September Issue 2023
Accountancy Plus
The Official Journal of CPA Ireland
CPA Metaverse School of Innovation
CPA Ireland logo
Accountancy Plus
September 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 September 2023 edition of Accountancy Plus.
headshot of Mark Gargan
In an Irish Times article last month, I called for adoption of lighter-touch regulation for smaller companies to ease pressure on audit. Companies could see their audit costs double over the coming years as a growing number of accountancy practices move away from the business.

The number of accountancy practices licensed to audit in Ireland has fallen by close to 500 over the past decade. The number has fallen by 16 per cent over the past five years. The number of auditors has dipped by 12 per cent to 1,725 over the same period.

The growing shortage of accountants, rising costs and the increasing regulatory requirements of audits have all resulted in a significant drop in the number of audit firms in Ireland in recent years. This scarcity can only result in one thing, a jump in costs for businesses, which many may struggle to bear.

Developing Professional Scepticism by Dr Margaret Healy, Dr Brid Murphy, Dr Claire O’Sullivan Rochford and Prof Ray Donnelly

Developing Professional Scepticism: The Importance of On-the-Job Training
By Dr Margaret Healy, Dr Brid Murphy, Dr Claire O’Sullivan Rochford and Prof Ray Donnelly
In a landscape where the pace of change is accelerating, high levels of professional scepticism (PS) are demanded of competent professional auditors. But how, where and when can PS be developed? How best can professional accountancy bodies align the education and training of future accounting professionals? The findings of a recent research study carried out by Dr Margaret Healy, Dr Brid Murphy, Dr Claire O’Sullivan Rochford and Prof Ray Donnelly suggest that enhanced PS levels overall, as well as for specific PS dimensions, are substantively developed by ‘on-the-job’ experience.
Admission to, and continuing certification with, global professional accounting bodies requires members to achieve appropriate competency standards. PS is acknowledged as fundamental, alongside integrity, objectivity and independence (CPA Ireland, 2023). High profile failures in the audit process and questioning of the quality of audit have damaged public confidence in auditors and public concerns have been chronicled, both nationally and internationally.

The UK Brydon Report (2019) argues for focused efforts in both formal education and informal development to appropriately prepare the next generation of auditors for professional practice. However, efforts to ‘teach’ PS are not always successful. A study of Irish third level students (Healy, Murphy, O’Sullivan Rochford and Donnelly, Accountancy Plus, 2022) found individual student’s PS levels remained stable before and after completion of an audit module and there was no evidence that an educational intervention designed to enhance a student’s audit-related judgement influenced PS levels.

CPA Profile
Barry E Clarke
CPA Profile
Barry E Clarke
Portrait headshot photograph of Barry E Clarke smiling

Title: Principal
Company: Clarke Corrigan & Co.
Qualifications: FCPA, Ctax, Dip. Insolvency

Why did you decide to start out in a career in accountancy?
I had a great Accountancy teacher at school, Noel Kiely, he always made the subject interesting and enjoyable. After leaving Cert I completed a business studies certificate in Dundalk, after which I got a Trainee Accountant position in Frank Lynch & Co., from there I have never looked back.
Why did you choose CPA Ireland as your qualification route?
The practice where I trained was a CPA practice, there were 10-15 trainee accountants studying both ACCA and CPA. There was no Internet for research available at the time, so I chose CPA on the advice of some of my peers, lectures were convenient, and the exam structure suited my social and sporting activities.
CPA Profile
Yolanda Kelly
CPA Profile
Yolanda Kelly
Portrait headshot photograph of Yolanda Kelly smiling

Title: Director of Client Services
Company: Cafico International
Qualifications: CPA

Why did you decide to start out in a career in accountancy?
I didn’t want to be an astronaut or world-famous super star actor when I grew up, I really wanted to be stockbroker. I thought it was the most exciting job a person could have. I had a natural orientation towards business, accounting and finance related subjects and I never considered a career in any other sphere. After completing a BSc in Finance in UCC, I went travelling for a few years and then settled in Ennis, Co. Clare, a really great town, despite the limited opportunities for apprentice stockbrokers at the time. I decided the next best thing available to me was to pursue a professional accounting qualification which would give me an opportunity to work at a career doing something that I enjoyed.
Why did you choose CPA Ireland as your qualification route?
CPA was the professional body that I was most familiar with, and it has very strong recognition internationally.

It was also a time before lectures were available online and I could walk to the CPA lectures that were held in the local area. That was helpful as I didn’t have a car!

Financial Reporting News

Financial Reporting News

FRC Lab publishes report on ESG data use and distribution
Recently the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) published a new report titled “ESG Data Distribution and Consumption” examining how investors obtain and use environmental, social and governance (ESG) data on companies, and highlights what actions companies can take to facilitate this.

The report highlights an ecosystem heavily dependent on third parties for comparable ESG data, and while investors use companies’ annual reports for qualitative context, most ESG metrics and data come from third-party providers who compile, standardize and derive data from company reporting investors occasionally use direct company data to check third-party accuracy.

Investors want companies to focus annual reports on ESG risks, opportunities and progress relevant to their business. Therefore, to not obscure relevant information, data sheets can be helpful in containing all ESG metrics in one place to facilitate third-party and investor data collection.

FRC thematic review examines quality of climate-related metrics and targets disclosures
The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) recently published a thematic review, assessing the quality of climate-related metrics and targets disclosures.

The review analysed TCFD disclosures from 20 companies’ 2022 annual reports across four sectors: materials and buildings, energy, banks, and asset managers. It identified areas of better reporting practice as well as opportunities for improvement.

FRC issues amendments to FRS 102 and FRS 101
The FRC has issued Amendments to FRS 102 The Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland and FRS 101 Reduced Disclosure Framework – International tax reform – Pillar Two model rules.

The OECD’s Pillar Two model rules introduce a global system of interlocking top-up taxes that aim to ensure that large multinational groups pay a minimum amount of income tax.

IASB completes technical work on two new IFRS Accounting Standards
The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) recently concluded its decision making on two projects – its final steps before drafting and balloting two new IFRS Accounting Standards.

The first of these forthcoming Accounting Standards is designed to clarify and enhance the information companies provide about their financial performance. The other will simplify the financial statements prepared by subsidiaries of listed groups.

The IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards by Sheila Stanley

The IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards
by Sheila Stanley
On 26 June 2023, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) issued its inaugural sustainability disclosure standards, IFRS S1 and IFRS S2, which are effective for annual reporting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2024. Known collectively as the IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards, they were developed to meet the demand for globally consistent, comparable, and verifiable sustainability and climate-related financial information.
In its communications on the IFRS Sustainability Standards, the ISSB has consistently reiterated that investors throughout the world are increasingly looking towards Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and non-financial reporting to find the information they require as part of their investment decision-making process.

With the IFRS Accounting Standards being used by 168 jurisdictions worldwide, the hope is for the IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards to live up to “ushering in a new era of sustainability-related disclosures in capital markets worldwide” as described by the ISSB.

An overview of the IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards
IFRS S1 General Requirements for Disclosure of Sustainability-related Financial Information feature disclosure requirements that are aimed at enabling companies to communicate the sustainability-related risks and opportunities that they face over the short, medium and long term to investors. As for IFRS S2 Climate-related Disclosures, it provides specific disclosure requirements on climate change. Report preparers are to refer to IFRS S1 for all sustainability-related topics except for climate-related risks and opportunities and to IFRS S2 for climate-related risks and opportunities.

Sustainable Development Goals and the Planetary Boundaries by Vivienne Fitzpatrick

Sustainable Development Goals and the Planetary Boundaries
by Vivienne Fitzpatrick
This Summer has seen much of the news cycle dominated by scenes of weather chaos, the source of which has been verified as the effects of climate change (UN News, 2023). While July 2023 became Earth’s hottest month on record, in Ireland we saw the wettest July on record (Met Eireann, 2023), or as we like to call it locally, a total washout.
This followed the warmest June in Irish records, on both land and sea. It is predicted that the impact Ireland will experience from climate change, is warmer and wetter weather as time goes on (Met Eireann, 2022). While many of us are now familiar with climate change, this is just one of nine planetary boundaries that can lead Earth into an unstable state. There are many methods through which we can adapt and mitigate to prevent breaching these boundaries, but first, it is important to understand what they are, and how we arrived at the current state. Further, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals were developed in an effort to help define measurements and indicators for 17 goals which can help keep us on track to remain within the planetary boundaries.
Planetary Boundaries – An Overview
In 2009, Rockstrom et al. proposed a new approach to global sustainability, whereby the Earth’s system (E.S) is defined by of a number of boundaries. If we cross these boundaries, we move into an unstable and somewhat unpredictable state. By defining the boundaries, it allows us to measure and monitor changes. Nine boundaries were identified, as seen in the picture below, many of which may now be familiar terms to you. Rockstrom and his team produced this new approach because for the first time in Earth’s history, human activity is having a significant impact on Earth’s system – we are in the age of the Anthropocene, which is derived from the term “anthropogenic”, which is defined as “originating in human activity”.
Law & Regulation
Law & Regulation News
Law & Regulation News
Guidance regarding accepting company directorships in certain circumstances
The Corporate Enforcement Authority (CEA) recently published guidance to the public regarding accepting company directorships under certain circumstances. The guidance, which is aimed at members of the public who receive unsolicited approaches to become directors of companies about which they know little if anything, sets out at a high level.
Launch of Ireland’s AI Standards and Assurance Roadmap
Standardisation is key to delivering the accountability and trust needed to ensure commercial and societal acceptance of AI.

Recently the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI), Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail Neal Richmond TD and minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Dara Calleary TD launched Ireland’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) Standards & Assurance Roadmap.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting
The Gender Pay Gap information Act 2021 requires Employers to report their gender pay gap statistics annually.

The reporting measures aim to increase transparency and identify areas, where pay gaps persist, promoting equal pay for equal work. The snapshot date of June 2023 means that Employers must choose a date this month to analyse their pay data to identify any gender pay gaps and take appropriate measures to address the imbalances.

Law & Regulation
Navigating the 3 R’s of Termination by Sarah Fagan
Navigating the 3 R’s of Termination: Redundancy, Resignation, and Retirement
by Sarah Fagan
The Labour market is fluid, with employers frequently dealing with job transitions such as Redundancy, Retirement, or Resignation. Each of these instances has distinct consequences for both the employee and employer. In this article, we will explore the various employment terminations, as well as the legality, entitlements, and support required in order to ensure all employee rights are adhered to and any potential risks are avoided by the employer.
The issue of redundancies for Organisations is complex and multifaceted, with various influences at play. Economic uncertainty, Brexit fallout, technological advancements, industry-specific challenges, global competition, and company-specific issues, such as challenging financial management or failure to adapt to changing market conditions have all contributed to job losses.

An unfortunate consequence of these influences is redundancies taking place leaving an employer to terminate an employee’s contract due to necessary restructuring of the organisation, changes in job requirements, or the closure of a business.

Law & Regulation
Corporate Governance by Phyllis Willoughby
Corporate Governance
by Phyllis Willoughby
Following the recent exposure, through a Grant Thornton Review, of issues within RTE, this article will set out the legislative requirements for Corporate Governance. It will also highlight requirements for good corporate governance and outline additional risk factors Boards needs to consider, particularly in relation to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) matters.
Definition –
“Corporate Governance is a set of rules, best practices and processes that determines how an organisation is managed, whilst also implementing best practices and processes by which an organisation is directed and operated”.
Good Corporate Governance
Good governance ensures that the interests of stakeholders of an organisation are met. The main objective of corporate governance is to ensure that the companies are managed and operated responsibly, ethically and transparently aiming to increase long-term shareholder value while considering other stakeholders’ interests. Good governance requires that the board of directors meets regularly, retains control over the business, divides responsibilities clearly and ensures that risk management is ongoing. Incorporating good governance practices can help reduce the chances of corruption within a company. For example, when a company fails to keep its books and records up to date, it is unlikely to attract top buyers or investors. Regular board meetings, making the correct strategic decisions and good governance are vital for success. By practicing good corporate governance, a company will earn public trust.
Finance & Management
Finance & Management News

Finance & Management News

IDA Ireland announces 2023 mid-year results

IDA Ireland, the inward investment agency of the Irish Government recently reported steady investment growth in the first half of 2023, investments won over the first half of 2023 are tracking in line with our expectations of a positive pipeline.

The outlook for investments over the second half of the year remains strong. IDA Ireland continues to engage with clients across all sectors, who collectively play a crucial role in supporting Irish economic growth.

In the first half of 2023, 139 investments were won, with the potential of 12,072 jobs. 52 were new name or first-time investments, while 67 (48%) of the 139 investments went to regional locations.

Launch of Platform to boost upskilling and reskilling in Ireland
Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney TD recently launched a new platform to assist people seeking to upskill and reskill.
€2.3 million in funding to enhance retailers’ online presence
Neale Richmond TD, Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail at the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment, recently announced that 98 retailers have been approved for funding under the Online Retail Scheme (ORS), which is administered by Enterprise Ireland. This sees 98 retailers across all regions approved for funding of €2.3 million, with 79% of successful companies based outside of Dublin.

The businesses will receive grants ranging from a minimum of €10,000 to a maximum of €25,000, with nearly half (46%) of all successful applicants benefitting for the first time.

Finance & Management
Leadership Insight – Margaret Berry

Leadership Insight
Margaret Berry
Please provide a brief history of your career.
I joined Kepak Group as Head of Sustainability in 2022 and I am responsible for the development and implementation of Kepak Group’s sustainability strategy. Prior to this I have spent almost 20 years now in the Irish food and agribusiness industry. I graduated from Bord Bia Talent Academy’s Fellowship programme with UCD Smurfit Business School programme in 2011 and since then have worked in mostly commercial and strategic business development roles with, for example, Kerry Group and Bord Bia. More recently, I was a member of faculty, at UCD Smurfit Business School, where I designed and delivered core modules for executive and postgraduate education in Global Food Business Strategy and the Leaders Sustainability Acceleration Programme. It was at this point when I became more aware of the critical link between environmental sustainability and creating long term sustainable business value.
Earlier this year you were appointed Head of Sustainability at KEPAK Group. What are the biggest challenges currently facing the Irish food industry?
The Irish food and drink sector recorded a strong performance in 2022 which was delivered against a backdrop of unprecedented challenges and uncertainty across the value chain. Despite these challenges, according to Bord Bia, Ireland’s food and drink exports increased by 22%, reaching a record high of €16.7 billion. This performance is an indication of the resilience of one of Ireland’s most important export industries. In 2023 the challenging market environment has persisted with inflationary pressures and difficult macroeconomic conditions continuing. My own opinion is that sustainability is proving to be a necessary catalyst for businesses to consider what their future business model should be in the face of these challenges and changes. At Kepak, like every other business, we are taking the necessary steps to ensure that our business is sustainable and future ready.
Finance & Management
Introducing Ireland’s newest Life & Pensions provider – AIB life by AIB
Introducing Ireland’s newest Life & Pensions provider – AIB life
by AIB
AIB life, a joint venture between Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. (AIB) and Great-West Lifeco, launched in May this year offering protection, pensions, and investment products. It is the first life company to be designed and built in the Irish market in a generation. AIB provides advice on AIB life products which are exclusively available to AIB customers.
AIB life was created because in the world of Life Insurance & Pensions, there is an opportunity to increase awareness and serve more customers. The numbers speak for themselves, and significant gaps remain in Irish pension planning:

  • 38% of people surveyed have no pension in place.1
  • Almost 50% of men and 40% of women say the reason for not having a pension is that they just haven’t got around to organising it.2

Out of fear, people often choose to postpone purchase decisions. They see life insurance, pensions, and investments as being complicated; the products are viewed as complex and it’s difficult to know who to trust, often relying on advice from family and friends rather than speaking to an expert.

Taxation News

Taxation News

Pre-Budget Submission – Supporting Ireland’s transition to a sustainable future
CCAB-I’s Pre-Budget submission sets out a range of proposals informed by members and the businesses with whom they work, to enhance the Irish economy, and set Ireland on its way to achieving climate targets at the same time. The submission proposes a number of key measures in the following areas:
Summer Economic Statement 2023
The Minister of Finance, Michael McGrath TD, and the Minister for Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform, Pascal Donohoe TD, published the Government’s Summer Economic Statement 2023 following agreement at Cabinet.

The document sets out the Government’s medium-term budgetary strategy and outlines the fiscal parameters within which discussions will take place ahead of Budget 2024.

Budget 2024 will provide for an overall package of €6.4 billion; this has been calibrated to balance the need to provide further support while avoiding adding to inflationary pressures.

  • Budget 2024 will deliver an overall package of €6.4 billion and will be presented to Dail Eireann on 10th October 2023.
  • Additional public spending will amount to €5.2 billion and taxation measures will amount to €1.1 billion.
  • Core spending will increase by 6.1% in 2024.
Research & Development (R&D) Corporation Tax Credit
The Tax and Duty Manual Part 29-02-03 – Research and Development (R&D) Corporation Tax Credit – has been updated to incorporate the changes to the R&D credit introduced by Finance Act 2022.

The Finance Act 2022 changes are reflected throughout the manual, with examples provided where appropriate. The manual is also updated:

It is time for SMEs to jump on the tax advisory bandwagon by Matthew Leopold
It is time for SMEs to jump on the tax advisory bandwagon
by Matthew Leopold
Change? In tax? Surely not. However, change is afoot. The once reliable stream of tax compliance work is increasingly facing the threat of digitisation. Tax advisory, however, is emerging as a growth area in an increasingly complex tax world.
Adrian Young, a tax partner at Manchester and Stockport-based accountancy firm HURST, says offering advisory services will become increasingly crucial as compliance work becomes more commoditised and there is a race to the bottom on price, crimping revenues.

Accountants are often the most trusted advisor to business leaders. The bigger accountancy firms were quick to take advantage of the need for premium advisory services and they are making big money.

The good news is that small to medium-sized firms can do the same. They are equally trusted by business leaders. They are probably providing advisory services already, but not charging for this advice.

Offshore funds – Irish Tax Considerations by Mairéad Hennessy
Offshore funds – Irish Tax Considerations
by Mairéad Hennessy
The very mention of offshore funds can make the most composed tax adviser break into a cold sweat. Why, you may ask?
It is because advising on the tax treatment of an offshore fund involves delving into a maze of complex rules. The legislation is difficult to follow and there is limited guidance available. This means that there is a greater risk of non-compliance than for more traditional investment options. Failure to correctly declare acquisitions, disposals (including deemed disposals), income and other fund transactions can result in expensive interest and penalties for the investor, as well as the risk of a Revenue Audit. Against this backdrop, advisers are understandably nervous when advising clients.

Collective investment vehicles which are domiciled outside Ireland are typically regarded as being “offshore funds” as defined under Irish law. Offshore funds fall into different categories which have unique tax treatments.

Notwithstanding the complexities around the tax treatment of offshore funds, their popularity has soared in recent years amongst Irish and overseas investors. Recent interest rate increases is one factor that has encouraged investors to consider alternative investments that may provide a reasonable expectation of income and growth while protecting their capital through investment in diversified sources.

In Practice News
In Practice News
IAASA publishes guidelines for Recognised Accountancy Bodies
The purpose of the document is to set out guidelines for the RABs to apply to their approval and registration function to support the achievement of the following outcomes and to meet the requirements of the Companies Act 2014.
IFAC releases ISQM implementation supports for small firms
The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has released the second instalment in a three-part publication series to help small-and medium sized practices implement the new quality management standards for audit firms.

Installment Two: Developing a Detailed Implementation Plan provides a step approach to identifying your quality objectives; completing your quality risk assessment process; identifying existing, or creating new, responses to those quality risks; and implementing, documenting, and communicating your system of quality management.

CPA Ireland issues digital certificates
CPA Ireland has issued digital practicing certificates to its practitioners and audit firms for the first time. The certificates can be added to LinkedIn profiles, shared via email or social media, or downloaded and embedded to email signatures or professional websites.

Practitioners can also download a pdf of a certificate through Accredible which can also be printed.

Success is not always about doing things by Colm Divilly
Success is not always about doing things
by Colm Divilly
Practice management articles tend to focus on positive actions you can take to improve your firm. In this article I thought I would take a different approach and focus on some things you should stop doing to improve the management of your firm.
Stop always putting clients’ needs ahead of your firm’s needs.
Your firm is a business and like any business it needs to be managed. Some accounting firms postpone management tasks because they are so busy servicing their clients’ needs. Ultimately this is not a sustainable business model, and both the firm and clients will suffer if the firm is not managed. Among the areas that you need to devote time to are:

  1. Budgeting.
  2. Monthly reporting.
  3. Human resource matters (staff planning, staff reviews etc)
Developing a Growth Mindset by Edel Walsh
Developing a Growth Mindset
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 ability to do something, can often be the tipping point between success and failure.

Mindsets are powerful beliefs. There are many types of mindsets but in this article, we will look at, 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. The 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 manage stress in the lead up to exams by Edel Walsh
How to manage stress on the lead up to exams
Edel Walsh
There is no doubt that exams can cause stress and anxiety. In this article, I will share some techniques to support you with curbing the stress you might feel while studying for your exams.
The first thing I would say is that a little bit of stress or feeling some pressure in the lead up to exams is perfectly normal. In a sense, it shows that you care about the exams that you are doing. However, when the exam stress and pressure start having an impact on the quality of your study, your sleeping habits, your eating habits, and your mood, then it is good to put a plan in place to support yourself.
Plan, plan plan!
To help reduce the stress you are experiencing, have a study plan in place. Plan for the week of study ahead or plan for the day of study ahead. Make this a routine every time you intend to study. A word of caution here however, try not to be too rigid with your plan.
Harnessing the Power of GPT-4 by Paul Redmond
Harnessing the Power of GPT-4: How AI is Revolutionising the Work of an Accountant
by Paul Redmond
As an accountant, I’ve always understood the importance of precision, accuracy, and efficiency in my work. These elements are not just a part of my job, but they are essential to it. In recent years, I’ve discovered an invaluable tool that has considerably amplified my productivity and creativity, both professionally and personally: OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
GPT-4 is an artificial intelligence language model developed by OpenAI, capable of generating human-like text. Its ability to understand context and nuances in communication significantly reduces misunderstandings and errors. GPT-4 is my virtual right-hand and has become an integral part of my daily life.

It not only enhances my efficiency and productivity as an accountant, but also brings a new level of convenience and creativity to my personal life.

A Virtual Assistant Like No Other
GPT-4 is a virtual assistant that can assist with a multitude of tasks, from the mundane to the complex. Need to schedule a meeting or draft an email? GPT-4 does it seamlessly. Its ability to understand context and nuances in communication significantly reduces misunderstandings and errors. With GPT-4, I can easily create to-do lists, set reminders, and track important deadlines and meetings.
Safeguarding Your Accountancy Firm by Michael Rooney
Safeguarding Your Accountancy Firm: 7 Critical Steps in Responding to a Cyber Attack
by Michael Rooney
The exponential growth of cyber risk makes it one of the most pressing issues facing businesses worldwide, impacting industries across the board and accountancy firms are no exception.
In today’s digital world, cyber threats are pervasive and continually evolving, necessitating preparedness for potential breaches.

A cyber breach can have far-reaching and severe consequences, such as the theft of sensitive data, financial loss, damage to reputation, and legal and regulatory ramifications.

Accounting firms are far from immune from such attacks. In fact, to the contrary, accountancy firms are a rich target for hackers because of the types of information they handle. Beyond the normal personally identifiable information (PII) that they store for clients and employees, firms also handle sensitive information dealing with financial transactions, payroll information and sensitive business information.

Navigating Tax Season by Alex Hoffman
Navigating Tax Season: Embrace Tech, Minimize Stress, and Find Balance – A Comprehensive Guide for Accountants to Thrive During Tax Season
by Alex Hoffman
Tax season is here and with it come the joys of late nights, long hours, high levels of stress, and a lot of takeaways. While this time of year is when accounting firms and CPAs tend to turn a great profit, it’s a taxing time, in every sense of the word. Finding a way through this time that doesn’t lead to burnout is no trifling matter.
What’s the answer?
In this article, we will explore effective strategies to make tax season less taxing by leveraging technology, streamlining workflows, and prioritizing self-care. Discover how to approach the workload, eliminate repetitive tasks, and find a healthy work-life balance during this demanding period. Let’s turn tax season into a more manageable and rewarding experience!
Unload your plate
During tax season, you may feel that you’ve simply got too much on your plate. Let’s consider a few ways you could unload some of these burdens. Here are four key areas you might want to consider:

Institute News

Institute News

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.

Our current campaign message is to promote a visionary career in that you can go anywhere as a CPA Accountant. To solidify this message and make ourselves more relatable, we want to show prospective students where they can go by showcasing the career paths of our members.

New! CPA Metaverse School of Innovation
At the CPA Ireland President’s Dinner on the 20th September we were delighted to welcome Skillnet Ireland and Sia Partners to join us in launching the latest in innovative Learning & Development – The CPA Metaverse.
How it works:
There are 8 interactive stations which leaners must navigate through:

  • Three scavenger hunts: working in teams the learners will search the School of Innovation for various objects which represent different aspects of the RPA solution. The learners will have to work in teams – one person can pick up an object which will launch a card explaining what the object represents. To gather more information, they will need to work with someone who can hold the magnifying glass – by using both together the learner will get more information about the object.
  • Impact ranking: Place objects that represent different parts of the implementation process on podiums from least impactful to highest.
digital illustration of white badge with green leaf in the middle
New! Sustainability Micro-credentials
Later this month CPA Ireland Skillnet is launching a series of stackable sustainability micro-credentials based on different areas of our Sustainability Hub.
CPA Ireland and Capital Credit Union launch new Student Finance Scheme
During the summer, CPA Ireland launched a new Student Finance Scheme in partnership with Capital Credit Union which sees CPA students qualify for student loans from the credit union at a competitive APR of 6.7%.

CPA students are professional students or career changers working in full time jobs. Banks often won’t recognise them as ‘students’ and it can be harder to qualify for a student loan which has preferential interest rates.

CPA students will benefit from a range of benefits offered by Capital Credit Union including:

  • Low interest rate – only 6.7% APR
  • Flexible repayment options
CPD News

CPD News

Advanced VAT for Accountants

Due to the continued success of the Advanced VAT for Accountants course, we are delighted to once again be offering this course, commencing in November 2023.

Micro-credentials logo and typography

Sustainability Micro-credentials

In today’s rapidly changing world, it’s crucial to stay ahead of the curve and demonstrate your commitment to sustainability. This September, CPA Ireland is launching a series of sustainability micro-credentials on our Sustainability Hub.

Online Stackable Sustainability Micro Credentials are a flexible and modular 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.

Webinars & Online Courses

Why not get a head start and have a look at the extensive programme of conferences, webinars, full day courses and Post Qualification Specialisms we will be running throughout the year – more than enough to fulfil all your requirements!

CPA Ireland continues to provide insightful and topical webinars on a wide range of interesting and relevant topics including, Brexit, succession planning, tax, the economy, audit and leadership. We also provide a rage of online courses to keep you up to date and informed on a range of topics from VAT, FRS 102, US GAAP, Python and Governance for the Charitable Sector.

Student News
Student News
Examinations Notice August 2023
The results of the August 2023 examinations, which were hosted on our Cirrus online examination platform and remotely invigilated using Proctorio Artificial Intelligence technology will be available online on Friday 13 October 2023. Students can access their results by logging into their ‘MyCPA’ Dashboard.
CPA Ireland Educator Update
For the next academic year our Approved Educators are Munster Technological University (MTU) and Griffith College.

Griffith College will be offering e-learning courses for all subjects (with the exception of Strategic Level Data Analytics for Finance).

Application to Membership Notice
The CPA Ireland annual Conferring Ceremony will be held on Saturday 9 December 2023 in O’Reilly Hall, UCD.

Thanks to all students who have applied for membership as part of “Cohort 1”. This group included students who passed their final examinations from 2020 up to and including April 2023. Congratulations to those applicants who have been accepted for membership to date.

Students who complete their examinations in August 2023 will be included in Cohort 2 and will receive formal invitations to apply for membership following the release of the August 2023 examination results.

Prepare for the New Academic Year
We welcome our new CPA Ireland students who will be sitting their first examinations in 2024. All new and continuing students should review this recently recorded webinar ( which will assist you in planning for the next academic year including:

  • Syllabus structure
  • Exam progression rules
  • Educator Offerings

We would also like to remind all students of our Open-Door policy so please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have regarding your study, examinations, or training. Feedback from CPA Ireland students is essential to the Institute’s continuous improvement of processes and its ‘open door’ is one important channel. Others include regular student webinars, online surveys, our student Facebook group, and the more traditional channels such as e-mail and telephone. We look forward to hearing from you while you train to become a Certified Public Accountant.

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
Disciplinary Tribunal

A Disciplinary Tribunal convened on 26 May 2023 found the following charges of misconduct proven against Michael McGarry (Member) and Michael P. McGarry & Co (Firm), of Colman, Fethard, Co. Tipperary:

Case Ref: Invest/14/21:

  1. Quality Assurance Complaint
    Michael P. McGarry & Co failed to carry out its work in accordance with approved accounting standards, relevant auditing and ethical standards, quality control standards and the Code of Ethics – bye law 7.4, bye law 6.5.1 (a) and Section 113 of the Code of Ethics refers.

    This followed the scoring of unsatisfactory grades on three successive quality assurance reviews conducted in accordance with bye law 7 and the Companies Act 2014.

  2. Breach of Hot File Review condition
    Michael McGarry and Michael P. McGarry & Co breached the terms of a hot file review condition imposed in April 2021 – Bye Law 7.17.3, bye law 6.5.1 (a) and Section 115 of the Code of Ethics refer.

    Failure to respond to Correspondence from Secretary of the Institute – bye law 6.8 refers.

Case Ref: Invest/02/23:

  1. Breach of Hot File Review Condition – Hot file review not conducted and monthly confirmations not submitted in respect of four clients – Bye Law 7.17.3; bye law 6.5.1 (a); Code of Ethics – Section 111 Integrity refer.
  2. Breach of Hot file review Condition – Two Audit reports signed in advance of the conclusion of a Hot file review and failure to submit one monthly confirmation – Bye Law 7.17.3; bye law 6.5.1 (a); Code of Ethics – Section 111 Integrity refer.

The Tribunal ordered the following:

  • That the Firms Auditing Certificate be withdrawn with immediate effect, in advance of any appeal in accordance with the provisions of bye law 6.36;
  • That Member contribute €9,384 towards the Institute’s costs in this case – (with an option to pay this over 12 months by equal monthly instalments).
  • That Member be fined €2,500 (with an option to pay this over 12 months by equal monthly instalments).
  • That a Severe Reprimand be imposed on the Member and the Firm.

The Tribunal imposed the following Orders in accordance with bye law 6.32.1 (f): –

  1. That all audit clients be advised by the Member immediately of the withdrawal of his Auditing Certificate and all resignations be filed in accordance with legal obligations, with copies to be sent to the Institute.
  2. That a Quality Assurance Review of the Firm’s non-audit practice be undertaken within 90 days.

And that details of these findings and orders be published in Accountancy Plus with reference to both Member and Firm by name.

Accountancy Plus logo
Thanks for reading our September 2023 issue!