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Triumphs of Irish accountancy industry honoured at 2023 award ceremony in an unprecedented year of resilience and innovation

The Irish Accountancy Awards gathered together the €13bn industry’s finest minds and practices for a night of networking and recognition

Professor Patricia Barker’s lifetime in accountancy was recognised with the outstanding contribution to accountancy award at the 2023 Irish Accountancy Awards. Geraldine Ruane was recipient of the global achievement in accountancy award, while RSM Ireland won the grand prix award for practice of the year.

Barker qualified 50 years ago and became only the 20th woman to become a chartered accountant in Ireland. She says: “Our profession opened up to women in 1918, and it’s encouraging to see women now making up 50 per cent of our numbers. It’s so important for women to act as mentors to other women entering the profession.”

The winners were announced during a live awards ceremony held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Santry, Dublin, on 25 May 2023 and hosted by comedian and author Colm O’Regan. Now in their eighth year, the Irish Accountancy Awards 2023 celebrated an inspiring array of projects and collaborations, vying for 22 coveted trophies.

The Irish Times, communications partner to the awards, was joined by professional partners Chartered Accountants Ireland and The Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland; title sponsor Sage; platinum sponsor Xero; and gold sponsors Permanent TSB, Axon Outsourcing, Circit, InvoiceFair, and Iplicit Ireland. Amárach Research also supported the 2023 awards.


Finalists represented at the ceremony included HSOC Chartered Accountants, whose tax partner, Simone Hennessy, said: “Being shortlisted for the payroll department of the year was an honour in itself, showcasing our team’s commitment to excellence and industry recognition. Although we didn’t win, we remain proud of our accomplishments and will continue to excel in our field.”

Grant Picknell, vice-president, accountants, of event sponsor Sage, said: “Sage is proud to be the title sponsor for the awards again in 2023, showcasing our support and commitment to the industry. These awards are so important to celebrate the achievements of accountants and book-keepers in Ireland.”

Adrian Murphy, director global internal controls with another finalist, FMC Agro Ireland, said: “We’re thrilled to have been nominated for the graduate programme of the year. The nomination gives a huge boost to our graduates and all our staff. We are immensely proud of the recognition of our programme and acknowledgment of the training and development opportunities afforded to our graduates.”

Another sponsor was Permanent TSB, which said it was delighted to sponsor the awards again this year. “The quality of the nominations was incredibly impressive, and it is a great opportunity for us to celebrate the outstanding work being completed by the firms that have been recognised during this year’s awards cycle.’’

Joining the finalists was DBASS Chartered Accountants, whose partner Michael Byrne said: “Awards that recognise innovation and excellence in our industry are important to encourage new entrants, and to motivate those already making a difference in our profession. Being a finalist for employer of the year was a great way to celebrate our 35-year anniversary.”

Around Finance also made the shortlist. Owner and partner Richie Lennon said: “Empowering business leaders with financial insights is our core mission as accountants. The digital era, with its online software and AI advancements, strengthens our ability to provide invaluable perspectives for informed decision-making.”

Another finalist was Intax, whose chief executive Irfan Hameed said: “Intax has seen rapid growth in the past 18 months. We assist expats including doctors, IT professionals and foreign investors to set up businesses in Ireland, Intax is a one-stop shop for expats for tax and compliance in Ireland. It’s a badge of honour for us to be shortlisted for the small practice of the year award and delighted for the motivation it gave to our staff and clients.”

Among the other winners was Uisce Éireann’s chief financial officer Chris McCarthy, who said he was truly honoured to receive his finance director of the year award. “My success is attributable to my excellent team. It is such a privilege to work in a dynamic and progressive organisation such as Uisce Éireann investing in future-proofing our network and enabling communities to thrive.”

Another winner was Saffery Champness Ireland. Partner Sinead McHugh said: “We were thrilled to have won the client service award. We’re always looking for ways to improve and to tailor our output to our clients’ needs. Our film and TV clients in particular, many of whom are based overseas, really value our personal approach and the flexibility it brings.”

They were joined on the top step of the podium by Deloitte Ireland, whose chief people officer, Sinead Gogan, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded graduate training programme of the year by the Irish Accountancy Awards. This is a fantastic recognition of our learning culture. Thank you to everyone across our organisation who contributes to mentoring and training of our early career professionals.”

Another victor was EY. Ciara McKenna, the firm’s FS insurance partner, said: “In this highly competitive market, we were delighted to see the Irish Accountancy Awards shining a spotlight on the achievements of Ross and Amy, two of our graduates. The awards are a fantastic opportunity to showcase the individual strengths of our team members, who will undoubtedly be our future business leaders, and to motivate them and others.”

Speaking at the awards, Kevin O’Driscoll, director partnership programmes, Business river, said: “Events like this are made possible through the support of sponsors. We are thankful to our 2023 sponsors and professional partners, which include The Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland, Chartered Accountants Ireland, Sage, Xero, Axon Outsourcing, Circit, Permanent TSB, InvoiceFair and Iplicit Ireland. Their investment in the awards underlines their commitment and support of this key business area.”

The awards were judged by a distinguished panel of experts drawn from all areas of the sector.

Full list of judges:

· John Gaynor (judging co-ordinator), senior lecturer, Atlantic Technological University (ATU)

· Peter Brophy, managing director, Floirin Corporate Finance

· Joseph Coughlan, professor of accounting and head of school of business, Maynooth University

· Evelyn Cregan, company secretary, The Institute of Bankers in Ireland (IOB)

· Pauline Haughey, project manager, Queen’s University Belfast

· Fran Kehoe, associate director, KPMG

· Damien Malone, managing partner, Malone and Co.

· Fiona Malone, head of school accounting, economics and finance, Technological University (TU) Dublin

· Aisling McDevitt, director, PGIM Ireland

· Dr. Caroline McGroary, chartered accountant, Fulbright scholar and research fellow at Boston College, lecturer in accounting, DCU

· Christine Nangle, head of discipline of accounting, TU Dublin

· Angela O’Leary, managing partner, AG Associates Accountants

· Seán O’Reilly, assistant professor in accountancy, University College Dublin

· Denis O’Sullivan, group financial and treasury controller, Keywords Studios plc

· Ronnie Patton, deputy president, ACCA

· Sean Quigley, self-employed chartered accountant

· Olivia Smith, freelance finance business partner

Full list of winners:

Outstanding contribution to accountancy

Sponsored by Chartered Accountants Ireland

Prof. Patricia Barker, Dip. Couns., MPhil, PhD, FCA

Graduate training programme of the year

Sponsored by Chartered Accountants Ireland

Deloitte Ireland

Best use of technology in accountancy and finance

Sponsored by Sage


Part-qualified accountant of the year

Ross Phillips, EY Ireland

Excellence in education and training

PAT Business School

Client service award

Saffery Champness Ireland

Bookkeeping team of the year

Fitzgerald Power

Payroll team of the year

Paycheck Plus

Employer of the year

Sponsored by Iplicit Ireland


Tax team of the year

Azets Ireland

CSR initiative of the year

EY Ireland

Finance team of the year

Sponsored by Iplicit Ireland

Lidl Ireland GmbH/Lidl Northern Ireland

Finance director of the year

Sponsored by InvoiceFair

Chris McCarthy, Uisce Éireann

Advisory team of the year


Advisory team of the year – SME finance

Sponsored by Permanent TSB

Cantwell Corporate Finance

Accountant of the year

Sponsored by Sage

Sinead Doherty, Fenero

Online practice of the year

Sponsored by Xero

Fintech PRO

Small practice of the year

Sponsored by Xero

Moran McNamara

Medium practice of the year

Sponsored by Axon Outsourcing Limited

Whelan Dowling and Associates

Large practice of the year

Sponsored by Circit

RSM Ireland

Global achievement in accountancy

Sponsored by The Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland

Geraldine Ruane

Practice of the Year

Sponsored by Sage

RSM Ireland