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Our People

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Employees

Our People are our Greatest Strength.

Meet our highly competent and effective team. Working for our client’s success. Always.

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Our People:

Gary Digney

Director |FCA, PG, DIP, PIP |g.digney@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

As a Director within PKF-FPM, Licenced Insolvency Practitioner, Chartered Accountant and mediator with 14 years’ experience working with lenders, as well as individuals and companies in financial distress, I lead our Irish Restructuring and Recovery Team and deliver debt solutions.

With experience in all types of insolvency procedures, I believe that many more businesses and individual’s assets could be saved by the combination of creative analysis and negotiation skills, alongside the use of informal and formal insolvency procedures where appropriate.

Securing a number of significant landmark deals for my clients, which have been called ‘game changers in debt resolution’ by experts, we are able to offer a lifeline to clients who are asset rich but cash poor and in danger of losing their livelihood and homes. By devising an achievable, ethical, regulated and creative turnaround programme via both informal and formal insolvency procedures, we deliver a way forward which is in the interest of both client and lenders.

Resolving all forms of debt in UK and Ireland including residual debts due on mortgages and vulture fund debt, our team have been successful in achieving debt write offs in the millions.

What interests do you have outside of work?

I sit on the Board of Newry Chamber of Commerce.

Outside of my professional career, I am a husband, father of four and manage the underage teams in my local GAA club saval.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

“The most important thing to do, if you find yourself in a hole, is to stop digging.” This advice is particularly apt for those who find themselves in financial difficulty. The earlier you seek the right financial advice, the better the chances of constructing a plan to ensure business survival.

What drives you?

Making a real difference to my client’s lives and delivering the best solution for the client’s needs, that enables them to sleep at night and get back to living.

Teresa Campbell

Director |FCA, BSc |t.campbell@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

No day is ever the same for me in PKF-FPM. As Audit and Assurance Director, I am responsible for leading a team who continually drive and enhance our service, designed to provide independent assurance on the facts and figures, but also add value of best practice and system efficiencies to help clients build a better business.

With 19 years supporting businesses of all sizes and sectors, my aim is to help clients shape their strategy and achieve their desired future direction, supporting them to prosper and grow. I also regularly lead Public Sector engagements which could range from Economic Appraisals to Governance Reviews and Project Evaluations, providing Government bodies the assurance expected of them that public money is being spent how it should be and achieving maximum impact.

At PKF-FPM we have been successful in building an exceptionally talented team. In my role as People & Culture Director it gives me great pleasure to help shape the culture of PKF-FPM, creating an environment which empowers people to discover their full potential and develop into, not just great accountants, but exceptional business advisors.

What interests do you have outside of work?

I enjoy being proactive in my local community and have a particular interest in education.

I am a member of the Governing Body of Southern Regional College and St Catherine’s College Armagh and am inspired by the outstanding work and commitment of the governors, teachers and parents in the vital role they play in shaping the future for our schools and pupils.

As a member of St Vincent De Paul, I also enjoy volunteering with the local conference and being part of their shops committee. With a busy work schedule, it is humbling to witness the fantastic work so many volunteers give to our local community.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

It’s very simple.  The only way to do great work, is to love what you do, everyday!

What drives you?

What continues to drive me is being surrounded by an incredibly talented team who live and breathe our core values every single day! I count it a privilege to work on a platform which allows me the opportunity to engage with staff at all levels, from new recruits to Senior Managers – to coach and empower ‘Team PKF-FPM’ to be the best they can be, so in turn they provide ‘best in class’ client solutions.

Paddy Harty

Director |FCA, B Comm |p.harty@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

Having worked in the accountancy industry for over 30 years, I continually strive to solve complex tax issues and help shape the future of our clients by protecting their wealth. Tax is constantly changing and becoming more and more complex, making for an interesting space to work in. Over the years, I have seen time and time again, the difference regular engagement with tax specialists makes to the success of a business, in terms of understanding the business and personal tax implications of corporate decisions.

Tax savings can only be achieved if an appropriate course of action is planned in advance, so I take a proactive approach to helping my clients structure their financial affairs in the most tax efficient manner possible. It’s important in my role to quickly understand a client’s tax needs. By listening carefully and getting to the core of what is required, our award-winning tax team are able to deliver Irish and UK tax solutions, often where other advisors cannot.

I work with a varied portfolio of corporate and personal clients on tax structuring, usually encompassing complex UK, UK/Ireland or international taxation issues. I also provide advice on capital taxes including Capital Gains Tax, Inheritance Tax and Capital Acquisition Tax in both the UK and Ireland.

What interests do you have outside of work?

Sadly, I enjoy reading tax and financial press. I have had numerous tax articles published in ‘Taxation’, ‘Tax Point’, ‘Accountancy Ireland’ and various accountancy journals. In addition to this, I am co-author of ‘The Tax Implications of Business Recovery and Insolvency in Ireland, Northern Ireland and the UK aimed at tackling the current issues still facing businesses in the wake of the financial crash.

I am the Immediate Past Chairman of Chartered Accountants Ireland Northern Ireland Tax Committee and a Commissioner for Carlingford Lough.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

The anti aircraft fire is at its most intense when right over the target. The same applies when dealing with revenue authorities.

What drives you?

It’s incredibly rewarding helping businesses and individuals through their many twists, turns and challenges! Tax flows through almost everything we do. Whether it’s personal ambitions or business objectives, every decision needs to be carefully thought through to understand the possible tax implications.

Alison Burnside

Director |BA(Hons), Dip M, FCA, FABRP |a.burnside@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

Financial distress is neither sector nor business specific, anyone can succumb to it. My role as Director of PKF-FPM’s Rescue & Recovery Department, is to support and guide businesses and individuals as they encounter some of the toughest business challenges that come about because of financial difficulty. The role is both challenging and rewarding in equal measures, but the aim is constant, to help businesses and individuals identify achievable strategies to return them to either profitability or alternatively maximise the return for their assets.

Having qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1998, during which time I supported SMEs and family businesses, I decided to extend my business advisory capacity by becoming an Insolvency Practitioner in UK and Ireland. Joining PKF-FPM in 2007, I have specialised on a significant number of cases ranging in size from personal insolvency to major corporate recovery, across an extensive range of sectors.

An important part of my role is supporting independent financial and legal advisors as they identify the early warning signs of financial difficulty within businesses and individuals and then put in place measures to limit or avoid unnecessary impact and outcomes.

What interests do you have outside of work?

I have the privilege of representing PKF-FPM on the PKF UK and Ireland Insolvency working group, as well as sitting on the R3 Regional Committee in Northern Ireland. In 2013, I co-authored and launched “The Tax implications of Business Recovery and Insolvency in Ireland, NI and UK”

I am also deeply involved in helping and supporting my local community. In 2018, I had the honour and privilege of being elected the All Ireland President of the Girls Friendly Society (GFS), a Christian based, uniformed youth organisation found in 34 countries worldwide. The role takes me all over Ireland meeting, supporting and encouraging our membership.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

The starting point that you find yourself at today, doesn’t determine where you will ultimately finish up.

What drives you?

I am passionate about helping people and businesses and have the unique opportunity of achieving this through my day to day work. Often we have tough decisions to make, but nothing is impossible if you have the will and desire to achieve your goals.

I am part of an incredible team of professionals who bring each of their unique skill sets to the task at hand and ensure our clients get the best possible advice.

Feargal McCormack

Managing Director |DSc honoris causa, F.I.M.C, FCA, B.Sc (Econ) |f.mccormack@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

My core priority when I founded PKF-FPM back in 1991 is the same as it is today – to empower colleagues and clients to be future ready by delivering business growth and wealth solutions, which help them achieve their lifetime ambitions.

My role, as Managing Director of PKF-FPM is to lead, mobilise and energise our most vital resource – people, and to foster a culture of trust, diversity & inclusion that inspires confidence in seeking opportunities and supports greatness amongst the team.

My life journey has provided me with an opportunity to work in partnership and collaboration with a broad range of businesses and organisations, to help them succeed. Everyone from sole traders to major international corporations. I take great pleasure in going the extra mile and exceeding their expectations. Spending my days talking to interesting people about their business enables me to observe, network and have access to passionate leaders and people who have made a positive impact on society.

What interests do you have outside of work?

I am fortunate to have held senior leadership responsibilities across a range of business, not-for-profit, sporting, community and church organisations, including my most recent role as President of Chartered Accountants Ireland 2018/19.

In my experience, leadership is centred on agility to embrace technology and changing market conditions, coupled with the ability to deliver change. To put it simply, I believe that in order to ensure sustainability and survival, we must innovate, or we will evaporate.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

Always focus on the positive and endeavour to make a difference, being the best you can be, in whatever you do. Above all else, enjoy the journey and have fun.

What drives you?

I gain much satisfaction from making a difference to clients and enhancing their success by being their most trusted business advisor. That is, joining them in the room when strategic decisions are being made.

Making a different to the community and your professional, for me, should be a standard part of life. That is why it greatly humbles me when awarded by my peers or invited as keynote speaker to share my experiences and support them on theirs.

Awards and Honours

  • Accountant of the Year, Irish Accountancy Awards, 2019
  • Partner of the Year, British Accountancy Awards, 2018
  • Honorary Degree for Commitment to Society through Business, Economic, Social & Community Development, Ulster University, 2018
  • PKF Diamond Award for People Development Achievements & Contribution, PKF International, 2016

Lowry Grant

Director |BEM, FCCA, FCIS, MSc |l.grant@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

As Director within PKF-FPM, I have served the commercial and not-for-profit sector now for 35 years. My major motivation during this time has always been to provide exceptional leadership and advice to clients. In my capacity as Lead of our Specialist Charity Department and Head of our Mallusk Office, I have the pleasure of developing teams who are committed to delivering value-added, industry leading service and advice.

Currently acting for a large and varied portfolio of Not-For-Profit organisation throughout Ireland, North and South, I see my role as working in partnership with clients, designing solutions appropriate to their individual needs. No two client are the same, but my years of audit, tax and advisory experience means I am very familiar with the issues, challenges and opportunities facing not-for-profit organisations that have guided and supported significant change, development and success.

Many of my commercial clients operate in the farming and fishing industry. Holding a strong position across these sectors, I have worked with support agencies in providing advice on matters such as Making Tax Digital, Inheritance Tax, Agricultural Property Relief and Family Succession.

My passion for the sectors in which I serve is further demonstrated by regularly being invited to speak as keynote speaker and hosting seminars and workshops to ensure clients remain fully informed of key issues and recent changes affecting them.

What interests do you have outside of work?

I am a family man at heart. This alongside my church and voluntary activities keeps me on my toes outside of PKF-FPM and include Chairman of Court Credit Union and Farranshane Community Association, Director of Enterprise NI, and Elder of Kilbride Presbyterian Church.

I am also a keen sports man and hold the position as Treasurer and founding member of Kilbride Cyclists. We endeavour to open our club to all abilities and seek to raise funds for numerous charities through long distance cycles – London to Paris in 2018 and Mizen Head to Mallon Head in 2017

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

I have been given lots of advice over my career, it’s difficult to choose the most valuable. I guess the advice given by my mother is still the best:
‘Have a plan son, but don’t be surprised if you end up down a different route. Trust your instincts and have confidence, life is not just about destinations, the journey is important too!’

What drives you?

The things that really drive me and make me want to enter each new day are: my faith in God, my love for my family and friends, my desire to serve and help others, occasionally being able to make a difference in the lives of others and my enjoyment gained in a career that has been a blessing to me.

Awards and Honours

  • British Empire Medal, HM, 2019

Seamas Keating

Director |FABRP. FCA |s.keating@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

I have a varied role as a Director in both our Restructuring and Recovery Department and Forensic Division.

As a Licenced Insolvency Practitioner in both the UK and Ireland, I have acted on a significant number of corporate insolvency appointments across various sectors. Also acting on numerous IVAs, I have developed a niche offering utilising voluntary arrangements as a mechanism to facilitate the restructure of large property investors and developers in Northern Ireland. This has proved to be an excellent tool used to positively resolve complex property situations for both individual debtors and their lenders alike.

I take a considered and pragmatic approach to finding innovate solutions to complex insolvency issues, to achieve the best outcome for companies, stakeholders and individual in financial distress. Only using formal insolvency procedures where needed, I am proud of my track record in achieving survival of a business and the continued income stream of the individual.

In my capacity as Forensic Accountant, I have acted as an expert witness on a vast range of cases, from commercial disputes, loss of earnings, valuations to matrimonial disputes. Acting for both claimants and defendants alike I lead an experienced, multi-disciplined team in a range of complex and specialist assignments. By taking a ‘hands-on’ role in cases, I am able to give much more effective and credible evidence. I take my credibility as a witness very seriously and as a result am often recommended by solicitors and barristers for my ability to explain complex accounting issues in a straightforward manner.

What interests do you have outside of work?

First and foremost, I have three young children who keep me busy outside of work. Additionally, I have a keen interest in sport. I enjoy keeping active by playing indoor soccer and attending the gym and am also involved with my local football club.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

As a trainee accountant, I was once advised to “never assume anything” which is very relevant as a Chartered Accountant specialising in Insolvency and Forensic Accounting.

What drives you?

Solutions! I am a problem solver at heart and love nothing more than formulating an effective solution to complex situations. Understanding the challenges and issues of business owners and individuals alike, I look to mediate and find mutually beneficial resolutions. By looking beyond the problem to the commercial and practical issues, I am able to deliver solutions in the interests and needs of all parties involved.

Michelle Hawkins

Director |BA FCA |m.hawkins@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

Everything I do is fuelled by my top priority, to help clients operate their business efficiently and maximise their return by bringing clarity of thought to a situation, solving a problem and delivering the most results-focused solution.

Supporting clients with compliance related matters such as audit, statutory financial reporting and tax is just the beginning – the real fun starts with the strategic advisory work that I do. This is where listening to my clients truly reaps benefits, as I am able to think freely and introduce refreshing ideas knowing that I understand their circumstances and point of view.

In my role as Director of PKF-FPM and Head of Advisory, my time is divided between strategic planning and fundraising for our growth clients; offering Brexit Ready business assessment and solutions for our cross-border clients; advising on corporate transactions, valuations, financial modelling and reporting for our merger and acquisition clients; and assessing public sector grant applications, preparing business cases, economic appraisals and evaluations for everyone else.

From 28 years advising clients, my portfolio is vast and varied and ranges from family businesses, where I assist in the preparation of business plans, chair management meetings, secure financial incentives, monitor performance, succession plan and provide general business advisory. To the other spectrum in which I support Inward Investment companies and liaise with Government agencies on their behalf, prepare business plans and secure significant grant incentives, provide outsourcing services and streamline their set up on the Island of Ireland, North and South.

What interests do you have outside of work?

I am a mother of three and have always volunteered at my local Gaelic Club which provides a great social network for our youth and instills the importance of hard work and teamwork to achieve a positive outcome.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

Always treat people in the way that you would wish to be treated – both career advice and life advice!

What drives you?

Helping clients to achieve the results that they desire, keeps me doing what I do. My aim is to help companies succeed in business which sometimes involves challenging their views and expectations and steering them in the right direction to reach their goals. Frequently these goals include one or all of the following – to make more money, to have peace of mind or to be more efficient and have more time for family life.

Michael Farrell

Director |BA(Hons) FCA |m.farrell@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

I am the Director of the firm and combine that responsibility with growing and developing the North County Dublin Office and cross border consultancy. I deal with a variety of clients, the majority of which are family owned SME’s companies on the Island looking to grow in international markets. The clients are largely based in the Food and Agri sector, construction, manufacturing, passenger travel and life science sectors.

Each day brings different challenges which requires developing an intimate knowledge of the client’s businesses in order to provide advice and opinion to steer the business in the correct direction.

What interests do you have outside of work?

I chair the Board of Creative Spark, which is a non-profit incubation and social development business which aims to assist SME businesses and Entrepreneurs in the creative and Technology sectors grow and develop.

I chair the Kilbroney Common Land Trust, which is a non-profit trust that is responsible for managing members who are grazing livestock on common land.

I manage Under Age football teams in my local GAA Club

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

Two actually..

My Father – The pen is easier carried than the trowel.

My first client as a Trainee Chartered Accountants – Your first lost is your best, the worst decision you can make is to make no decision at all.

What drives you?

I want to create a legacy practice that survives long after me. Staff and Clients are equally critical to delivering this. We must make every moment count to empower staff to understand the client business, and work in partnership with them to deliver their hopes and dreams. We have a team in PKF-FPM that is not only delivering the Vision but walking it. Seeing the team working together living our values is extremely rewarding.

Whilst we work hard, it is important that we don’t lose site of the important things in life and having both the right work life balance alongside having the time to get to to know each other’s spouses and families, outside of the working environment. We have a great family ethos in the firm and with this wider team we celebrate our success.

Malachy McLernon

Director |FCA, CTA, BA Hons |m.mclernon@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

I am an Equity Director within PKF-FPM and combine that responsibility with the small task of heading up the operations of PKF-FPM’s award-winning Cross Border Tax Team (as recognised by UK and Irish accounting Industry peers in 2018). It is my honour to lead such a specialist team who are excited by tax and focused on helping clients maximise their business value with innovative tax solutions, including strategic business advice, cross border tax planning, family restructuring, estate planning and tax investigation solutions.

I support and advise a wide variety of clients, the majority of which are private sector businesses and include some of the largest businesses in Ireland.

What interests do you have outside of work?

As a Chartered Accountant, Tax Advisor and Past Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Tax, I am often asked to speak at conferences covering a broad range of topics from tax strategy, to client servicing, to technical updates. In recent years, this has included presenting at conferences in the UK, Ireland and Internationally.

Outside of my professional career, I am a husband, father of four and avid sportsman, so it’s a rare day that I have any spare time on my hands.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

Listen to learn. God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason.

The only way to be able to give the best advice is to know the situation, fully.

Through listening, asking the right questions and understanding, my goal is to help clients make better informed decisions.

What drives you?

I enjoy the challenge – the constantly changing tax rules, the complexity and the political rhetoric from HMRC and the Revenue Commissioner, who make Tax an interesting space to work in!

Two things in life are certain – no one likes paying taxes, but everyone has to. The question is, How much? Taxation can be a major cost to businesses and it is a pleasure of mine to work alongside clients, quickly identify their key issues and exposures and provide a positive and commercial solution to minimise tax and help clients achieve their key objectives.

Caroline Preston

Marketing Manager |c.preston@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

I have worked in the accountancy sector for most of my professional career, managing thriving multisite offices, organising some of Ireland’s busiest and most impressive Directors and mentoring a team devoted to delivering an exceptional PKF-FPM client experience.

But in 2018 I was offered an opportunity of a lifetime and I couldn’t refuse – to head up PKF-FPM’s Marketing Team. So, I jumped head-first into my new role, and it has given me some of the most exciting and memorable moments of my career!

What interests do you have outside of work?

As Mummy of 2 and an active member of my church and local community, I have very little time to twiddle my thumbs and that’s the way I like it.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

The words of Baz Luhrmann’s well known 90’s classic, a mantra that has been on repeat in my life from a young age – ‘Do one thing every day that scares you’

I want to be able to look back in 20, 30, 40 years and be sure that I pushed the boundaries and made the most of every possibility.

Being Uncomfortable is the new Comfortable!

What drives you?

I am privileged to work with many talented people here at PKF-FPM, and it is my honour to champion them at any given opportunity and tell the world of the benefits of partnering with PKF-FPM, because I get to see them first hand and hear directly from our clients about their impressive business journeys and the PKF-FPM solutions delivered.

Janette Burns

Associate Director |BSc (Hons), FCA, CTA, TEP |j.burns@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

Working in a discipline which is subject to such a rapid pace of change requires an agility to keep up to date on evolving tax legislative change, a willingness to embrace shifts in technology and an ability to adapt with solutions to meet clients ever changing needs.

As automation and technology continue to transform the tax landscape, clients are requiring less help with their compliance needs and more help using technology solutions for their tax strategies and decisions. This transformative era that we find ourselves in allows me to continually upskill and position myself as a knowledgeable and valuable business adviser to clients.

As a Chartered Tax Advisor and Chartered Accountant with 26 years in tax, including 12 years in a Big 4 firm, my role as Associate Tax Director is to lead PKF-FPM’s UK Tax Advisory Service. This involves advising a range of Northern Irelands’ wealthiest individuals and businesses, many of which are part of complex group structures and international entities in the areas of corporate tax planning, specialist transactions advice, corporate finance tax advisory, family succession planning, capital tax planning and business valuations, with a focus on transactions in securities and equity incentive scheme planning.

What interests do you have outside of work?

I am a member of the Northern Ireland CAI Tax Committee and the UK Institute of Tax Technical Sub Committee (OMB), proactively influencing strategy and future trends through regular liaison on key tax matters with HM Revenue & Customs and other stakeholders.

When not working I am a keen amateur pianist and violinist, having played the violin with Belfast Studio Symphony Orchestra for many years. An aspiring fell runner, I also enjoy hiking and spend most weekends lost in the Mournes.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

In the end, we only regret the opportunities we didn’t take.

What drives you?

Increasing tax complexity and continuing reform brings a consequential challenge to tax practitioners, however it is something I really enjoy as it provides a dynamic pace to my role as a tax advisor.

Changes in processes and new technologies and the profound complexity of tax legislation, which now runs to more than 20,000 pages, makes the challenge of visualising and harnessing effective tax planning strategies for my clients extremely rewarding.

Ciara Reilly

Associate Director |c.reilly@pkffpm.com |c.reilly@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

I’m the accountant for the accountants!

As Associate Director and Head of Internal Finance within PKF-FPM, my role is to oversee our organisation’s daily operations and procedures, which includes everything from internal accounts and management information insights required to empower the firm’s strategic decisions and direction, to managing the day to day facilities of an exciting and exuberant business.

Having started my career and qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with PKF-FPM back in 1993, I returned to the firm in 2018 following 18 years in Industry as Head of Corporate Services and then CEO of leading charities in Northern Ireland. This has given me the pleasure of seeing the firm evolve from being a small practice of approximately 20 partners and staff to an industry leading independent firm and I’m proud to have played a part in its development.

Whilst my role has changed over the years, I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing the firm go from strength to strength and supporting both clients and internal teams along the way.

What interests do you have outside of work?

Having worked within the charity sector for 18 years, I believe we have our own part to play in our local communities, ensuring charities provide maximum impact.

For me, that is in the form of Treasurer of Newry & Mourne Swimming Club and a Board of Governor for a local Primary School with specific responsibility for Special Educational Needs. I am also part a local walking group who regularly explore the mountains and have travelled together around Europe.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

Never be afraid to ask questions, learn from your mistakes, always try to add value and contribute to the community that you live in.

That’s four for the price of one!

What drives you?

I enormously enjoy my work and the team spirit within PKF-FPM. Working with such professionals who want to make a difference to colleagues, clients and the community is a real joy and has helped us as a team achieve great things, as we drive the business forward every day.

Raymond McKeown

Associate Director |r.mckeown@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

There has never been a more exciting time to work with new technologies and the innovative culture which PKF-FPM delivers. As Associate Director and Chief Digital Officer within PKF-FPM my role is split equally between our firm’s Technological Transformation and leading our client’s Digital Transformation.

Everything we do at PKF-FPM is reliant on our IT systems working well and leading this essential function certainly keeps me on my toes. But the Digital Revolution is where my real passion lies. Digital is the new way of doing business and offers a winning blend of speed and efficiency. All companies and industries face digital disruption – and everyone must adapt!

I have the pleasure of working with a large portfolio of clients across all industries on their digital technology options and lead our Digital Advisory team who deliver integrated technology solutions. With 23 years experience in accountancy, advisory and technology, I can provide a unique insight into the best Financial Solutions for clients.

I spend a lot of time researching digital trends, products, strategy and advancements – clients are constantly surprised at how technology can improve their businesses and give them the freedom to work on, rather than in, their companies.

What interests do you have outside of work?

I have a passionate interest and am heavily involved in the administrative side of Cumann Lúthchleas Gael (the GAA). I was Treasurer for my home club (Moy Tír na nÓg) for 12 years and Treasurer of Coiste Tír Eoghain for 5 ½ years. I am currently Vice Treasurer for the county.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

Whether it is paid work or volunteering – try to leave your company or organisation in a better place than when you first started. To achieve this don’t be afraid to challenge the current position and try to learn something new every day.

What drives you?

Our industry, and technology in general are evolving at a pace that is hard to comprehend. The role of the accountant will change more in the next 10 years than it has in the previous 500. Knowing there is always a better way – a platform, a product, a system or a process – and striving to chase and implement these improvements drives me every single day.

Siobhan McCreesh

Associate Director |CTA, FCA, ATI |s.mcreesh@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

I help clients believe and achieve their growth potential by focusing businesses on innovation and claiming the Research and Development (R&D) financial incentives available to them, which to date totals £7.9 million.

As Associate Director within the Corporate Tax Team with overall responsibility for Innovation Taxes, I have seen time and time again how innovation can completely transform a business. PKF-FPM’s award-winning tax team take a holistic approach to innovation and consider all commercial and tax matters including project management, technical support, R&D grants, R&D tax credit claims and patent box claims. What’s even better is that Companies don’t need to be setting the world alight to claim these incentives and projects don’t have to succeed. It’s my job to help you understand the potential breadth and impact these innovation incentives can have on your organisation.

Having joined PKF-FPM in 2007 from a Big 4 firm as a Chartered Accountant and Tax Advisor, I have had the opportunity to work alongside a variety of SMES and large companies operating in UK and Ireland across a range of sectors, advising and supporting them on all areas of corporate tax, cross border tax, EBT settlements and Innovation.

What interests do you have outside of work?

I play an active part in the local community, regularly raising money for local charities. I am also a member of the Board of Governors for St Patrick’s Primary School and the Finance Committee for the Parish of Lower Creggan, as well as being the Scor Officer of St Patrick’s GFC.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

Always go with your initial instinct, strive to be the best you can be, and never give up.

What drives you?

Helping our clients succeed and achieve game changing results from the advice we deliver gives me the greatest satisfaction. No matter what the scenario, whether it is providing peace of mind by resolving a complex Trust enquiry or securing extra money through R&D tax credits and witnessing that “EUREKA” moment when a client realises that much more of what they do qualifies, it is a great honour and great pleasure to partner clients and make a difference to their journey.

Ashok Thomas

Senior Manager |ACA, BCom (Accountancy & Finance) |a.thomas@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

My role is to work collaboratively with clients, think outside the box and make the complex simple!

I help clients achieve successful business outcomes regardless of how challenging they are! This could be through helping clients acquire or sell their business, assisting clients in re-organisation or transformational projects, feasibility studies on large projects, attending mediations for corporate financial dispute resolution or commercial appraisals for governmental agencies.

I started my career with Deloitte India and subsequently moved to KPMG Deal Advisory and PKF Kuwait before joining PKF-FPM in May 2017. Although I specialise in M&A transaction support and valuations, I work on a wide variety of business advisory engagements including preparation of business plans, financials models, inward investment assistance, business succession planning, economic appraisals and forensic assignments. I am fortunate to work with smart, talented and value driven colleagues on many interesting client engagements.

What interests do you have outside of work?

Hiking in the Mourne mountains or an intense game of badminton.

 

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

Give every day your very best and be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day!

What drives you?

What drives me the most is the incredibly fulfilling relationships that we build with our clients as we learn, grow and work together.

Ciara McFerran

People & Culture Manager |BA Hons CIPD |c.mcferran@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

Here at PKF-FPM we take TEAM and CULTURE seriously, as we believe our people to be our greatest strength in providing clients with an exceptional service.

As People & Culture Manager within PKF-FPM, it is my pleasure to work alongside and support the incredibly talented individuals who make up Team PKF-FPM, while at all times enhancing and building upon the PKF-FPM culture which attracts, retains, develops and rewards the very best talent and provides them an environment which helps unlock their full potential and inspires them to be more than accountants, rather Caring Business Advisors, who make a difference to clients, colleagues and the wider community.

What interests do you have outside of work?

PKF-FPM are very focused on work life balance and supporting staff during their career, not just the professional development, but in their personal lives to. This said, for me, life outside of work is very much focused around family as wife and mum to 3 beautiful children.

I am also involved in the children’s youth clubs and footballs clubs helping on game days and assisting with the organisation of events.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

Sometimes we’re tested, not to show our weaknesses, but to discover our strengths. That’s why 1 of the firm’s 6 Core Values is to Push Out Boundaries and Create Opportunities.

What drives you?

People are my passion and it is such an honour to work in a space that makes a difference to people’s lives, challenging and empowering them to be realise their full potential.

In my opinion, there is nothing more rewarding than watching someone grow, develop and excel in their chosen career and being part of that journey.

Brenda O’Hare

Associate Director |FCA BA Hons |b.ohare@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

My role as Associate Director and part of the Audit Leadership Team is to ensure we deliver a brilliant service, add value and challenge the status quo.

With over 27 years’ experience working on hundreds of audits for diverse companies including owner managed, private equity backed and Plcs, I help clients produce accurate financial accounts through our audit and assurance process. This means working closely with our clients and our audit teams to understand the business, identify issues and develop solutions.

It’s been quite a journey since I joined PKF-FPM as their first-ever trainee chartered accountant in 1992! Back then PKF-FPM was a stereotypical, traditional, mahogany filled, accountancy business. But now, as a multi-award-winning business that’s growing fast with a unique culture, we’re a world away from that and I’m proud to have been part of the journey! It’s a great place to be, to learn, to grow, to develop and have fun.

What interests do you have outside of work?

I’m a big advocate for giving back to the communities that surround us. So, when I’m not helping my clients with their issues or my colleagues with their development, I spend my time as a Trustee Representative on the Board of Governors of a local Grammar school and in my local church where I am heavily involved in the pastoral ministry.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

You can always do better!

I strive to improve my contribution to the team and clients on a daily basis through efficiencies on assignments, mentoring and staff development.

What drives you?

I have always been highly driven and motivated to make a difference to those whom I encounter in the course of my work, whether that be by nurturing and empowering team members to achieve their full potential, or by helping clients with challenges in their business and providing a top-class service.

There is nothing more rewarding than watching a staff member develop from a once inexperienced trainee into a highly competent business advisor and helping clients achieve their business goals.

Karen Coulter

Associate Director |FCA, BSC, ATT |k.coulter@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

I have a varied role as Associate Director within PKF-FPM. I am part of the audit leadership team which involves helping clients excel in their compliance obligations and overcome their business challenges. It also involves devoting time to coach and empower our team, which is key to building a sustainable business.

In my capacity as Head of Audit Technical, I enjoy getting stuck into the detail, keeping up with increasingly complex compliance requirements and generating fresh effective solutions which ease the pain of implementation and help maintain our position as a leading audit firm.

With over 20 years in PKF-FPM, the clients I have worked with are diverse and complex, and the list of projects I have been involved in, even more so. I meet with my clients regularly to discuss many things and offer practical, common sense advice to help their business grow. Whether it’s a technical question, investigating an abnormality, applying a new technical standard or scoping an internal audit project. By looking at my client’s problems through their eyes, means I can ask the right questions to quickly spot the risks or opportunities and formulate the right solution.

What interests do you have outside of work?

Having three active kids who are very involved in various sporting clubs takes up most of my time outside of work. I have always had a love for competitive sport and as a result am very involved in their clubs. As a family we are active in our local church and get involved in the children’s work.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

Do something you love! We can all have a bad day but if you’ve given it your all, you can be happy at the end of the day.

What drives you?

Learning something new which makes you wiser and better at your job is a great motivator. But taking it one step further, the chance to pass on this knowledge to the younger generation and watch them grow, develop and mature as professionals, makes the job worthwhile. The more you give, the more you get!

Adam Strong

Senior Manager |BA (Hons), MSc, FCA |a.strong@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

I co-ordinate and manage the Not-for-Profit Department within PKF-FPM, working with a large portfolio of clients throughout Ireland, ranging from large cross border charities to small unincorporated not for profit organisations of PKF-FPM’s Charity Department.

My goal is to help and advise the organisations who make a difference to the world we live in, by maximising their impact and ensuring they meet all their regulatory requirements.

By working closely with our charity clients, I aim to instill valuable insights of best practice and system efficiencies, as well as an understanding of the changes affecting the sector and the extra external scrutiny the charity sector finds itself under, so that charities, academies, schools, colleges, and membership organisations are equipped on all things financial and governance related.

What interests do you have outside of work?

Outside of my professional work, my two main passions are sports and seeing the youth of today achieve their full potential.

I am a qualified football coach and church leader with specific focus on youth. Combining these two areas, I am also a trustee of a local charity called Coaching4Christ. This gives me valuable insight in to what it is like to sit “on the other side of the table” and has provided me with a rich experience that I’m able to bring to my own clients.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

My parents instilled in me the importance of treating others with respect, as I would wish to be treated. I also try not take myself too seriously, making sure to have fun along the way. I think I do!

What drives you?

I love working in the wider charity sector. As auditors and advisors, we have a part to play in ensuring charities provide maximum impact – it’s part of how we give something back. But not just that, I am inspired by my clients. They don’t do what they do because they have to, they do what they do to make a difference, and this makes me want to push the extra mile to help them achieve it.

I’m also driven by my family, the kids I coach and my colleagues. It’s an honour to work with such a young and dynamic team who work hard and drive for their client’s success, but who also know how to have fun along the way.

KellyAnne Murtagh

Senior Manager |ACA, CTA, BSc Hons |k.murtagh@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

Having worked across personal and corporate tax, both in the UK and ROI tax markets since 2011, my top priority is to explain the subtleties and nuances of the tax system in a way that is easily understood and provide clients with concise, sound advice based on up-to-date knowledge of tax legislation.

As Senior Tax Manager, I advise new and established businesses, of varying sectors and sizes including those facing cross-border tax issues. Delivering support which goes beyond compliance, I help clients manage their tax affairs and mitigate their risk through proactive planning, structuring advice which aids cross-border mobility, and options to optimise tax savings. I also provide expertise on all aspects of corporation tax, income tax and PAYE.

In addition, as a member of the Innovation Taxes Team, I often find that many businesses innovate unknowingly. I get great satisfaction from helping these businesses identify and claim rewards for such innovation by way of Research and Development tax reliefs.

What interests do you have outside of work?

My community is really important to me and I believe we can make a real difference to it by getting involved! This said, I am a board member for Dromore Youth Commission which oversees the youth activities in my Diocese and Assistant Treasurer of my local Lourdes Committee, regularly helping to organise fundraising activities.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

I regularly refer to the Japanese proverb “None of us are as smart as all of us”. This is why when we are developing tax solutions, we not only involve members of the tax team but seek input from specialists throughout PKF-FPM. From IT to Data-Mining to Industry experts, this collaborative approach delivers simple solutions to complex problems.

What drives you?

I enjoy playing a part (no matter how big or small) in helping clients, colleagues, family and friends exceed their aspirations, whether it is in providing advice, support, motivation or voicing the hard truths.

A success for one of us is a success for all of us!

Sarah Jane Garvey

Senior Manager |ACA MSc BSc |sj.garvey@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

I believe that challenging business owners to ensure they have clear reasoning and objectives as to why they do what they do is an important part of supporting client success. In my capacity as Senior Client Relationship Manager in the Audit & Accounts Teams I view my role, in part, as a facilitator to help make sure business objectives are clear, instil good governance and help my clients as their first point of contact on strategic business decisions to achieve their goals.

I manage a diverse portfolio of clients from larger companies to SMEs and owner-managed businesses and provide them with varied technical and practical business support. This includes the production of management information, statutory financial reporting, general business advisory and strategic growth advice. By gaining an in-depth understanding of my clients’ businesses, I work alongside them to help them grow, meet their targets and stimulate them to think beyond the day to day.

What interests do you have outside of work?

Outside of work I like to switch off by having copious amounts of coffee dates, Netflix binges and spending time with people who make me laugh!

I have recently been appointed to sit on the Board of a local charity which I am extremely excited about and the plans for the coming year.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

Don’t sit back and wait for it to happen – make it happen!

What drives you?

Working in a fast-paced organisation and being surrounded by a solution-focused team means that you are driven to continuously improve performance.

I strive for client satisfaction. Being able to assist and advise means that you can add value to your clients, helping them achieve not just their business aspirations but also their life-time goals. This brings an immense sense of fulfilment. When a client is happy it makes it all worth while.

Aoife Loughran

Senior Manager |ACA BSc Accounting |a.loughran@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

We are living in a world of digital transformation, that has ‘never changed as fast before, and will never change as slow again’ This said, my role as Operational Lead of PKF-FPM’s Digital Solutions Team is to equip clients to respond to technological advancements and digital disruption, with the right software solutions and the latest cloud accounting technologies that transform their business to Work Smarter and Grow Faster.

When I ask clients, what are the biggest benefits of going digital, the response is always the same. Increased staff productivity, Greater insight and control, Better informed decisions and More time to focus on what they do best.

I am a Senior Manager within PKF-FPM and during my 9 years I have had to opportunity to help a significant portfolio of clients across a wide range of sectors, with all their audit, accounting, advisory and digital needs.

What interests do you have outside of work?

Life outside of work is busy. I have a 1 year old daughter who keeps me on my toes! I am also involved with local charities such as Down Right Brilliant and Special Olympics, both of which are very close to my heart. I am also a committee member of CAI Young Professional Group.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

I have two:

‘Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, just don’t let it happen a second time’

‘There is no such thing as a stupid question’

What drives you?

I enjoy my work, I love solving problems and making a real difference to clients. I am very much a people person, so as well as working with clients on financial aspects, I like to know more about them; their interests and families etc. It is my personal aim to be a trusted advisor that clients feel they can turn to for support.

I work alongside a great team which makes coming to work easy. I enjoy learning new things & as they say, every day’s a school day and if you spend time with Paddy Harty, you’re sure to learn something!

Aveen McShane

Senior Manager |FCA BSc |a.mcshane@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

I am a senior manager within PKF-FPM playing a key role in both the business advisory team whilst also managing a number of key client relationships. I deal with a variety of clients, the majority of which are SME owner managed businesses in sectors including construction, retail, aviation, engineering and manufacturing. A varied and challenging cross-section.

My role is challenging but very rewarding because I have the honour of seeing businesses grow far past their expectations, both in local and export markets. The key – I like to think I have developed a partnership with my clients, steering them to be very results focused, while helping them overcome complexities, funding and key exposures facing growth companies and privately-owned businesses.

What interests do you have outside of work?

Family keeps me busy outside of work but I do try to do my bit for the community.

I am currently the treasurer of Cruse Bereavement Care (Southern Area) playing an active role on the management committee.

I also volunteer with Clonduff Playschool, assuming a role on the fundraising committee.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

Business is all about relationships – network and seize opportunities.

What drives you?

Helping clients succeed and support them to achieve their goals and aspirations for the future. If they achieve their goals, this adds to the success of my career.

Colleen Brown

Manager |ACA |c.brown@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

I am passionate about the not-for-profit sector, having supported organisations operating in this field on the Island of Ireland since 2007.

As Charity Audit Manager within PKF-FPM, my role is to ensure we provide a straight-forward and hassle-free service to our not-for-profit clients in the areas of audit, accounts, tax, advisory and digital, but with a focus on providing solutions which maximise their impact to their community and the people they serve.

No two charities are the same. Each has a unique culture, delivery style and ethos but our charity experts have found there are key audit, finance, funding and reporting challenges that are typical to not-for-profit organisations and have sought and designed comprehensive and compliant resolutions to these, ensuring the audit compliance runs like clockwork with minimal disruption.

As well as providing independent assurance on the facts and figures, my approach with clients is to add value of best practice, system and software improvements and process efficiencies.

What interests do you have outside of work?

Travel! I love going to new places and meeting new people. I’ve been all over the world, experiencing different cultures, sights and tastes.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

Work hard, don’t give up and keep learning. Whatever you do, always give it 110%.

What drives you?

My clients and the committed people I work with, who serve their businesses and communities well. It makes it all worthwhile to know I have helped and supported the amazing work and achievements of these organisations.

Claire McCallion

Senior Manager |BSC |c.mccallion@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

The focus of my work is to provide small to medium sized owner-managed businesses, as well as individuals, guidance and support, which allows them to concentrate on running their businesses.

Whether a client needs assistance in meeting their compliance obligations, wants advice on reducing costs, improving profits and minimising tax bills, or is striving to make efficiencies, the knowledge I have gained from being in practice since 2007 and working closely with a large portfolio of clients, across a variety of different businesses and sectors allows me to give the help and advice they need.

In my capacity as Senior Manager and operational lead of our Mallusk Team, I have the privilege of working with a team who strive to provide clients with an excellent service and ensure they are comfortable in the knowledge that their affairs are in safe hands.

I am also part of PKF-FPM’s Digital Advisory Team. Utilising my extensive experience of Sage, Xero, QuickBooks and Receipt Bank, I am able to advise clients on how best to automate their accounting process, achieving considerable efficiencies for clients by transforming their book-keeping systems and back office operations.

What interests do you have outside of work?

Being an active member and giving back to my local community is hugely important to me. Therefore, I spend much of my time outside of work, supporting community groups and charities in any way I can.

Whether this be through leading PKF-FPM in the 2019 Action Cancer Shop Challenge, or as Chairperson of my children’s school PTA and Officer at their Girl’s Brigade or as a fundraising member of The Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice, the goal is always the same, to get involved and make a difference!

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others” – Mahatma Gandhi

What drives you?

Delivering valuable and practical advice to clients that benefits their business gives me great satisfaction. Most people believe their accountant will simply look after their annual accounts and tax compliance, but this is only a small portion of what an accountant should be doing. I strive to go beyond clients’ expectations by truly understanding their business and delivering solutions which will maximise their success.

Eoin Brannigan

Manager |ACA, ATI |e.brannigan@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

My role as a Chartered Accountant and Manager within the accounts, tax and digital solutions team is to invest time with my clients, helping them to understand what their financial information tells them about their business, which assists them in making key management and growth decisions.

More specifically, I’m here to assist my clients based in Northern Ireland and Ireland, by offering a complete financial service from year-end and management accounts to tax computations and VAT returns to book-keeping and system solutions, as well as complex group restructures and everything in between. This all-rounded business advisor approach results in clients saving money and time where they can, while running their business in the most efficient and effective way possible.

With over 8 years in practice supporting a large and varied portfolio of clients, I view my role as an extension of their finance team. I can be working with a farmer one day and the next working alongside an FD of a larger corporate – both of which I get to understand their business and help them to achieve their goals and aspirations. Above all else, I ensure I deliver an excellent client service – it’s the little things that make the most difference and sets us apart from other advisors.

What interests do you have outside of work?

I am a very active sports fan following all things GAA, Rugby, Soccer, F1 or even Boxing. I play for my local GAA side Kildress Wolfe Tones which between training, matches and gym sessions takes up most nights of the week. I am also on the club committee, holding the role of Club Registrar now for the last 3 years. I also volunteer to coach the u10 team and regularly referee youth tournaments.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

My grandfather always told me “its easier to go down a rung on the ladder than go up one” meaning – work hard and get your accountancy qualification, and if you don’t like it, you can always go back and be a joiner. 8 years on, I’m still here and loving what I do.

What drives you?

The most rewarding part of my work is spending time with clients and playing a “small part” in their success by understanding what makes them tick and helping them achieve their short-term and long-term objectives.

Leanne Foster

Senior Manager |FCCA BA Hons Acc |l.foster@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

In short, my role as Senior Manager within PKF-FPM is to help clients in any way possible to improve their business profitability and to make their lives easier in the process. By responding to queries as quickly as possible, I am able to offer clients useful guidance and solutions which enable them to concentrate on running their businesses in the most efficient manner.

18 years in accountancy has provided me with a vast cross-sectoral expertise and understanding of the key issues and regulatory changes affecting businesses. This translates into providing clients, both owner-managed entities and individuals, guidance and support alongside an end-to-end business service for all their accounting and taxation requirements.

Whether a client needs assistance in meeting their compliance obligations, wants advice on future tax planning or is striving to make efficiencies, the knowledge I have gained from working across a variety of different businesses and sectors allows me to give the help and advice they need.

What interests do you have outside of work?

Life outside of work is as active as life inside work. I have a young family and am involved in the local community as Treasurer and Trustee of my local community group, as well as a member of the Board of Governors and the Parent Teacher Association for my local primary school.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

Stop Starting and Start Finishing to make sure your time is used in the most effective manner.

What drives you?

Delivering valuable and practical advice to clients that benefits their business brings me great satisfaction – I strive to provide my clients with an excellent service and ensure they are comfortable in the knowledge that their affairs are in safe hands. Central to delivering such a service is PKF-FPM’s team ethos and talented people who desire to be the very best the accountancy profession has to offer.

Lauren Quinn

Business Development Executive |l.quinn@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

My role is varied, fast-moving, but above all, interesting. In my capacity as Events Lead within PKF-FPM, I am responsible for taking the thought leadership which oozes out of our staff and translating this into engaging events or online content that inspires businesses and keeps them up to date with all the latest topical issues, major risks, future challenges and strategic initiatives.

Aimed at connecting the leading business minds on the Island of Ireland, it has also been my pleasure to assist our MD in the organisation of PKF-FPM’s annual and hugely popular flagship leadership event, which provides an opportunity for audiences to hear and learn from some of the world’s most renowned and interesting business influencers.

In 2018 I was honoured to take on the role of Personal Assistant to our MD, Feargal McCormack, during his appointment as President of Chartered Accountants Ireland. To me, providing one-to-one support is more than just a job. I genuinely care about providing the best possible service at all times and always try to pull out all the stops to deliver.

What interests do you have outside of work?

Outside of work I love to holiday to far off beaches and experience new cultures. Closer to home I devote my time to family and friends, while also being involved in my local community club and charities.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

‘The only way to do great work is to love what you do.’ A brilliant piece of advice from Steve Jobs

What drives you?

Every day is different here in PKF-FPM with new challenges and opportunities. I love working with dedicated and enthusiastic colleagues who inspire me to do my best every day. It’s more than just a team here, it’s a family!

Michael Kennedy

Manager |FCCA CIA |mm.kennedy@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

As manager within the audit and assurance team I see my role very much as a business partner to my clients. By having a ‘one team’ mindset, I strive for and celebrate client successes as if they were my own.

My time is primarily focused on major audit assignments for companies of varying sizes, across both jurisdictions (UK/ROI) and a diverse range of sectors including construction, engineering, professional services, food processing and manufacturing. I am also heavily involved in conducting Solicitors Accounts Regulations as well as internal audits within the public sector, a niche passion of mine.

I aim to make the compliance process as easy as possible, advising on the practical aspects of running a business whilst also enhancing client’s understanding of their financial performance by interpreting the information provided to identify trends and correlations. In doing so, clients are empowered to make informed decisions whilst taking into consideration the multitude of concerns which may impact their situation.

It also brings me great pleasure to assist clients by setting strategies for improvement to help their business grow, which in the current climate often includes preparing and safeguarding clients against the impact of Brexit.

What interests do you have outside of work?

Outside of work I have a young family which keeps me busy, but in my spare time I am a keen golfer and a current member of Dungannon Golf Club. I am also immediate past Chairman of the Mid-Ulster Young Professionals.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from past experiences.

What drives you?

Delivering a job well done! My goal is to form a strong working relationship with both clients and colleagues alike, so that when key decisions are required, the trust established ensures that my advice is sought and valued. I take great satisfaction from being able to provide viable solutions to obstacles and supporting the team whenever a problem is encountered.

Patrick McKenna

Senior Manager |BA, MA, ACA |p.mckenna@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

I see my relationship with clients as a partnership. Therefore, I see client’s deadlines as our deadlines, and I ensure we work together, side-by-side to make sure these are met. Key to this is communication. Since I joined PKF-FPM in 2010 I have always valued the rapour and open dialogue I enjoy with clients; I want our clients to know that I am always available to support them. No problem is too big or small, and if I cannot help clients with a solution, I will always know someone who can.

Day-to-day, in my role as Senior Cross-Border Manager, I work closely with clients on a wide variety of UK and Irish advisory matters, whether that be structuring and managing cross-border (ROI/UK) companies, resolving cross-border tax queries, delivering due diligences and transaction support on mergers and acquisitions, securing grant funding and liaising with funders or advising on Irish Company Law.

Every client’s needs are different, and no two days are ever the same – it makes for a very interesting and exciting space to work in.

What interests do you have outside of work?

I have always been keen to give back to my community and so I sit on the DKIT School of Business & Humanities Industry Advisory Board and volunteer at the weekends with a local boys’ soccer team. Over many years with the team I have enjoyed organising tournaments, friendly matches and helped to organise trips abroad.

I am also a member of Warrenpoint Golf Club where I play golf (badly) and am keen to spend time with anyone up for a game.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

A very wise Managing Partner once told me ‘I don’t care how much you know, until I know how much you care.’

If you let this ethos shape your business and community life, it quickly changes your outlook and you see the impact your actions and advice have on clients, their personal aspirations and the wider business community. It’s very humbling. After all, creating and building relationships – and giving back – is the cornerstone of doing business.

What drives you?

I have always enjoyed solving problems! I don’t see myself as just an accountant, but rather, as a general business advisor and I like to think that my clients trust me because I genuinely care about them and will do whatever I can to nurture and promote their success.

Having been fortunate enough to meet and work with brilliant and experienced business minds, I have relished the opportunities to learn how the best entrepreneurs do what they do and I use this knowledge to provide well-rounded business advice to my clients.

Seamus McElvanna

Senior Manager |s.mcelvanna@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

My role is to ensure our UK personal tax clients receive the highest quality compliance service possible. I am blessed to be supported by a very capable and enthusiastic team who share these aims.

As Senior Tax Manager and “Lean Practitioner” with 30 years’ experience as a technically trained Inspector of Taxes in HM Revenue & Customs, I lead PKF-FPM’s UK Tax Investigation Service, offering robust practical support when things go wrong by resolving HMRC enquiries into clients’ personal tax affairs, which range from basic aspect compliance checks to full civil enquiries.

Striving to assist on a personal and technical level, at what can be a very distressing experience for clients, I also maintain constructive relationships with key members of the local HMRC Inspectorate, ensuring professional etiquette is always maintained.

What interests do you have outside of work?

Life outside work is varied, to say the least!

I am a member of the finance committee of my local hurling club and on the other spectrum I have a small beef farm which keeps me sane and play music on a semi-professional basis in a small band.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

Don’t panic when things go wrong. This applies both in business and personal life. In my experience a problem shared often delivers solutions.

What drives you?

Working with great people and delivering exceptional tax solutions. Tax is such a varied and at times challenging sphere to work in. It has been my privilege to play a part in the development of PKF-FPM’s award-winning tax team, ensuring staff remain at the forefront of the changing world of tax policy.

Tanya O’Hare

Manager |MIATI BA Hons |t.ohare@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

I’m in the business of giving peace of mind to even the most distressed individuals or companies in financial difficulty, by relieving the pressure of negotiating with third parties and helping them to regain control of their finances.

As a manager within our Restructuring and Recovery Department, we have provided countless formal and informal debt solutions and aided debtors back to solvency across Ireland, Northern Ireland and the UK by offering a range of personalised options through licenced Irish and UK practitioners.

By listening, asking the right questions and understanding our clients’ needs from the get go, we offer a practical and effective way forward, whether your company is looking to restructure or cease trading, an individual facing insolvency, or a creditor needing support to recover debts.

What interests do you have outside of work?

Outside of work I enjoy spending time catching up with family and friends. I take a keen interest in Pilates, reading and GAA.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

‘Always trust your gut instinct’ and ‘communication is key to a successful career.’

What drives you?

Helping others is one of my main motivations in life whether that be in relation to our clients or within the team. Finding solutions to problems and overcoming daily challenges to reach a successful outcome is what motivates me to get up in the morning.

Denise Reilly

Manager |M.Sc, ACA |d.reilly@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

My passion is to support the business improvement of owner managed companies across Ireland. As a Chartered Accountant and Manager within PKF-FPM, I oversee the accounts team in our Balbriggan office. Our focus is on building lasting relationships by exceeding client expectations and going above and beyond just meeting their compliance obligations. By truly understanding their business, we are able to deliver solutions appropriate to their needs which enhances their success.

Supporting all types of companies, from sole traders to limited companies, many of which operate north and south of the Irish border, I have assisted their operational development through company restructuring, financial due diligences and shareholder agreements.

What interests do you have outside of work?

Outside of business, I enjoy jetting off into the sun, along with keeping active and exploring Ireland’s hidden treasures.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

“Under promise and over deliver”

What drives you?

I am driven by an inner desire to continuously improve, both myself and the clients that I work with.

Ruth Emery

Senior Manager |CIMA GCMA |r.emery@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

As a Senior Manager supporting two thriving departments within PKF-FPM, I wear a few different ‘hats’ in the firm and life is far from boring!

The majority of my time is spent in PKF-FPM’s award-winning tax team, where I oversee a payroll bureau servicing more than 300 payroll clients. I also look after a diverse portfolio of 200 personal tax clients. If this doesn’t keep me busy, I am also a member of PKF-FPM’s Charity Department, advising a wide range of not-for-profit organisations on specialist audit, accounting and taxation issues, typical to the sector, with comprehensive and compliant solutions.

My mission to add value to my tax and charity clients, stems from 17 years’ industry experience as the Finance Manager of a leading homeless charity in Northern Ireland with a turnover of £8.5 million. It was during this time when I saw the difference industry specific designed internal controls and financial procedures make to the success of an organisation, and this has been my goal with clients ever since.

What interests do you have outside of work?

I am an avid traveller. I firmly believe that travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer and slowly but surely, I am exploring the globe one country at a time. 42 countries down, 153 to go.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” –  the same applies in business!

What drives you?

It can be difficult to stay focused when challenges arise and your determination is tested. I see it on a daily basis in client situations. That’s why it’s vital to know what you’re fighting for, so you remain focused and driven to keep pushing ahead when these challenges arise. For me, this is knowing that I can make a different to client’s situations and help them succeed.

Debbie Mullen

Senior Manager |BsC ACA |d.mullen@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

I am a senior manager in accounts and audit. I deal with a variety of clients throughout a range of business sectors and as an auditor my focus is to provide them with the assurance that instils confidence in their systems, procedures and financial information. Clients need to be certain that the accounts they receive are robust, reliable and transparent and it is my job to deliver this and help them understand what works and what doesn’t!

This enables me to build significant business relationships and deliver a value-added service. My role also allows me to develop and empower other members of staff which I am very passionate about. By developing our staff, this helps us deliver the best service to our clients.

What interests do you have outside of work?

Believe it or not, I am busier outside of work than in work! I have two young children which take up all my time. As a working mummy, it is vitally important for me to spend as much quality time with them as possible to ensure I don’t miss any important milestones!

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

Be nice – manners cost nothing.

What drives you?

As a senior manager in PKF-FPM, I am driven by the satisfaction I get from helping others succeed. I enjoy sharing my experience with other colleagues to enable them to excel in their roles and progress in their careers. I am also driven by my responsibility to my clients.

I aim to advise clients to the best of my ability so that they can achieve their business goals and ambitions and I love to feel part of that successful journey. With PKF-FPM, I feel that our client service and caring attitude allows me to drive forward every day.

Shauna McVeigh

Manager |MIATI, ACA |s.mcveigh@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

Assisting my clients as their financial and business advisor, for me, means always being ready and available. In my capacity as Manager within the Accounts & Audit department, my aim is to provide small to medium sized owner-managed businesses, as well as individuals, guidance and support, which allows them to focus more time on what they do best – running their businesses.

I always endeavour to respond to my clients’ queries quickly and efficiently and offer bespoke business solutions intended to resolve their issues in the most commercially and tax efficient suitable way possible. The knowledge I have gained from being in practice since 2008 and working closely with a large and varied portfolio of clients, complimented by my time as an accountant in Industry and as an EC Commissions Auditor, means I understand the business challenges that my clients face and use this experience to determine the best possible solutions for their circumstances.

What interests do you have outside of work?

Outside of work I am currently kept busy organising a wedding and a house build!

A previously keen basketballer, I enjoy watching the sport and in my spare time I lead a very busy social life, which included until recently being heavily involved in the Mid-Ulster Young Professionals.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

Richard Branson – ‘If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!’ I am a firm believer that you have to grab opportunities with both hands and live life to the full!

What drives you?

I am driven by client satisfaction. I always aim to ensure that clients are happy and thus maintaining great working relationships with long standing clients.

Pat Donnelly

Senior Manager |BSc. MSc |p.donnelly@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

My work mainly focuses on providing specialist tax advice to clients, from high net worth individuals and personal tax clients to large corporate groups.

With over 30 years in Tax including 16 years in a Big 4 firm specialising in Advisory and Corporation Tax, complimented by 11 years prior in HM Revenue & Customs, I have had the opportunity to deal with a multitude of tax issues across all sectors.

Tax is ever-changing, dynamic and complex. Therefore, meeting clients’ individual needs and understanding how tax fits in to their life is of the utmost importance to me. Tailored advice and planning can make a real difference in the completion of both the short-term and long-term objectives of the client, and I want my clients to know I will be there for them throughout this journey.

Clients can expect focused and in-depth advice and solutions on Corporate Tax Compliance, Corporate Restructuring, Transactions, a variety of Tax Planning including successions, Tax Investigations and Dispute Resolution.

What interests do you have outside of work?

Family and friends are very important to me. Therefore, outside of work you’ll find me spending time with them.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

Always think about what you are trying to achieve and not the obstacles that stand in the way. Believe it can be achieved and then work hard to make it happen.

What drives you?

Everything I do is fuelled by how passionate I am about my work and delivering the most valuable and accurate solutions to my clients.

Caroline Murphy

Senior Manager |BAAF, FCCA, CTA |c.murphy@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

My role is to navigate you and your business through the complex world of tax. As Senior Tax Manager of PKF-FPM’s award-winning Irish tax team, I am responsible for managing Irish personal tax and corporate tax. In short, this includes identifying tax planning opportunities for clients, whether they are an individual or multinational business, and execution of same.

I am also heavily involved in unravelling revenue audits and swiftly engaging with clients and tax authorities to resolve even the most complex Tax Investigations.

It is essential in my role to get a real insight into my client’s business in order to fully understand their needs, particularly the ones they have not yet considered. This is why my mantra with clients is ‘Tell me…’ What are your motivations? What challenges keep you awake at night? Where do you want to be in three, five and ten years? When I have an insight into these areas, that’s when our team can excel with the best strategic tax solutions for each client’s needs.

Alongside this, I will introduce you to PKF-FPM’s fantastic team of cross-border and R&D tax specialists, as and when required, to make sure tax saving opportunities are fully explored and compliance obligations are fully met across both jurisdictions. This could include areas such as, substantial innovation reliefs, the most tax efficient way to structure your business ownership, as well as identifying VAT risk and opportunities for cost savings by providing comprehensive tax advice on transactions, ensuring tax leakage is avoided or minimised.

What interests do you have outside of work?

I am actively involved with the North East Business Academy networking group which affords me the opportunity to meet and build relationships with other businesses, share ideas and learn from each other’s experiences.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

20 years ago, my teacher recommended a new course in DKIT, The Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Finance. Well, am I ever glad I took their advice, as it started me along my career path and has bought me to where I am today, a qualified accountant and Chartered Tax Advisor with the Irish Taxation Institute, who has the pleasure of supporting and advising clients since 2002.

What drives you?

I take great satisfaction from being a part of a client’s business success and to be able to say that I have made a positive difference to their journey.

Claire Quigley

Senior Manager |MAITI |c.quigley@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

I help businesses! I work closely with clients that range in size from start-ups to £15m in turnover and have done since 2002, assisting them with all their financial needs.

Not only do I help with the big picture, empowering decision making with financial data insights, I also look after the detail by ensuring clients comply with their regulatory and accounting requirements. This could be in the form of preparing insightful and timely year end accounts, being available to answer any questions or queries, or by freeing up resources by transforming client’s procedures and processes with real-time cloud-based accounting solutions.

What interests do you have outside of work?

When not in work or fundraising for a local charity, I am a foodie at heart, and love nothing more that trying out new restaurants with my family.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

A technically brilliant and inspiring colleague once told me, ‘It’s better to know a little about everything than everything about a little’. By recognising the signposts over the entire business spectrum that other niche advisors may not, you can engage the expert skills across multiple departments and therefore provide a much better, all-rounded, value added service.

What drives you?

The projects I enjoy the most are the ones that can add real value to a client. The ones where I get to spend time really understanding their business, their roles and their vision, and as a result deliver really robust solutions that help them continue to grow!

Nicola Connolly

Manager |ACA |n.connolly@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

My focus is on providing clients with a fast, effective and comprehensive service covering all aspects of their Irish statutory compliance and company secretarial work. For me, as Manager in our Irish Branch, nothing is ever too much trouble when it comes to taking care of clients and my aim is to exceed expectations again and again.

I thoroughly enjoy building and nurturing close relationships, and this leads to opportunities to engage in deeply meaningful conversations. By gaining an in-depth understanding of my clients and listening to their concerns, I am able to reflect and generate new ideas to support their personal and business aspirations. I manage a diverse portfolio of clients across a range of sectors including food and drink, transport, professional services, property management and warehousing.

A typical day for me could include anything from forming, re-registering or dissolving a limited company, liaising with directors, Companies Registration Office filings, advising clients on compliance or assisting the team with company law queries to financial reporting and the audit of Irish companies ranging from larger entities through to owner-managed businesses.

What interests do you have outside of work?

I am passionate about people and pets, so outside of work I can be found spending my time supporting my local community by being a part of the Executive Committee for Balbriggan Chamber of Commerce and the Events and Fundraising Team for Dundalk Dog Rescue.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

You need to understand why you are doing something, not just how to do it! If you do this, you will never go too far wrong!

What drives you?

I’m a very idealistic person and want to make a difference for clients and the wider team in which I work! Over the years I have had the pleasure of working with clients at different stages of the business lifecycle ranging from promising entrepreneurs to blossoming SMEs. It is very satisfying to see a company grow knowing that you have identifying value added opportunities and solutions which have assisted in that growth, both in the short and long term.

Caroline Butler

Senior Manager |CTA, ACCA |c.butler@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

I am a Senior Tax Manager here at PKF-FPM and have the privilege of leading our award-winning Irish Tax Team from our North Dublin office, which provides a full range of Irish tax planning and compliance services to both personal and corporate clients across an extensive variety of sectors, everything from agriculture to construction. We work very closely with our talented cross-border tax team, based in Northern Ireland, which gives clients crossing borders and breaking into new markets, instant access to tax expertise in both jurisdictions.

As a Chartered Tax Advisor of the Irish Taxation Institute since 2004, I have relished the opportunity to work with a large portfolio of clients, supporting them in the areas of succession, inheritance and tax planning, property tax incentives, business re-structuring and company start-ups. I also advise clients on dealing with VAT and RCT issues affecting individuals, businesses, government bodies and not-for-profit organisations.

What interests do you have outside of work?

I am currently busy raising a young family and I am involved to varying degrees with their sporting and musical hobbies.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

From my mother, education is never wasted, but follow your own path, not someone else’s.

What drives you?

Simple! The opportunity to support client growth and success by gaining an in-depth understanding of their underlying business, trading patterns and the constantly changing regulatory and financial environment that it trades in. Pulling all that apart, deciphering the tax position, and putting it all back together, to provide Tax Solutions that clients can rely on.

I want to look back on my career journey with great pride, remembering the impact and support I offered clients and colleagues.

Conal Doherty

Senior Manager |BA (Hons) Accounting & Finance, ACA, ACA Cert. PIP, MIPA |c.doherty@pkffpm.com

What is your job role?

As a Senior Manager within our Restructuring & Recovery Division, I am passionate about providing prompt and effective solutions to businesses and individuals who find themselves in financial distress, under significant pressure and facing an uncertain future. The nature of the work requires me to advise businesses across all sectors. This, complimented by 14 years in the sector, means I am able to deliver the right solution for any given situation, whether turnaround advice or a formal insolvency solution, but my focus is always firstly on saving the business and avoiding bankruptcy or liquidation, where possible.

By calmly balancing all the factors in play, I support clients and deal with creditors on their behalf to achieve an optimal outcome which is fair to all stakeholders.

What interests do you have outside of work?

When not in work or with my family, I am involved as a Committee Member of Ulster Society Chartered Accountants Ireland, Junior Chamber Derry and as a member of the Insolvency Practitioner Association.

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given during your career?

My father, who was an entrepreneur, advised me to follow my passion in the accountancy profession and I have never looked back.

What drives you?

I am surrounding by a highly diverse and experienced team, including licensed insolvency practitioners who are experts in their field in Ireland, Northern Ireland and the UK. But we all have one thing in common – a goal to help individuals and companies who are struggling financially, take their first steps back into financial freedom.

PKF-FPM Accountants Limited and PKF-FPM Accountants (Ireland) Limited are part of the PKF-FPM Group, branded PKF-FPM which is regulated by Chartered Accountants Ireland. PKF-FPM is a member firm of PKF International Limited.

© 2019 PKF-FPM Accountants Ltd