What we do

We identify, monitor and analyse relevant public policy trends, legislative proposals, relevant news, and developments on the island of Ireland which may have an impact on the accountancy profession.


How we do it

We inform the membership and profession by publishing research into relevant public policy topics. We also work closely with elected representatives and senior personnel of Government departments and State agencies and make representations to them on behalf of our members. In this way we inform the work of Ireland's decision makers and business leaders, and contribute to the public debate on a range of matters that affect the country and our membership.


Research areas


Latest news

Sustainability

  The March issue of the The Bottom Line, the Student Publication from Chartered Accountants Ireland, explores sustainability and personal responsibility. It takes a look into the future job market for accountants, including a strategic focus on climate change, and hear from a newly qualified Chartered Accountant who is excelling in the ESG arena. Read the March issue now.

Mar 01, 2021
Sustainability

The accountants of tomorrow are facing very different prospects than those of the past. Here is where the profession is likely to take you in the years after qualification. Lots of things are going to change when it comes to the future of work, but there are three areas, in particular, that are going to have an incredible impact on the careers of accountants over the coming decade. Automation Automation is here, and it’s a game-changer. Big 4 consulting teams in the areas of business process transformation are ramping up globally as companies, big and small, begin to heavily invest in automaton. In the not-too-distant future, it’s not going to be good enough to be able to just do the debits and credits. It’s going to become more about using the numbers to help the business make better decisions.  As a result, the accounting profession will be filtered into one of two routes: project/change management roles overseeing the implementation and development of automations and finance business partnering roles, as the numbers that come out the other end of the automations will still need to be interpreted and explained to the business. Sustainability Everyone knows that climate change is going to take centre stage once the pandemic subsides. It will likely become the number one strategic priority for most product-based businesses (and many service-based ones, too!). From redesigning supply chains to transforming from shareholder to stakeholder value orientations, companies will need finance professionals to play a key role in developing the financial models to achieve these new strategic priorities while ensuring the long-term viability of the businesses themselves. Accountants will play a key business partnering role in this evolution. Did someone say data?   Over the coming decade, accountants will be faced with the reality that it’s not just about financial numbers anymore – it’s about both financial and non-financial numerical data and how they interact and impact each other.  For the accountants of tomorrow, it is going to be about occupying this new space, where Excel ends and where Power BI, Tableau and other tools begin. It’s going to be about making sense of large data sets, gleaning information from them, using that information to derive insights and using those insights to inform strategic and tactical decisions. Data runs through sustainability and is wed to automation. The accountants that invest in their analytics skills and make it their business to get experience in some of the emerging tools will be the ones that end up having the greatest impact. If you’re going to qualify as an accountant in the coming years, then your future is going to look very different to that of the last generation. It will be more about business and less about accruals; more about how financial and non-financial numerical data interact and less about statutory reporting; more about soft skills and less about consolidations.  For some, this will be exciting. For others, it will be intimidating. But, for all, it’s a reality. And, for everyone, it’s an opportunity.   Ed Heffernan is the Managing Partner of Barden.

Mar 01, 2021
Sustainability

Niamh Dooley was once on the road to being an engineer and now is an audit professional in Deloitte’s financial services practice working with the advisory team on sustainability with a focus on climate accounting. She discusses how easy it is for someone’s path to change. Five years ago, where did you think you would be now? Have you lived up to your own expectations?  Five years ago, I was three years into my energy engineering degree and on work placement in GlaxoSmithKline with the expectation to work in a similar position once I got my degree. Needless to say, I chose a different route, but I’ve taken a lot of what I learned there into my current role.  What has been the biggest challenge of your career?  So far, the biggest challenge has been entering a new industry and changing my career path to accountancy and audit. With no business background, it definitely took a lot of hard work to bridge the knowledge gap between me and my peers, and get through such a volume of exams.  What do you wish you had known earlier in life?  It’s never too late to change your mind and your decisions at 17 are never for life, despite what you’re told.   Where do you see yourself this time next year?  I hope to be developing my role in advisory for sustainability and climate reporting, and bringing clients’ attention to the need to report on environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosures. The European Commission’s Green Deal and Action Plan has helped drive the need for more consistent reporting on ESG, with specific regulations like the EU Taxonomy and the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation. My aspiration is to use what I learned in my degree and, as a Chartered Accountant, to help clients create a sustainable business model and report on ESG information.  Who inspires you, personally and professionally?  Personally, my parents inspire me every day. Professionally, it’s my colleagues and mentors in Deloitte.  How has being a Chartered Accountant changed your life?  Being a Chartered Accountant has made me a more motivated individual and has created opportunities for me to build a career I truly enjoy while also making an impact on society. A career in an organisation like Deloitte has helped me build my technical and soft skills, and I can now use those skills in an advisory capacity to support clients.  If you weren’t a Chartered Accountant, what do you think you’d be doing?  Realistically, an engineer. Unrealistically, a professional pastry chef.   What advice do you have for those who will soon qualify as Chartered Accountants?  It can all seem daunting balancing work and exams but being qualified is a game-changer. Once you are a qualified accountant, it opens up a lot of doors to different opportunities whether that is to move into a different area or go work in industry. What's your favourite... Book: Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton Favourite meal: Pizza  Favourite quote: “Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.” Favourite hobby: Hiking or weightlifting (when the gyms are open!)

Mar 01, 2021