About the Ulster Society

Chartered Accountants Ulster Society is the oldest district society of the Institute and serves around 4,600 members throughout Northern Ireland. The Chair is Maeve Hunt.

The Ulster Society provides professional, educational and social services and events for its members (in practice, in business, in the public sector and charity/ voluntary sector) and is a strong voice for Northern Ireland's business sector. The Society also actively fosters relationships with other accountancy, professional organisations and government bodies.


The Chairman of Chartered Accountants Ulster Society has warned that Northern Ireland will be the in the ‘eye of the storm’ if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29th March.   Speaking to 350 guests at the Ulster Society’s Annual Dinner, sponsored by MCS Group and Danske Bank, tonight (7th March), Niall Harkin said: “It is difficult to believe that with just 22 days to go, we are still without an agreement which means facing a hard Brexit and a hard border on the island of Ireland. “Our members feel that if the UK crashes out without a deal, Northern Ireland will be in the eye of the storm. In the Brexit debate it seems that too little thought has been given to what business and industry need if we are to create jobs, grow our economy and ensure the future prosperity for all in Northern Ireland.”   Niall Harkin discussed some of the findings of the latest Chartered Accountants Ireland Brexit survey of over 300 business leaders in Northern Ireland. The key findings were:   Over half of local Chartered Accountants said that their business had ‘very little’ or ‘no plans’ in place for Brexit. Only 11% said that they are ready for Brexit.   60% of feel that Brexit will have a negative impact for their business. Only 8% feel it will have any sort of positive effect for their business or organisation.   Almost 70% of Chartered Accountants do not feel a Brexit deal will be agreed by 29th March.   Mr Harkin said: “There is still significant uncertainty and a lack of clarity about what Brexit will mean for Northern Ireland business.   “The biggest concerns which our members have are around customs administration, customs duties and supply chain distribution. I believe that those concerns should not be ignored.    “Brexit was, and is, too big an issue not to have strong input from a local, devolved Government. It is now over two years since we had a functioning Executive and Assembly.   “As it stands today Northern Ireland has no Programme for Government, we have no plan for Brexit and we have no shared vision for Northern Ireland. Every day of delay is a further step backwards.   “We want the institutions restored, built on trust and a shared vision for the future. We need our politicians to compromise and to work on the many things where they can find common ground such as our health service, education, the economy, inward investment and an investment programme in our ailing infrastructure.   “There are a lot of reasons why Northern Ireland is a great place to work and to live. We have often spoken about the remarkable resilience that Northern Ireland has shown over the years. Wouldn’t it be great if we moved past needing to be resilient and into an era where we really flourished – where we didn’t just have to get by, but we truly thrived?”   Mr Harkin also called for business and wider society not to turn away from politics: “It’s not all down to the politicians. We all have a role to play. We still believe in the potential that peace created and we cannot afford to turn away. I’m asking that each of us use whatever influence we have to get our political institutions working again. Northern Ireland business has a lot to offer and with the right support we could achieve so much more.”   Also addressing guests at the Ulster Society Annual Dinner was Dr Janet Gray MBE, World Disabled Water-Ski Champion and former Northern Ireland Sportsperson of the Year.   The Chartered Accountants Ulster Society’s Annual Dinner took place at Titanic Belfast and was attended by 350 members and their business guests.

Mar 08, 2019

Slides from today's seminar  'Brexit, Resilience & Business Continuity in Uncertain Times' are available to download from the link below: Brexit Preparedness (Northern Ireland) - David West, Business Continuity Institute To download a copy of BCI's 'Good Practice Guidelines (Lite)' referenced in David's presentation please visit: https://www.thebci.org/training-qualifications/gpg-lite-2018.html 

Feb 22, 2019

The professional body for Chartered Accountants in Northern Ireland has announced a renewed partnership with Danske Bank. The partnership will see Danske Bank supporting a series of Chartered Accountants Ulster Society’s key events during the year, including its premier event, the Annual Dinner in March. The partnership will also see Danske Bank continue its sponsorship of the Ulster Society’s overseas Annual Conference, taking place in Madrid later this year. Danske Bank support for this event stretches back to 2001, covering sixteen conferences in cities such as New York, Lisbon, Chicago, Munich, Toronto, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Boston and Amsterdam.   The Ulster Society is a district society of Chartered Accountants Ireland, the largest professional body of accountants on the island of Ireland. It currently represents 4,600 members across Northern Ireland. Danske Bank is the largest of Northern Ireland’s local banks, with 42 branches and around 1,400 staff. The new agreement will see the two organisations partnering over the next two years. Zara Duffy, Head of Chartered Accountants Northern Ireland said: “Danske Bank is a key partner for Chartered Accountants Ulster Society, and we are delighted to extend that relationship. “Danske Bank brings a great deal of experience and insight which our members greatly appreciate, whether they work in practice, in industry or the voluntary sector. This partnership has allowed us to improve the profile and member experience at some of our most prestigious events and to draw on the expertise of key personnel at a challenging time for the local business sector.” Shaun McAnee, Managing Director of Corporate & Business Banking at Danske Bank added: “We are proud of our longstanding relationship with Chartered Accountants Ulster Society, and it is more relevant than ever. “We are seeing evidence of disruption in every sector of the economy, including financial services, and are preparing for a post-Brexit world.  By combining the expertise within Danske with that of our accountancy colleagues, together we can help to ensure NI businesses rise to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, and help drive the Northern Ireland economy forward.” Pictured at the launch of the partnership are Niall Harkin, Chairman, Chartered Accountants Ulster Society; Zara Duffy, Head of Chartered Accountants Northern Ireland; and Shaun McAnee, Managing Director of Corporate & Business Banking at Danske Bank.

Feb 13, 2019