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.

SMEs who are required to have a statutory audit or who opt to as part of their governance strategy will be hit by these costs. It is entirely possible that costs will double or more for many businesses over the next few years.

To this end, please be reminded that CPA Ireland has a new partnership with the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors (CIIA). Members of CPA Ireland now have the option to join the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors by passing the online CIA challenge exam and satisfying the qualifications for good standing. Further details of this can be found here.

As part of our overall theme of Sustainability and Digitalisation, CPA Ireland is working towards becoming a fully sustainable organisation and we are committed to supporting our members on their own journeys to sustainability. In October 2022, we launched our Sustainability Hub, and we are continuing to expand on the hub by launching stackable micro-credentials with key experts in areas such as Reporting Standards, ESG Challenges, ESG Strategies, Sustainability Assurance and, later down the track, Auditing of Sustainability Standards.

Learners will have the option to take individual micro-credentials and complete an online assessment, or they can opt to take all micro-credentials to gain an overall certificate in Sustainability. The Micro Credentials will go live at the end of September. To purchase your chosen topic in advance and for further details visit here.

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. Robotic process automation (RPA) is a rapidly growing field, and the demand for skilled RPA professionals is only going to increase in the years to come. However, teaching RPA can be challenging, as it requires learners to understand complex concepts and procedures. To meet this challenge, we have developed a programme using virtual reality.

Following the highly successful diploma in Data Analytics and the short programme on Python for Financial Services, CPA Ireland is launching a new diploma in Fintech & Machine Learning in November of this year. The diploma will cover topics of relevance to accountants and the finance sector more broadly such as, Cryptocurrency and Payment Systems, Workflow Automation for Accounting and Finance, Regulatory Landscape and Machine Learning Solutions for Financial Services. Each module can be taken as a standalone CPD course based on interest and need, or all together to gain the full diploma.

It has been a busy year with the development of these exciting projects, and I hope you take the time to explore and enjoy them.

Finally, 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. We want to show prospective students where they can go by showcasing the career paths of our members. If you think your career path could help us influence the younger generation, please make contact with the Institute team.

Mark Gargan Signature
Mark Gargan
President CPA Ireland