Chief Executive's Comment - June 2019

Jun 03, 2019
Welcome to the June edition of Accountancy Ireland.

This edition focuses on the evolution of the accountant. It will examine the potential impact of digital technologies, the changing needs of business and the latest thinking from industry experts on what it all might mean for the accounting profession. As the largest professional body of accountants on the island of Ireland, it is vital that we look ahead to meet those challenges and to lead the profession.

Brexit delay

The 29 March Brexit deadline came and went. Following a nine-hour summit of the heads of state of the EU, Brexit has been delayed until 31 October. It seemed that the UK Prime Minister had hoped to get a three-month extension and the result is shorter than the 12 months preferred by some EU leaders. The deadline can still be shortened if the UK Parliament passes a Brexit deal. 

The EU did send one clear message from the summit – the withdrawal agreement is not up for renegotiation. The UK Parliament must now agree on a way forward. In the meantime, Brexit updates and commentary are available via


The Institute’s Influence leadership conference took place at Lyrath Estate, Kilkenny on 10 May.

The issues tackled at the event have informed the content of this edition. For example, how Artificial Intelligence will shape the future of the profession, creating new roles and empowering existing ones.

We are delighted that Influence managed to bring international work transformation experts together to discuss the impact of disruptive technologies – and how best they can be harnessed. I trust that our delegates found the event both thought-provoking and inspiring. 

New members

We’re always pleased to bring through a new group of members ready to make a terrific impact with our member firms in industry and the public sector. Over the last couple of months, we’ve welcomed 301 new members to the Institute at conferring events in Belfast, Cork and Dublin.

All of them can be rightly proud of their achievement, but there is one new member who deserves a special mention. Rachael Bell of KPMG became the first recipient of the prestigious Chartered Accountants Ireland Gold Medal in 19 years for her exemplary performance in her final exams. Rachael becomes only the 24th recipient of the Gold Medal since 1924.

Well done to you all, and to all those who helped, mentored and encouraged those new members every step of the way.

Societies and AGMs

I’d like to offer my congratulations to the new Chair of the Ulster Society, Richard Gillan, elected at the society’s AGM in April, and also to his predecessor, Niall Harkin, for a very successful year in office. 

Congratulations also to the Leinster Society on its 90th anniversary. It was celebrated in some style in the Conrad Hotel in April. The centenary celebrations in 2029 will have a lot to live up to.

Finally, the Institute’s AGM took place on 17 May, with Conall O’Halloran elected as President. I wish Conall every success in his year in office and on behalf of members I’d like to thank Feargal McCormack for an exceptional year as President.

Barry Dempsey
Chief Executive