Brian McEnery, Managing Partner on the continuing strength of the Irish accountancy market

Brian McEnery, Managing Partner on the continuing strength of the Irish accountancy market

The Managing Partners of Ireland’s largest accountancy firms were asked to give their insights on their firms’ latest figures and performance. They were asked to comment, firstly, on their firm’s results, secondly to give a review of the Irish Accountancy Market over the past twelve months and finally to provide their outlook for Ireland’s Accountancy Market over the coming 12 to 18 months.

Brian McEnery, Managing Partner, BDO Ireland: 

We are very pleased with our latest set of results which highlights the growth at BDO Ireland across all service areas; audit, tax, advisory and consulting. This year our success was further complimented by the move into our new Dublin HQ at the iconic Miesian Plaza complex in Dublin, one of the greenest office spaces in the world with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum (version 4) status.

This move allows us to expand both our service offerings and take care of our people with new additions such as our onsite gym and complimentary barista.

Our increased growth is also aligned to our firm strategy for example, in areas such as our key technology partnerships and our continued focus on client service and quality.

Growth of our business in 2022 was strong and as most businesses adapted to a world of work post-pandemic, we partnered with our clients to support their changing needs and to the challenges presented by the conflict in Ukraine and the concerns related to the rise in the cost-of-living.

Throughout the year we saw growth in a number of key service areas including cybersecurity, as clients continued to recognise the need to protect their businesses and their technology supply chains from the risk of cyber-attack.

Our healthcare team were also working directly with the NHI during the year to present our annual NHI Nursing Homes report highlighting the challenges for the industry in the years ahead, with the viability of many, particularly smaller homes becoming increasingly threatened and closure inevitable.

The regulatory environment continues to increase the demands on Irish businesses and our Risk Advisory and Compliance services were very busy supporting our clients with these challenges.

Restructuring and deleverage continues in the Irish market – with rising costs and interest rates during 2022 impacting many businesses. Overall, we see a continued need for some restructuring, but the current economy remains buoyant, unemployment is low, and corporate and personal savings are in a good place as they were built up during Covid.

The launch of our inaugural BDO and IBEC SME Sentiment Index survey in 2022 also presented some insights into the day-to-day challenges facing SMEs including demands for salary increases, inflation pressures impacting on margins, and access to skills.

As we look ahead to the coming 12 months, we remain cautiously optimistic of the continued demand for all our services in 2023.

The environmental, social and governance (ESG) agenda will be a key area of growth for the firm over the coming years. Whether this is an audit or an assurance service, there is a big role for accountancy firms in terms of measurement and management. ESG is relevant to everything that we do, from audit to tax with special significance for advisory. If you’re working with a company that will be looking to sell, they will need to ensure they have the right credentials in order to secure banking finance for the deal. This year we have strengthened our Debt Advisory team to provide advice and support to businesses on their debt funding requirements.

The audit profession also needs to continuously evolve. BDO has invested heavily in ongoing training of partners on ISQM 1, a new audit quality management standard, to ensure quality control and risk assessment on all client assignments.

Additionally, we are planning to expand our service offering geographically to build on our current presence in Dublin, Limerick and to increase the services provided in our Cork Office.

Content adapted from Finance Dublin Accountancy Survey 2023.

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