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 Chairman is Richard Gillan.

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.

 

Financial Reporting

Chartered Accountants Ireland has warned its members not to be complacent about a Brexit political settlement that might not materialise before 29 March 2019.   In a joint statement, the Chairs of Chartered Accountants Ulster Society and the Chartered Accountants Ireland London Society said that there is no hard evidence that the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, which would avoid a hard Brexit, will be agreed on 15 January at Westminster.   Both societies are advising businesses to prepare for a no-deal Brexit and for the reintroduction tariffs and quotas on imports and exports between the UK and the EU from the end of March.   The Chartered Accountancy bodies also state that they have particular concerns regarding the readiness of the SME sector to deal with these challenges.   Niall Harkin, Chairman of Chartered Accountants Ulster Society said: “Generally, aside from the agribusiness sectors, it is not the amount of customs duties to be reintroduced that will pose problems for businesses in the UK and NI in particular.    “Rather it is the disruption which will be caused by customs checking at the borders with the EU and the increased administration that this will bring.  Furthermore, many businesses will encounter a new up-front VAT charge on imported goods which will impact on cash flow.”   Gerry Nicholas, Chairman of Chartered Accountants Ireland London Society said: “Chartered Accountants, as business leaders and financial planners and managers, will be at the forefront of dealing with any new trading obligations post Brexit.  We must ensure that businesses will meet any new legal requirements that emerge.   “We are recommending that as a minimum first step, cross-border trading businesses ensure that their business has applied for a UK EORI number required to continue to trade within the EU after 29 March.”   The UK government has released a Partnership pack which covers information on how to prepare for changes at the UK border in the event of a no deal Brexit.  The guide addresses future cross-border trading activity and highlights steps which can be taken to prepare for Brexit.  Chartered Accountants Ireland is publicising this guide.   Chartered Accountants Ireland has also prepared a written guide on how customs operate (and is designed particularly for traders who are dealing with customs for the first time) in conjunction with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and a free copy is available at www.charteredaccountants.ie.   In terms of financial services, there are definitive reports of firm’s relocating from the UK to Ireland. We would urge such firms to continue with contingency planning with customers and investors in mind.  Chartered Accountants Ireland is also engaging with the relevant regulatory bodies, the FRC and IAASA, to ensure continued cross-border recognition of its members’ qualification and auditing rights across the island of Ireland after Brexit.   UK businesses can apply for an EORI number online at https://www.gov.uk/eori. 

Jan 09, 2019

Ulster’s Chartered Accountants gave out some early Christmas presents this week and provided a boost to local children’s charities by presenting hundreds of toys to the Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul Family Appeal. Chartered Accountants Ulster Society also raised £8,500 for Autism NI. This total will be doubled to £17,000 by the event sponsor Barclays.   The toys and funds were collected at the Society’s Christmas Charity Lunch at the Europa Hotel in Belfast, attended by over 500 Chartered Accountants.   Niall Harkin, Chair of Chartered Accountants Ulster Society said: “Our Charity Lunch is a major event for local business and a great opportunity to make Christmas a bit more special for thousands of children and families across Northern Ireland.   “It’s really important that at this time of year we can put a bit of magic into Christmas for local kids. Chartered Accountants have raised money and donated toys which will make a big difference. We’re especially pleased that through the support of Barclays we have been able to make this a bumper year.”   John Mathers, Corporate Development Director of Barclays said: “Members of the Ulster Society are extremely generous in their donations of toys and money which will help to make a real difference for many families who are in a less fortunate position.  Barclays is pleased to be match-funding the amount raised for Autism NI, which does fantastic work throughout the year with families right across Northern Ireland.”   Pictured at the Charity Lunch with just a few of the toys collected are John Mathers, Corporate Development Director with event sponsors Barclays; Niall Harkin, Chairman Chartered Accountants Ulster Society; and Zara Duffy, Head of Chartered Accountants Northern Ireland.

Dec 13, 2018

The largest professional body of accountants in Northern Ireland has voiced concerns over the impact that Brexit may have on the Northern Ireland economy, and on the peace process.   In a ‘Brexit Pulse’ survey of 424 accountants run by Chartered Accountants Ulster Society, 62% said that they expect Brexit to have a negative effect on their business. 28% said that they don’t know if Brexit will be positive or negative for their business while 10% felt that Brexit would be positive for their business.   When asked if they felt that the Northern Ireland peace process would be compromised if a hard border is put in place on the island of Ireland, 70% said ‘Yes’, 23% said ‘No’ and 7% said ‘Don’t Know’.   The survey also found strong support for the EU’s proposed ‘backstop’ which would keep Northern Ireland aligned with EU single market rules. 78% said that it would benefit Northern Ireland business, 15% felt that it would not be beneficial, with 7% unsure either way.   A clear majority of the Chartered Accountants who responded to the survey felt that the voice of Northern Ireland’s business community was not being heard in the local debate about Brexit (82%). 14% felt that the voice of business had been represented in the debate, with 4% unsure either way.   The survey was taken right before Tuesday’s rumours of a potential agreement between the UK and EU, and those surveyed were asked about the likelihood of a deal being reached. Almost half (49%) felt that a deal was likely, 37% felt that a deal was unlikely, with 14% unsure either way.   Niall Harkin, Chairman of Chartered Accountants Ulster Society which represents over 4,600 Chartered Accountants in Northern Ireland, said: “Our members are sending a message that they feel Brexit will have a negative impact on Northern Ireland business.   “There is a strong feeling that the voice of the business community has not been heard in the local debate around Brexit. Overall the feeling from our members is one of uncertainty. There is some frustration that the democratic deficit at Stormont has been a significant impediment in representing the interests of Northern Ireland in the Brexit negotiations.   “The situation is moving quickly this week and it remains to be seen whether a deal between the EU and UK can be finalised and supported through all remaining hurdles. On balance our members feel that a deal can be done. If so we hope that we can move on quickly to a situation where businesses can have certainty on the future trading reality.”       Key findings in the survey include:   62% said that they expect Brexit to have a negative effect on their business. 28% said that they don’t know. 10% felt that Brexit would be positive for their business. 70% feel that the Northern Ireland peace process would be compromised if a hard border is put in place on the island of Ireland, 23% say that a hard border would not compromise the peace process. 78% said that the EU’s proposed backstop arrangement would benefit Northern Ireland business, 15% felt that it would not be beneficial. 82% feel that the voice of Northern Ireland’s business community was not being heard in the local debate about Brexit. 14% feel that the voice of business had been represented. 49% felt that a deal between the EU and UK was likely, 37% felt that a deal was unlikely. In terms of the breakdown of those surveyed, 41% work in business; 33% work in an accounting practice; 19% work in the Public Sector/ voluntary or not for profit sector; 7% in none of the above.

Nov 14, 2018