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Chartered Accountants are known for having high levels of competence in Excel and but rarely have a matching skill level in PowerPoint. Accountants don’t regard the presentation of their data as a mission critical skill even though the goal of our data analysation is to communicate information clearly and efficiently to executives and clients. Instead, it’s often seen as something to be used to humour executives during big meetings.  When we asked accountants to rate their skills out of five, they consistently rate their Excel skills at four (with a suggestion that modesty featured as a constraint) and their PowerPoint competence at two (with a suggestion that this might be more than PowerPoint deserved).   We rate our Excel acumen so highly because we are experts only at what we do, and we practice the same Excel actions a lot. The sporting adage of “use it or lose it” is particularly apt for technology where reflex keyboard actions and habit all but blind us to changes in the environment.  Excel can change but most of us are too busy to notice and just carry on doing what we always did the way we always did it. Keeping yourself abreast of current updates in Excel is just as important to your job as the output that you get from the programme. The PowerPoint and data visualisation requirement is very different.  As referred to earlier, skills here are lower and discussions with accountants indicate that this is largely down to two misconceptions:  one, that with advances in Excel dashboard functions and general flexibility, PowerPoint will diminish in importance as a tool for presentations of financial information; and two, that data presentation skills are not really core for accountants.   Both are seriously wide of the mark. First, Microsoft explicitly places PowerPoint front and centre in their plans to develop tools (including Excel and Power BI) to improve the way data is converted to information and shared.  Second, Chartered Accountants have a vital role in helping line managers acquire the information they need to make financially informed decisions and therefore a duty to make sure that the information is clearly understood.  Data visualisation enables decision makers to see analytics presented simply, helping them grasp difficult concepts or identify new patterns in the data. Presenting numbers and financial statements in traditional formats that are comfortable for accountants but obscure to others is lamentable, especially when less than a dozen easily acquired techniques can transform the way people react to and benefit from presentations.  Building on your skills in Excel and transferring those skills into more advanced data visualisation programmes like PowerPoint can really help you to add value to your organisation and advance your career.   Jack Foley is a director in FaB Practice Ltd and a trainer in digital visualisation with Professional Training. Jack will be delivering the course Data visualisation with Excel and PowerPoint for accountants on 30 November 201.

Oct 23, 2017
Press release

Chartered Accountants Ireland Leinster Society has announced the shortlist for its Published Accounts Awards for 2017. The Awards, now in their 40th year, are sponsored by the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) and reward companies for excellence in financial reporting in Ireland. This year’s shortlist includes a total of 25 public and private companies, including not-for-profit organisations. The winners will be announced at a special gala evening event, taking place in The Shelbourne Hotel on Friday, 24 November 2017 with Neil Delamere as MC. Finalists for the 40th Published Accounts Awards 2017 Large Companies - Main Securities Market Bank of Ireland Group plc CRH plc Glanbia plc Kerry Group plc Kingspan Group plc Small/Medium Sized Companies - Main Securities Market Dalata Hotel Group plc Datalex plc IFG Group plc Irish Continental Group plc Kenmare Resources plc Irish Companies listed on a Foreign Market DCC plc Greencore Group plc UDG Healthcare plc Enterprise Securities Market Companies Malin Corporation plc Origin Enterprises plc Total Produce plc Statutory Unquoted Large Entities daa plc ESB IPUT plc Large Not-For-Profit Central Remedial Clinic clg Clúid Housing Association Gorta Self Help Africa Small/Medium Sized Not-For-Profit Aidlink IE Domain Registry clg The Care Trust dac In addition to the category awards, there are four other awards, consisting of an Overall Winner’s Award from across all categories, a Social Responsibility Reporting Award; a Branding, Communication & Marketing Award and a new award for Best Digital Reporting sponsored by Investis. Oliver Holt, Chairman, Chartered Accountants Ireland - Leinster Society said: “The Published Accounts Awards stand out as the most prestigious and long standing business awards in the country.  By celebrating excellence in annual reports the awards have provided welcome encouragement to companies to constantly improve their financial reporting over the last 40 years” Orla O’Gorman, Head of Equity, Irish Stock Exchange said: “We are proud of our long association with the Published Accounts Awards. We are also delighted to see the addition of a Best Digital Reporting Award in 2017, recognising the importance of delivering excellent digital communications that support and enhance the usability of a company’s annual report.”  Ends Media Contact Chartered Accountant Ireland – Leinster Society Bryan Rankin Marketing Manager, Chartered Accountants Ireland T: (353) 01 637 7268 E: bryan.rankin@charteredaccountants.ie Irish Stock Exchange Ailish Byrne Head of Public Affairs and Communications T: (353) 01 617 4266 E: ailish.byrne@ise.ie Note to Editors: Chartered Accountants Leinster Society is a district society of Chartered Accountants Ireland, representing 12,500 Chartered Accountants throughout Leinster. Chartered Accountants Ireland is the largest, longest established and fastest growing professional accountancy body in Ireland with over 25,500 members in 93 countries around the globe.   The Irish Stock Exchange is a world-leading gateway exchange for global issuers providing access to European and North American investors with >36,000 securities from 85 countries listed on its markets. It enables companies to raise capital from international investors utilising a world class trading infrastructure, complementary listing regimes and a diverse trading membership network. The ISE also provides trading in Irish government securities, an executive leadership programme IPOready for companies looking to access public markets, publishes and distributes data and announcements, and provides LEI and ISIN code services. Event details: Chartered Accountants Ireland Leinster Society presents The Published Accounts Awards 2017 Gala dinner on Friday 24 November 2017 in The Shelbourne Hotel, 7pm for 7:30pm. M.C. is well known comedian and radio broadcaster, Neil Delamare Live music from A Few Good Men – a high-energy four-piece band offering a repertoire of popular hits from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. Tickets are €85 per person, individual tickets and tables are available. To book or for more information please contact leinstersociety@charteredaccountants.ie or call 01-6377218/9 Dress: business suit Dedicated PAA webpage: https://www.charteredaccountants.ie/Leinster/PAA

Nov 03, 2017
Press release

Institute cautions appropriate resources and expertise required to effect change Chartered Accountants Ireland (‘the Institute’) has today welcomed the forthcoming publication of the Companies (Statutory Audits) Bill, 2017 as the final piece in the regulatory framework for supervising statutory auditors, particularly auditors of so-called ‘public interest entities’. The Bill forms part of the Government’s package of reforms aimed at combatting ‘white collar’ crime. The new Bill originates from EU legislation introduced in 2014 and which was partially implemented in Ireland in mid-2016.  The Bill contains measures aimed at underpinning the Irish Auditing and Accounting Authority (‘IAASA’) as the single competent authority in the State for the regulation and supervision of statutory audit and auditors while at the same time, overseeing how the Recognised Accountancy Bodies (‘RABs’) discharge those obligations conferred on them by the new legislation.  Commenting on the proposed legislation, Aidan Lambe, Director, Professional Standards at the Institute said: “The Institute and IAASA share a common interest in ensuring public confidence in statutory audit and in the conduct of statutory audit firms. In that regard, it is imperative that the legislation is clear as regards the respective roles and responsibilities of IAASA and the RABs and that the structures it establishes provide appropriate public confidence. The Institute will be examining the legislation against this benchmark and commenting to DBEI in due course. However, critical to its effectiveness will be a commitment by all relevant parties to ensuring appropriate resources and expertise are made available to fulfil a complex and challenging function.” Commenting on the wider package, Mr Lambe said: “The Institute has long argued that Ireland’s laws regarding white collar crime and corruption are unduly complex and spread over too wide a range of different pieces of legislation including company law, criminal justice legislation, financial services legislation and tax law. The number of government departments and agencies party to today’s announcement demonstrates this. Creating a future joined up approach, while very much welcome, represents a significant challenge for legislators which should not be underestimated. The future success of this initiative will depend on the commitment of adequate resources to allow for the building out of relevant knowledge and expertise at an appropriately high level and also the ability of the range of government departments and agencies involved to work together and avoid any potential for interdepartmental rivalries.” See original release ENDS For reference: Karen Jones, Gibney Communications, 01 661 0402 / 086 8664501

Nov 02, 2017

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