BDO Ireland is a member of the international BDO network, the world’s largest European-led accounting network. Our expertise helps clients generate, protect and enhance their wealth through our partner-led approach and their unique insights into what makes a business successful. We pride ourselves on the quality of our people, the quality of our thinking and the trust that they promote in our clients.

We have a strong finance team led by finance partner Noel Taylor who supported me through my 19-year journey in BDO to director level. Along with finance expertise, I have gained a wealth of knowledge in that time in the functional areas of facilities, compliance, HR, L&D, IT and marketing. We work closely with functional heads, through the provision of the financial information they require to operate effectively and efficiently to support their business strategy.

Increasing the use of IT has effectively eliminated paper, making processes more disciplined and structured

My attitude, loyalty, and work ethic are complemented by a strongly collaborative approach. This has allowed me to build strong relationships with the partners, the finance team and colleagues across all business units. I confidently engage with all partners and support them in understanding the financial position of the business and its business units.

My professional priorities are to develop and upskill my team. I would like to explore some networking opportunities both with BDO Global and like-sized professional services through researching the appetite for a forum to share ‘internal finance’ experiences in terms of systems used and efficiencies achieved, where we can all learn from each other.

A recent example of progress was our move to the paperless office. This was a key part of the finance department’s strategy in recent years. However, the pandemic brought us into the fast lane. Increasing the use of IT has now effectively eliminated paper, and our processes became more disciplined and structured as a result.

I sit on the BDO CSR committee, which organises several activities throughout the year. We are particularly proud to be involved in the Inner-City Enterprise (ICE) Young Entrepreneurs Training Programme, where BDO provides information sessions about taxation and business development. The session I give is on the basics of bookkeeping. In a recent survey, participants voted these sessions among their favourites in the overall programme.

I actively support the International Women’s Day 2022 campaign theme #BreakTheBias

Diversity and inclusion are very important to me. When I began my career in accounting, in addition to men only having the principal roles, they were only ever introduced to female staff as ‘Mr’, while on first name terms among each other. We even had gender-based tea breaks. Finding employment at that time was difficult and the glass ceiling felt very real. I actively support the International Women’s Day 2022 campaign theme #BreakTheBias and in sport I equally encourage use of #SeeHerBeHer.

On a personal level, my priorities have always been my family and my children. This was even more important through the pandemic where overnight their social world shrank. I was watching closely for any impact on their mental health.

The lessons I have learned in my career are to build bridges not barriers, encourage rather than demand, avoid being judgemental, keep an open mind and choose your words carefully. If you have the right attitude, you will achieve your dreams. Also, find your happy place and go there when you need to de-stress.