This Auditor Proud Day, we’re celebrating the success of those within our Audit & Assurance team, a key pillar of the services we offer here at Baker Tilly Mooney Moore.  Following on from recent promotions within the busy department, we put the spotlight on Assistant Managers Emma George, Ashleigh Mooney and Ciaran Hughes to talk all things exams, progression, and the impact of AI on the profession.

Emma George

1. Tell us about your career highlights so far. I joined Baker Tilly Mooney Moore as a Graduate Trainee in 2019 and have since achieved my ACA qualification and progressed within the Audit and Assurance department.  My CAP2 year brought the opportunity to work on larger audits, which allowed me to develop strategic skills within the department. After my FAEs, I was given the responsibility of being the Audit Senior on most jobs, which allowed me to work on my leadership skills. My biggest highlight so far is my recent promotion to Assistant Manager, achieving my industry qualifications, and of course working with the best team of people and clients.

2. What are the key skills and attributes required for your role?  You need to be determined, to hold yourself accountable, and to be comfortable leading and advising people, both colleagues and clients. This requires great communication skills and attention to detail to explain things effectively and efficiently.

3. What advice would you give to someone hoping to pursue a career in the field? When it comes to your development and learning, no question is a silly question. Always seek to further your understanding of a topic. Good time management is also important, as working whilst studying can be challenging and requires focus and self-discipline.

4. Where do you see the industry going in future? The Audit industry, like many others, is transforming due to new technologies like AI. Going forward, I see AI and data analytics becoming a vital part of large audits, as it allows for quick manipulation of data, identification of errors within populations, and has boosted the quality and speed of auditing. Despite this, the technology is not yet capable of effective quantitative analysis, so it is most useful when combined with the traditional skills of audit professionals. In the future, I think emerging technologies will be adopted by firms, with the aim of boosting efficiency and staff productivity.

Ashleigh Mooney

1. What made you pursue a career in Accounting, and why Audit? As someone who always enjoyed maths and problem solving, I knew accountancy was the route for me, however it was the opportunity to work in a client facing environment, learning from others and meeting new and different clients, that attracted me to the audit discipline.

2. How have things changed in Audit since you started out? Changing regulations and the Covid-19 pandemic are perhaps the two biggest shifts I have seen. Changing standards, particularly the recent changes to ISA315, and the focus on testing controls during audits has placed additional regulations on audit professionals. With the world of working transformed in response to the pandemic, the way many of our clients conduct their business has changed permanently, meaning some of our audits now take place remotely.

3. What do you see as the main challenges facing your clients at the minute? No one is immune to market uncertainty and rising interest and inflation rates, which we have seen impact all of our clients. For some businesses we work with, the emergence of new technologies has also required significant investment in order to automate their day-to-day operations, which has knock on impacts for the audit process

4. What do you enjoy most about your role? I enjoy many factors, but particularly the variety of clients I work with, from private companies to charities. The mixture of office work and being on-site at client premises makes for a dynamic working week, and I enjoy working with different colleagues on each audit. Every audit is different, so we are always learning.

Ciaran Hughes

1. Tell us about your career development so far – what route did you take into Accounting? My previous role was in a school accounts office, during which I completed my Accounting Technician Ireland (ATI) exams.  I then moved across to Baker Tilly Mooney Moore in 2018 to join the trainee programme, qualifying with the ACCA in March 2022. Having been promoted to the Assistant Manager role in September 2023, I am looking forward to both expanding my own experience while providing help and guidance to the next level of trainees coming through.

2. What attracted you to the role, and what do you enjoy the most?  While I applied to a few firms specialising in different areas of finance, the range of accounting disciplines covered by Baker Tilly Mooney Moore was a real selling point. Working at a mid-sized practice facilitates a good work-life balance which I appreciate in my career. I now work predominantly in the Audit and Assurance team which has given me an insight into a range of industry sectors and how different companies operate, which will be beneficial to me in all future opportunities that come my way.

3. What advice would you give to someone starting out?  One exam at a time. They do end eventually.

Pictured left to right are Ashleigh Mooney, Ciaran Hughes and Emma George.