 and at Unit 3, The Old Gasworks, Kilmorey Street, Newry, BT34 2DH.

The views expressed in items published in Accountancy Plus are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Institute, its Council or Editor. No responsibility for loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining to act as a result of material contained in this publication can be accepted by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland.

The information contained in this magazine is to be used as a guide. For further information you should speak to your CPA professional advisor. Neither the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland or contributors can be held liable for any error, or for the consequences of any action, or lack of action arising from this magazine.

Publication Notice
Ref: Invest/09/22

The Investigation Committee found prima facie evidence of misconduct by Mr. Edward Kelly; and Eddie Kelly & Co of No. 2 Dair Ard; Bohreen Hill, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford in relation to the following complaints:

1. Quality Assurance Complaint

Failure to carry out work in accordance with approved auditing, accounting and quality management standards – Bye law 7.4 , bye law 6.6.1 (a) and Section113 – Professional Competence and Due Care of Code of Ethics refer.

Failure to implement recommendations following quality assurance review conducted in 2019 – Section 1496 of Companies Act 2014 refers.

2. Breach of Hot File Review condition

Breach of a hot file review condition imposed in accordance with bye law 7.17.3 – Bye Law 7.17.3, bye law 6.5.1 (a) and Section 115 – Professional Behaviour of the Code of Ethics refer.

3. CPD

Failure to take part in appropriate programmes of continuing education in order to maintain theoretical knowledge, professional skills and values, particularly in relation to auditing at a sufficiently high level – Bye Law 13.33.3 and Section 1489 of Companies Act 2014 refer.

The Committee offered and the Member accepted, a Consent Order, the terms of which are as follows:

  1. Reprimand;
  2. Fine €2,000
  3. Contribution of €3,000 towards the Institute’s costs in this case and
  4. That details of the Consent Order be published in Accountancy Plus with reference to the Member and Firm by name.

Dated: 21st September 2023

Accountancy Plus Logo
Thanks for reading our December 2023 issue!