I started my career in a small accounting practice. There were 2 partners and around a dozen staff. Although there were a handful of larger audit clients, many were bookkeeping assignments where we did the accounts, audit, tax and CRO filings. This was a great foundation in double entry accounting and was valuable all-round experience. I then moved on to one of the Big 4 firms as Audit Manager working on some of their largest clients and progressing to Director.
I joined Grant Thornton in 2008, when the firm consisted of around 350 people. We had some early success, securing the audits of two NASDAQ listed clients within a year, with a third following soon thereafter. Then, like most Irish businesses the recession started to hit hard but despite that, the firm continued to grow and I was delighted to be admitted as a partner in 2010. I genuinely believe that the firm’s success is based on a strong culture of collaboration and building strong relationships with our clients.
Earlier this year, I was asked to take on the role of Head of Audit and I accepted the challenge without hesitation, or perhaps just a little while I consulted with my wife. While leading a team of over 400 people may be tough at times, in reality it’s an honour that gives me great pride and satisfaction.
While the hours are often long, I have amazing support from my wife at home who manages to juggle everything with our 4 kids. I genuinely treasure family days, even if it’s just the 7 of us (forgot to mention Sandy, the pet dog!) going for a walk to the playground in St. Anne’s Park, or along the Clontarf seafront.
I get great confidence for the future from the positivity and enthusiasm of the team around me. Their talent, ambition and commitment to our strategy will guarantee our continued success. When I joined Grant Thornton it was made clear to me that there was scope to grow, to progress. This is a trend that I want to continue. I want my team members to feel empowered that if they assist in the growth of the firm then they can grow too.
As our Dublin team prepares to move into our new office on City Quay, I can’t help but to feel optimism about this new era for Grant Thornton and feel very lucky to be part of the adventure. Onwards and upwards!