Sara McAllister Director - Head of Business Risk Services Dublin, City Quay +353 1 680 5716


Sara joined Grant Thornton in 2010 as a Director. She is a highly accomplished risk director with over 14 years national and international experience across all aspects of internal audit, risk management, governance, internal control and process improvement. Sara started her professional services career in a Big Four firm and has held a number of senior positions both in professional practice and industry at home and abroad.

She is commercially focused across business insight, governance and control and process efficiency. She manages the firm’s Business Risk Services department and its team who provide risk consulting and assurance related services, including enterprise risk management, governance and control, regulatory compliance and internal audit to clients.

Sara uses an approach of careful communication, acceptance and trust to find practical and innovative solutions for clients. She advises clients across a broad range of sectors including, pharmaceutical, retail, manufacturing, food and beverage, distribution and financial services.

Sara has acted as a Group Head of Internal Audit and Head of Compliance for domestic and international businesses and has delivered projects such as:

  • risk framework reviews and implementation of risk management frameworks;
  • risk register development;
  • roll out of full Sarbanes-Oxley Act (Section 404) programmes;
  • ISAE 3402/ SSAE 16 reporting reviews;
  • Corporate Governance Code compliance reviews;
  • internal control design and effectiveness reviews and implementation of in house peer testing regimes;
  • standardisation and re-design of company policies and procedures to achieve best fit risk management practices;
  • establishment of internal audit reporting regimes, terms of reference and structures for large private companies and for multinational organisations in accordance with COSO and IIA guidelines;
    • risk culture advice and expertise; and shared service (outsourced) business process risk management advice.


  • Member of the Association of Chartered Accountants (ACA)
  • Master’s degree in Accounting (M.Acc)
  • Bachelor of Commerce (B.Comm) degree from University College Dublin (UCD)
  • Certified 6 Sigma green belt consultant