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Chartered Accountants Abroad

Five Chartered Accountants consider the benefits of working overseas and share their tips for those who wish to broaden their horizons. Paul Murray Title: Commercial Manager – Sales, Programming & Operations Company: Seven Network Location: Sydney, Australia There are great personal development opportunities in multicultural nations such as Australia. I was fortunate enough to enter the market here at manager level thanks to my Big 4 background and extensive client exposure, something that wouldn’t usually happen in Ireland. Having started my career in Rugby Australia, I am now responsible for $1 billion in revenues and $500 million in costs at Seven Network, the most-watched free-to-air television network in Australia, and manage a team of seven women who all hail from different countries. The diversity in our team has really helped me develop from a people management perspective. My top tip Reach out to recruiters before you make the move abroad. This gets your name into the market and generates early opportunities. It also saves time, which is important as Sydney, in particular, is an expensive place to move to. Sarah McEneaney Title: Partner, Digital Talent Company: PwC Location: Chicago, US I’ve spent my whole career living, working and travelling all over the world. I would encourage anyone to take advantage of these opportunities, whether they present themselves or you have to create them. Working with people from so many cultures, and navigating situations and solving problems – often as a “minority” – are skills that are difficult to acquire without living them. Working overseas can allow you to have impact at a global scale – my experience has truly borne that out. As PwC’s Digital Talent Leader in the US, I am responsible for future-proofing our workforce of 50,000 colleagues and considering the impact of technology on the firm’s people strategy. My top tip A professor of mine once said: “Beware of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that come along every single day”. I wish I had heard this sooner, but I’m becoming more judicious in what I say yes to and what I decline. Oh, and get more sleep – that’s the true magic for better work. Caoimhe Toouli Title: Partner, Audit and Assurance Company: KPMG Location: Sydney, Australia I left Ireland in 2002, bound for Silicon Valley on an international secondment sponsored by KPMG. I really only wanted to go for 12 months, but had to commit to 18 months and I haven’t looked back. In my view, diversity of experience is invaluable for professional development. You can only grow when challenged by new situations, new people and new environments. Working overseas completely tests one’s ability to adapt and respond to change and difference. For me, working overseas in places like Silicon Valley and Sydney exposed me to much larger capital markets than in Dublin, more complex corporate structures and different cultures. This challenged and enhanced my experience, ensuring I continued to learn and develop throughout my career. As change is the only constant, you must remain open to change and continually adapt your managerial style. But if you are thinking specifically of working overseas, my one piece of advice would be to back yourself. Don’t be afraid to change direction; talented people will succeed anywhere in the world. Matthew Britton Title: Manager, Financial Planning and Analysis Company: Abu Dhabi Investment Authority Location: Abu Dhabi   During my four years in Abu Dhabi, I worked for a sovereign wealth fund. The role involved running the strategic financial planning process, evaluating investment projects and providing management with performance insights. My team boasted 11 nationalities and the company itself employed people from 65 countries. This in itself was incredibly interesting, but it was also very rewarding from a communication perspective.  Navigating cultural nuances and understanding how to influence effectively in a diverse environment has certainly benefited my career. In addition, the mission of the organisation is to secure the wealth of future generations so in a sense the “shareholders” are not even born yet. This brings with it a very different mindset to that of a PLC and learning to adapt to that culture – and, more importantly, to respect that culture – was a valuable learning. My top tip There is an understandable tendency for Irish people to gravitate towards other Irish people when living and working overseas, but being overseas gives you a great opportunity to develop a wider international network – something that needs to be nurtured from an early stage. Margaret Berney Title: Senior Financial Analyst Company: Tarion Warranty Corporation Location: Toronto, Canada Moving to Canada certainly pushed me out of my comfort zone, both professionally and personally. Learning from a new culture has expanded my skillset to that point that I now excel in my role and work extremely well with all colleagues, irrespective of their nationality or background. The move also impacted my outlook on work as I no longer see difficult situations as a challenge. I tackle them with confidence and this is perhaps attributable in part to the new environment I work in and the different philosophies and approaches I encounter each day. The only thing I would do differently in terms of my career overseas is to do it sooner. My top tip If you have an inclination to work abroad, follow your gut instinct and make it happen. Most won’t regret the decision and even if it doesn’t work out, you can always move home having learned from the experience. You can read more about living and working overseas in Chartered Accountants Abroad, the publication from Accountancy Ireland for Chartered Accountants Ireland members abroad.

Aug 06, 2019
Governance, Risk and Legal

New guide aims to answer the question ‘Should we be doing things differently?’ A new guide published today offers a five-step approach for Irish organisations which are keen to assess and improve their organisational culture. The free guide, published by Chartered Accountants Ireland, encourages decision-makers to assess the culture within their organisation and to consider if they need to do things differently to achieve success. Concise Guide for Directors: A Five-Step Approach to Considering Organisational Culture was launched today in Dublin and is based on research into existing guidance and thought leadership, in addition to focus groups and interviews with business leaders from across the island of Ireland. Speaking at the Championing Organisational Culture - Practical Insights event in Dublin, Chartered Accountants Ireland President Conall O’Halloran said: “Digitalisation, artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, blockchain and cryptocurrencies are just some of the influences that are challenging business leaders and making them consider whether they need to change their organisational culture.” “Recently we’ve seen developments which show how seriously organisations are engaging with culture, for example the establishment of the Irish Banking Culture Board earlier this year. This guide is a practical tool which equips directors to address their organisation’s culture in an effective way. It provides those involved in governance with clarity and direction when it comes to organisational culture and helping to make transformational change.” The guide is one of the first resources to be made available on Chartered Accountants Ireland’s new online Governance Resource Centre. The development is seen as recognition of the importance which organisations, both locally and globally, are placing on the issue of governance. Níall Fitzgerald, Head of Ethics and Governance, Chartered Accountants Ireland said: “An organisation’s culture is a critical component of its success. There is an increasing awareness of it in the context of corporate governance.” “Good governance, along with the systems and practices which underpin it, has become a key consideration for all types of organisation as it impacts on their reputation, culture, efficiency and financial sustainability. Our new Governance Resource Centre recognises this importance and will provide a range of helpful, free resources for those involved in, or advising, boards.” Concise Guide for Directors: A Five-Step Approach to Considering Organisational Culture is available for download at www.charteredaccountants.ie/governance ENDS Notes to editors For reference: Claire Percy, Chartered Accountants Ireland, 086 216 4393 claire.percy@charteredaccountants.ie 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 27,000 members around the world. 

Sep 19, 2019
Press release

Chartered Accountants Ireland (the Institute) has announced a new partnership with leading enterprise Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software firm UiPath, making the Institute the first professional accountancy body in the world to begin formal training and official examination of students in this area and equipping them for practical application to business. Pictured: Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure & Reform, Paschal Donohoe, TD with student Sarah Ryan of EisnerAmper and Supreeth Mohan of HLB Ryan. Back row (l-e): John Munnelly, Chartered Accountants Ireland; Ian Browne, Chartered Accountants Ireland; Conall O’Halloran President of Chartered Accountants Ireland; Eugene Hillery of Tableau and Michael Ellis of UiPath From the end of September 2019, more than 1,300 students per year will begin to study and develop practical skills in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Data preparation and Data analytics, Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies as part of a shake-up of the Institute’s education programme for final year students. The development was welcomed by Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure & Reform, Paschal Donohoe, TD, who said, “Ireland has the potential to be a global leader and location for innovation in financial and technology services. I welcome the collaboration between Chartered Accountants Ireland and UiPath, Tableau and Alteryx to meet the evolving needs of Ireland’s financial services sector. This programme will ensure that as technology shapes the sector over time, Ireland will continue to have a talent pool of people skilled and available to business and industry.” The move will create a new pipeline of highly skilled graduates ready to fill sought-after roles in industry and private practice, many of which did not exist five years ago as firms ramp up their own investment in new technologies to service client work with greater efficiency, accuracy and insight. The move also follows consultation by the Institute with both member firms and students which revealed a demand for new training in what has emerged as significant growth areas alongside more traditional work such as audit – and an appetite among students to formalise their training in these areas in a practical way, future-proofing their employment prospects. Currently, some 70% of the Institute’s graduates already work in industry as in-house advisors to some of the country’s largest technology, finance, aviation and energy companies. Employees skilled in new technologies are now in high demand. Using data analytics to prepare accounts and present information in a more meaningful way, learning to deploy software robots that can tackle and streamline routine tasks, and being able to advise clients on cryptocurrency transactions and investments are among the skills that will be taught and examined, reflecting the change already happening on the ground in the business models of firms in industry and practice. Commenting on one of the biggest evolutions of the Institute’s final-year syllabus in recent years, Institute President Conall O’Halloran said: “Chartered Accountants Ireland is proud to be the first professional accountancy body worldwide to design and implement a RPA syllabus specifically for accountancy students. The role of accountants is changing, and businesses are embracing new technologies faster than ever. It’s vital that our students and future members are equipped to support businesses now and, in the years, to come. “This time next year, our final year students will be in a variety of jobs and training roles where they can hit the ground running with newly acquired skills that are still not widely taught. They are now on the path to becoming future business leaders for the post-digital era. I’m confident that’s what this partnership will deliver – for our students, members and Ireland’s wider financial services industry.” Ian Browne, Head of Assessment & Syllabus, Chartered Accountants Ireland, said: “We have created an entire new blueprint for the delivery of accountancy training in emerging technologies, and trademarked our assessment frameworks as part of the process. This change will equip a new generation of accountants with better tools to do their job and add value to businesses, employers and clients right away. Larger firms and organisations already moving in this direction will be able to recognise their own business models in the Institute’s new syllabus and training programme. “It’s also really exciting when you consider the possibilities for small and medium-sized companies. This has the potential to democratise access to emerging technologies for a broader cross-section of companies over time, as more and more students graduate and enter the workforce with a range of organisations. It’s a genesis moment, and we’re looking forward to getting started and staying ahead.”  The collaboration also represents an important milestone for UiPath, whose Sales Director UK and Ireland Michael Ellis commented: “We are delighted to have Chartered Accountants Ireland mark a first for the global finance industry and join our Automation Ready Workforce programme. A lot of attention and resources within UiPath are directed towards office workers upskilling and reskilling while automation and AI are reshaping the workplace. It is part of our mission to embrace these changes responsibly, supporting every professional to be ‘automation ready’ and desirable for competitive employers. Our software robots have been assisting the accounting industry for several years already, improving efficiency, reducing costs and errors, and boosting employees’ morale.” Among the global firsts and innovations for the Institute are: Chartered Accountants Ireland is the first professional accountancy body to collaborate with Alteryx and Tableau, global leaders in data preparation and visualisation to develop a course specifically tailored for accountancy students. It is also the first professional accountancy body to develop its own in-depth syllabus in the emerging technologies of blockchain and cryptocurrency. Within the programme are also two entirely new leadership models, the Crypto Assessment Framework™ and the concept of the Collective Intelligent Accountancy™. Chartered Accountants Ireland has over 27,000 members, two-thirds of whom work in industry in Ireland and overseas. This is one of a number of initiatives intended to future-proof the profession and prepare the next generation of Chartered Accountants for the world of work in the post-digital age. In addition, a pilot e-assessment scheme is being trialled for first year students, where students will be able to sit Institute exams outside examination halls for the first time. ENDS For Reference: Karen Jones, Gibney Communications, 01 661 0402 / 086 866 4501

Sep 17, 2019