Ireland’s Top Accountants – Business Plus Report

Mark Kennedy, Managing Partner talks about Mazars Ireland.

Fee income in the year to end August 2018 advanced 11.2% to €33.7m. The firm’s staff complement in Ireland is 27 partners and 450 people. The Mazars’ global network extends to 40,000 professionals and over 1,000 partners.

ACTIVITY

In 2018 we announced the expansion of our regional offices in Limerick and Galway, with the establishment of new payroll and accounting outsourcing units.

There was growth across all services and we expect all areas to continue growing in 2019. We’ve also experienced increased demands for specialised services in areas such as cybersecurity, corporate finance and gender pay gap audit and reporting services.

2018 provided us with considerable opportunities arising from the rotation of audit mandates consequent to the European Audit Reform, increasing our client base in the public interest entities segment, both as auditors or in the provision of other services.

CLIENTS

Brexit ambiguity, talent war, along with other economic and regulatory considerations, are the main challenges for our growth-focused clients. Businesses that actively engage in contingency planning to assess the possible impacts and opportunities of Brexit will outperform the competition.

Our integrated international partnership model has been a significant advantage for clients.

While we are focused on serving the large corporate sector, many of our clients are small and mid-sized domestic businesses.

The Mazars Optimize programme has been developed to support business owners and managers, and to sharpen their focus on the long-term business agenda.

SUSTAINABILITY

The concept of sustainability is no longer seen as a ‘nice to have’ but is integral to business operations and success. Business owners and managers understand that sustainable practices will enhance their businesses. Staff, particularly the millennials and Generation Z cohort, will only work with firms that are serious about sustainability. Investors are rewarding companies whose environmental, social and governance qualifications are developed and proactive.

As the demand for sustainability grows from different perspectives, there is an increased demand for transparency in sustainability reporting. However, without a global unified agreement, there are substantial differences in how countries are developing frameworks of legislation.

BREXIT

From the perspective of the profession, the UK has always been heavily involved in setting industry standards, whether accounting or audit, regulation and education. Like any service sector in the current environment, there is potential uncertainty regarding the recognition of qualifications. There may also be issues in relation to data protection. Many financial services companies and legal firms have already relocated to Ireland or announced new jobs in Ireland, as a direct result of Brexit. This trend is expected to continue in the IT, life sciences and higher education sectors.

Irish businesses, including the accountancy profession, are in a unique position due to Ireland’s political alignment with the EU and economic alignment with and proximity to the UK, to maintain and enhance trading relationships with both jurisdictions.

As an EU member, Irish businesses have an opportunity to rank amongst the most competitive in Europe, resulting in an increased demand for accountancy and other professional services.

This first appeared in Business Plus magazine in March 2019.

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