An investigation into the changes relating to duties and image of small to medium sized accountancy firms, with an emphasis on firms in the Midlands, over the past ten years.
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The accountancy profession has been continuously evolving over time, particularly in the past ten years. The financial crisis played a big role in changing the method in which accountants interact with their clients; and also the range of duties accountants perform for their clients. Additionally, the image of the profession underwent scrutiny following the revelations of the part accountancy firms played in the collapse of certain banks. This research project aims to provide an in-depth examination of the various changes to the accountancy profession that have arisen in the recent past, with particular focus the fallout from the banks. Finally, the author explores potential routes forward for the accountancy profession. The literature used was mainly from articles found in ‘Accountancy Ireland’ magazines. The author deemed these to be the most relevant to his research project. The author also found online sources extremely helpful. The study was restricted to Chartered Accountancy firms in the counties of Westmeath, Offaly, Roscommon, and Longford. The research methodology consisted of an online questionnaire and a semi-structured interview. In total, the author received twelve responses from the questionnaire. The research findings show that a change has occurred in the profession in the past ten years. New areas of expertise have been introduced. The emergence of IT in the workplace has given practitioners fresh ways in which to interact with their clients. In addition, the image of the profession has certainly suffered a hit due to the recession; however, the author believes the subject of recovery to be high on the agenda of the Institute of Chartered Accounts Ireland.
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