Accountancy Ireland, 50 years on

Aug 01, 2019
Accountancy Ireland started out as a replacement for the members’ and students’ bulletins. 50 years on, it is one of the most valued member services provided by the Institute.

By Stephen Tormey & Liz Riley


In June 1969 – the same month that General Franco closed Spain’s frontier with Gibraltar, Georges Pompidou was sworn in as President of France, and Joe Frazier knocked out Jerry Quarry in round eight to win the heavyweight boxing title – the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland published the first issue of Accountancy Ireland. In an understated ‘Word of Introduction’ on page 10, the magazine’s founding editor Ben Lynch described the magazine’s objective as being a “communications link” between the Institute and its members and students. 50 years and three editors later, the magazine remains faithful to its founding principle.

Constancy amid change

In the intervening years, Accountancy Ireland has helped the profession navigate a business and economic landscape that has changed utterly. From Ireland’s accession to the European Economic Community to dealing with the fallout from the financial crisis, our members – in sharing their insights and expertise through Accountancy Ireland – have supported and informed each other through one evolution after another.
In this anniversary issue, we look back on some of the seismic events that have challenged the profession over the past five decades. Some are technical in nature while others are social and geopolitical, but the most striking thing about leafing through old issues is the realisation that, despite the changes brought about by technology, Chartered Accountants have been consistently driven by the same core value of integrity – which to this day remains one of the Institute’s five core values as outlined in Strategy 2020.

“It is your journal”

The pages that follow will take readers down memory lane with, we hope, a sense of nostalgia and enjoyment. And while looking back is always a useful exercise, it is incumbent on the editorial team to remain focused on the future. The information needs of the profession will continue to evolve, and we will endeavour to meet those needs as admirably as our predecessors did, but we will also consider how to share information in a way that is accessible, convenient and in keeping with modern news consumption as both trends and technologies change.

While we can of course benchmark ourselves against similar publications and other international publications to which we aspire, our best source of guidance are the members we serve. Over the years, your input has driven many innovations within Accountancy Ireland – not least the launch of our podcast, which is now listened to around the world, and an increasingly tailored suite of publications that includes Briefly, Vision and Chartered Accountants Abroad.

As we look to the next 50 years, your views and suggestions will help us shape our strategy and deliver information and insight in a way that meets your needs. To that end, please share your thoughts with us at editor@accountancyireland.ie – and criticism will be equally welcome, if not more so. As Mr Lynch quoted in 1969, “It is your journal. Contribute to it if you are able, praise it if it serves you well and criticise it if you must. By these actions you can help to make the journal a live force in the progress of the profession.” His words are as valid today as they were 50 years ago.

You can see look into the past 50 years of Accountancy Ireland here.

Stephen Tormey is the Managing Editor at Accountancy Ireland.

Liz Riley is Deputy Editor at Accountancy Ireland.