This International Accounting Day, we are celebrating our profession, the contribution accountants make to society, and their importance in helping businesses, individuals, and large organisations to make informed and sensible financial decisions. Joining us is Jamie Treacy, a Manager in our Business Services Department who has been with us since September 2017. Jamie was promoted to Manager level in 2022 and supports a range of our clients with their day-to-day financial needs.
What does your role involve, and what type of support are you providing to clients?
Day-to-day for me is about dealing with client queries and supporting them with their financial management. This involves producing management and statutory accounts, VAT Returns, managing payroll queries, and giving general advice. For smaller companies, we effectively act as an outsourced finance department.
What made you pursue a career in accounting?
I enjoyed Business Studies and Management in school, particularly the financial side of business. I particularly liked problem solving and always gravitated towards accounting and finance, so chose to complete my work placement in the accounts department of a large manufacturing business.
Tell us about your training and career development – what route did you take into the field?
My undergraduate degree is in Business Management, after which I worked for a large bank for one year before completing a Master’s degree in Accountancy and Finance. I then joined a small accountancy practice in Newry as a trainee where I completed my qualifications before joining Baker Tilly Mooney Moore in September 2017.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I enjoy the different challenges that every day brings, and get satisfaction from working with clients, understanding their business, and supporting them to grow and expand by making sound financial decisions. I also still enjoy reviewing accounts data and reconciling accounts.
How do you think your role has changed in line with recent economic challenges?
For me, the biggest change is that I am now in almost constant contact with my clients. Previously, businesses would have shared information with us once every quarter for their VAT return, and at the end of each year for Statutory accounts. Now, they require more real-time and accurate information and are keen to even check their own business performance more regularly, which we support them to do by digitising accounts.
What are some of the biggest challenges or pressures you are supporting clients with?
Staff shortages and increased overhead costs, such as electric and heating, have really put pressure on businesses, especially those that are still recovering financially from the pandemic. After surviving that challenge, they are now having to consider significant changes to their business models and operations in order to stay competitive.
How do you see the accounting industry evolving in future?
Accounting is evolving towards an ongoing consulting and advisory role, rather than a compliance and end-of-year filing function, particularly with new developments such as Making Tax Digital. We now have a much more constant relationship with clients, and conduct regular meetings, which I see as something that will increase in future.
What advice would you give to an aspiring accountant?
Even the most complicated transactions always come back to the basics of what is the debit and credit. Try to gain experience in as many of the different areas of accounts as possible and follow those that you find the most interesting.
What’s your top piece of business advice for clients?
Be proactive not reactive; and remember that up to date financial information is key for decision making and planning.