Public sector

  In this week’s bulletin, read about the Irish Government’s latest announcements in the areas of pension auto-enrolment, and SME and entrepreneurship policy. Government announces plans to auto-enrol private workers in pension scheme The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has recently announced key elements of a new system of pension auto-enrolment, set to be implemented on a phased basis from 2022. Under the new system, Workers aged between 23 and 60 earning more than €20,000 a year, will be automatically enrolled in a pension scheme, if not already in one with their workplace. Contributions will start from 1.5 per cent of salary, rising to 6 per cent of salary in their tenth year of employment, giving workers more time to accommodate the increase. There will be opportunities to opt-out and take breaks from contributions, with contributions in the first six months being mandatory. Employers will be required to match contributions, with the Government’s contributions yet to be announced. Key elements of the new system are in line with the Institute’s November 2018 response to the Strawman Public Consultation on the process for an automatic enrolment retirement savings system for Ireland; mainly that automatic enrolment should supplement the state pension, and also complement the existing supplementary pension system. A further consultation process will take place following the finalisation of the remaining elements of the design.   OECD review on Irish SME and Entrepreneurship Policy published Under the Future Jobs initiative, the Irish Government has published a review undertaken by the OECD on SME and Entrepreneurship Policy in Ireland. A roadmap has also been published which sets out priority areas for implementation.The OECD’s analysis will form the basis for a new Government strategy on SMEs and Entrepreneurship, which will be published by the end of the year following further consultation. Some of the main OECD recommendations cover areas such as broadening the remit of the Local Enterprise Offices, digital and automation skills, and engagement in areas of energy and environment.     Read all our updates in our Public Policy web centre.

Nov 04, 2019
Public sector

Read about the public policy issues making headlines this past week which include a look in more detail at the Irish government’s plans to achieve its climate-change targets and the outcome of the latest EU summit. Latest climate action plan unveiled 200 actions are included in plans to achieve climate-change targets in a Climate Action Plan published by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment last week.  Ireland is behind in the EU’s climate action targets of reducing carbon emissions by 2020 and faces fines of several hundreds of millions of euros per year until targets are achieved. Some of the measures proposed to reduce carbon emissions in Ireland include: Carbon tax will rise to €80 per tonne (from €20) by 2030 70 percent of all electricity will come from renewable sources by 2030 (it’s currently 30 percent) Regulations to curb the use of single-use plastics by end of 2021 and eliminate non-recyclable plastic 500,000 homes will be retrofitted Installing oil boilers will be prohibited by 2022 and the installation of gas boilers will be prohibited by 2025 on all new homes. A review on how to replace all oil and gas boilers in existing buildings will be completed this year. No new regulation will come into force before 2026. All buildings undergoing significant renovation must bring the rest of the building up to a minimum BER B2 rating Creating new, sustainable opportunities for family farms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture The cycling path network and park and ride facilities will be expanded A study looking at possible congestion charges will be undertaken by December 2019 In terms of transport, equalising duties on petrol and diesel, changing vehicle registration and motor tax will be considered in Budget 2020 A car scrappage scheme may be introduced in 2020 to encourage people to buy electric vehicles. More broadly, carbon budgets and targets in addition to the normal financial budgets will be established on a five year system.  Ministers of each government Department will be responsible for making targets and there will be penalties for failure to do so.   EU summit discusses climate action and cybersecurity EU leaders are met in Brussels last week to adopt the EU's strategic agenda for 2019-2024. The EU’s strategy focuses on four main priorities: protecting citizens and freedoms developing a strong and vibrant economic base building a climate-neutral Europe promoting European interests and values on the global stage. Talks also focused on the long-term EU budget, cyberattacks and external relations.  The EU leaders however failed to agree on a new President for the European Commission and will need to reconvene to decide. App Read all our updates in our Public Policy webcentre.

Jun 24, 2019

Earlier today, over 150 members attended a lunchtime briefing from Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe TD. Referring to the final negotiations expected to take place over the weekend between Prime Minister May and EU negotiators in advance of Sunday’s summit, the Minister said: “The (draft withdrawal) agreement satisfies our national priorities set out at the outset of the Brexit negotiations, namely to protect the Good Friday Agreement, maintain the common travel area and related benefits, reaffirm our place at the heart of the EU, and protect trade, jobs and the economy. “Of course, we cannot become complacent, as work is underway to ratify the final text by both the UK and the EU.  Irrespective of the future relationship between the UK and the EU, we will face a very different world once the UK does depart.  The UK will inevitably become a ‘third country’.  The status quo will change.” The Minister discussed a broad range of other issues including the improving economic outlook for Ireland, the Finance Bill which has this week passed through the Dail and now moves to the Seanad, international tax policy, and anti-tax avoidance measures, for which he asked for the input and support of the accountancy profession.  The Minister also noted the importance of the accountancy profession in providing certainty in decision making through the provision of reliable financial information and trusted advice. He said: “Accounting is the language of business. It is the communication of economic realities and the base upon which all sustainable and innovative economies are built.  The accounting, auditing and other services you provide allow Governments, investors, shareholders, employees and citizens to see the economic reality.” Today’s audience included delegates at the Institute’s inaugural CPD Blitz Day focused specifically on members in the Public Sector.  An impressive line-up of speakers included Robert Watt, Secretary General Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Aileen Hughes, CIPFA chairperson and Internal controls analyst, ESB. Topics covered included ICT, data analytics, GDPR and Brexit and its  impact on the public sector. Photos of today’s event are available to view HERE.

Nov 23, 2018

Ireland’s leading accountancy body, Chartered Accountants Ireland today (Wednesday, 12 Sept 2018) announced the launch of a new “Concise Guide of Ethics and Governance for the Charity and Not-for-Profit Sector” at its annual ‘Good Governance’ conference in Dublin. Today’s conference was attended by over 100 people working in and for the charity and not-for-profit sector including regulators, advisors, directors and leading charity representatives. The Institute’s free guide, the first of its kind compiled in Ireland, received support from the Irish Charities Regulator and the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, and will be an essential primer for anyone currently a trustee or aspiring to hold such a position in the future.  Attendees at today’s conference heard from speakers including Tom Ryan (Director General, GAA), Tom Malone (Head of Compliance, Charities Regulator), Shauna Greely (Past President, Chartered Accountants Ireland), Stephanie Manahan (CEO, CRC), and a panel of experienced leaders in the charity and not-for-profit sector. Welcoming the launch of the Ethics Guide at today’s conference, Institute President Feargal McCormack said: “Charities and not-for-profit organisations have a profound social and economic impact on the fabric of our lives in Ireland. For example, in relation to charities alone, according to 2018 statistics from the Irish Charity Regulator, registered Irish charities have an income of €14.5 billion, directly employ 189,000 people and are supported by 300,000 volunteers. In relation to not-for-profit organisations we only have to look to our own local communities to identify the sporting organisations, the drama societies and the many other organisations that serve to provide an important outlet or promote a cultural activity to society. “The Irish charity and not-for-profit sector has been subject to criticism over recent years, where the failures of a few have damaged the many thousands of fine charities that adhere to high standards. Thanks to the combined efforts of trustees, volunteers, government and regulators, governance standards are improving and trust is being restored, with a renewed commitment to the highest levels of ethical behaviour. “Chartered Accountants Ireland are proud of today’s publication and consider it an important resource upon which trustees, leaders and financial custodians can reference as an everyday tool. Níall Fitzgerald, Head of Ethics and Governance, Chartered Accountants Ireland said: “In order to run effectively and ethically, charities and not-for-profit organisations need the right people to step-up and become volunteer board members. It is vital for the sector that its trustees are as diverse as the organisations they manage. This involves the recruitment of trustees of all age groups, genders and backgrounds getting involved in order to refresh the membership of committees and boards of trustees. The Irish Charities Regulator welcomed Chartered Accountants Ireland’s initiative to produce this guide aimed at encouraging and supporting current and aspiring trustees.  Tom Malone, Head of Compliance, Charities Regulator said: “Charity trustees are the gatekeepers of governance and integrity in the sector. The clearer trustees are about their duties and the better guidance and support that they receive, the greater the sector will benefit. We believe trustees who are well-intentioned and well-informed, are key to increasing public trust and confidence in the sector.” The Concise Guide of Ethics and Governance for the Charity and Not-For-Profit Sector published by Chartered Accountants Ireland is available to download here. ENDS Reference:  Bryan Rankin, Marketing Manager, Chartered Accountants Ireland T: 01 637 7268 Note to editors:  Chartered Accountants Ireland is Ireland’s biggest and fastest growing professional accountancy body, with 26,500 members across the globe. It is the voice of the accountancy profession in Ireland.

Sep 13, 2018
Governance, Risk and Legal

Chartered Accountants Ireland are delighted to announce the launch of this year’s governance conference which will focus on ethics and governance in the charity and not for profit sector. Amongst other items, the conference will also exclusively present insights and findings arising from the recent research conducted by Chartered Accountants Ireland in production of the forthcoming “Concise Guide of Ethics and Governance for the Charity and Not for Profit Sector”.  To recognise the dedication of those involved in this important sector and encourage leadership in ethics and governance, the event is being hosted and sponsored by Chartered Accountants Ireland, free to attend, in Dublin on 12th September (click here for more details) and Belfast on 26th September (click here for more details).

Jul 20, 2018
Financial Services

Ireland’s leading accountancy body, Chartered Accountants Ireland, today (Tuesday 26 June) announced the launch of a new education programme for its 6,665 students across the island. The new programme seeks to address current market and employer needs, anticipate future skills requirements and puts additional supports in place for its student body. The updated Chartered programme will include new final year specialist elective subjects, some for the first time anywhere in the world. Chartered Accountants Ireland is the only accountancy institute is the world to offer this unique blend of elective subjects to its final year students. The programme will be available to Chartered Accountants Ireland students from October 2018 and represents the largest single reform of the Institute’s education offering in more than a decade. Taken together, the new initiatives will make the Chartered qualification even more attractive for new graduates and experienced professionals alike.  The updated education programme includes the following significant enhancements and updates:  A new elective subject in financial services, available to final year (FAE) students, offered in partnership with the Institute Of Banking A new FAE elective in finance and accounting in the public sector, in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) A new FAE elective, ‘Advisory’ replaces an existing elective and will appeal to students looking to specialise in consultancy New pathways to membership, for example more exemptions from the Institute’s professional exams will be offered to people who have already passed corresponding exams in university or with other bodies More information on the new FAE education streams >>> To coincide with this, the Institute has also launched a new, all-island advertising campaign to promote the career opportunities available for Chartered Accountants, new flexible routes to the qualification and the updated education programme. The advertising will run for the course of the summer on radio and digital formats and will be supported by open evening events in Dublin, Cork and Belfast – see for details. Chartered Accountants Ireland Chief Executive Barry Dempsey commented: “Chartered Accountancy is Ireland’s premier business qualification, highly sought after by leading employers, and is a secure, attractive profession. “The new Chartered Accountants Ireland education programme responds to the changing nature of the accountancy and wider business sectors, and sets the profession on a sound footing for the future. “In planning the new programme, we have listened to and collaborated with a wide range of stakeholders including our network of member firms, employers, other leading accountancy bodies, and our existing students, in order to devise a programme that is best in class. “For anyone interested in an exciting and challenging career, my message is that Chartered Accountants are in extremely high demand, and the career opportunities on offer are exceptional.  The recent expansion of our entry pathways and flexible routes to the qualification now make it even more accessible for talented and ambitious graduates and professionals to progress in their careers with us.” Director of Education and Training Ronan O’Loughlin said: “Education never stands still and our programmes must keep pace with the rapidly changing business environment, new technologies and student expectations.  The new education programme does just that and will ensure that our members, Chartered Accountants, have the right blend of financial and technology skills and training to lead businesses into the future.” ENDS Reference: Bryan Rankin, Marketing Manager, Chartered Accountants Ireland: T: (01) 637 7268 Note to editors: Chartered Accountants Ireland is Ireland’s biggest accountancy body with over 26,500 members based in over 90 countries. Chartered Accountants Ireland is the biggest single educator of accountants in Ireland and is the sole educator and examiner for students of Chartered Accountancy on this island. Chartered Accountancy students train and generate relevant experience in firms including the ‘Big 4’, mid-tier and small practices as well as businesses of every size and the public sector. The qualification can also be followed independently through the Chartered Accountants Ireland Flexible Route.

Jun 26, 2018
Thought leadership

New partnership gives trainee Chartered Accountants specialist public sector accountancy training  Ireland’s biggest and fastest growing accountancy body, Chartered Accountants Ireland and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), the professional body for people working in finance in the public sector, have today (Monday 11 June 2018) announced a new agreement between the two organisations. As a result of this collaboration, Chartered Accountants Ireland will be delivering the new public sector elective to its final year students. The move comes as demand grows for specialist public sector finance professionals in both Northern Ireland and the Republic. There is also wide acknowledgement of the need for highly trained and experienced accountants to manage and audit the public purse.  The new elective will service this demand while opening up more career opportunities for newly qualified Irish Chartered Accountants.  Chartered Accountants Ireland Chief Executive, Barry Dempsey said:  “Today’s announcement marks the culmination of many months of work with our partners in CIPFA.  In combining an executive-level public sector elective with the respected Chartered Accountant professional qualification, our proposition is made even more attractive for talented and ambitious new graduates and those already working in the public sector.  “This new public sector elective is one part of an exciting, new education programme that Chartered Accountants Ireland will be unveiling for the 2018/19 academic year. We have revised our core syllabus, introduced new electives and new pathways to membership, as we anticipate and respond to the demands of our economy.  We believe that this new programme will greatly enhance both the student experience and the long-term value of the profession in a rapidly-changing environment. “We look forward to working closely with CIPFA on the development of our new public sector elective in the coming years.” Chief Executive of CIPFA, Rob Whiteman said: “We are excited to have entered into a strategic agreement with Chartered Accountants Ireland. Together we will work hard to empower accountants to manage public money and resources transparently and effectively.” ENDS Notes to editors: About Chartered Accountants Ireland Chartered Accountants Ireland is Ireland’s largest and longest established professional body of accountants founded in 1888.  The Institute, which is an all-island body, currently represents over 26,500 members around the world. It is also the biggest single educator of accountancy students in Ireland, with over 6,600 registered students.  About CIPFA CIPFA is the professional body for people in public finance. It represents approximately 14,000 members who are public finance leaders and officials in the United Kingdom and overseas, specialising in high quality public financial management and governance for organisations in, and providing support to, government and public services. Its members work throughout the public sector, in national audit agencies, in major accountancy firms, and in other public and private sector bodies where public money needs to be effectively and efficiently managed. As the world’s only professional accountancy body to specialise in public services, CIPFA’s portfolio of qualifications is the foundation for a career in public finance. It also champions high performance in public services, translating its experience and insight into clear advice and practical services. Globally, CIPFA shows the way in public finance by standing up for sound public financial management and good governance.   Photo caption:  Pictured at the signing of the education agreement between Chartered Accountants Ireland and CIPFA are Dempsey, Chief Executive, Chartered Accountants Ireland (left) and Robert Jelly, Director, Education and Membership, CIPFA. Contact: Garry Webb, Chartered Accountants Ireland, phone 02890 435840/ 07841152045

Jun 11, 2018

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