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.


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
Press release

Ulster’s Chartered Accountants and Barclays have come together to raise a significant sum for local charity Autism NI. Chartered Accountants Ulster Society raised £8,500 for Autism NI at its Charity Lunch. This total was doubled to £17,000 by the event sponsor Barclays.   The charity event also raised over £7,000 worth of toys for the Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul.   Niall Harkin, Chairman of Chartered Accountants Ulster Society said: “The Charity Lunch is a tremendous opportunity for the local business community to come together and help to make a difference for local charities. This year we had a record attendance of over 500 people and so we’re delighted to have raised this amount for Autism NI which is helping so many families across Northern Ireland.   John Mathers, Corporate Development Director of Barclays said: “Barclays is delighted to, once again, sponsor the Ulster Society Charity lunch. Ulster Society members are extremely generous in their donations of toys and money, helping to make a real difference. We know that the funds raised will help Autism NI to provide its excellent family helpline service.”   Kerry Boyd, Chief Executive of Autism NI said: “This is a fantastic amount of money that the Ulster’s Chartered Accountants and Barclays have raised and will make a huge difference as the need for autism support services in Northern Ireland is greater than ever.   “This money will be specially used for Autism NI’s Helpline service which is invaluable to local families, autistic individuals and professionals; receiving over 4,000 calls annually. Events like this are vital to the work the charity carries out and helps provide life-changing services and support to the 30,000 families living with the daily challenges of autism in Northern Ireland.”   Pictured at the cheque presentation in Belfast are Zara Duffy, Chartered Accountants Ireland; John Mathers, Barclays; Niall Harkin, Chartered Accountants Ulster Society; and Kerry Boyd, Autism NI.

Jan 10, 2019
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