Up Close and Personal With an Accountant – Meet Brendan Halloran

We’re on a mission to disprove the myth that a typical accountant is boring. So, each week we interview one member of our team and it’s up to you to decide what you think. We hope you’ll realise how fascinating accountants truly are!  

We keep our Up Close and Personal With an Accountant Series light-hearted, but we also ask each person one serious question. We don’t want to go too crazy as at the end of the day we’re still accountants…  

Today in our series we present: Brendan Halloran

Posted on June 11, 2019 by Cooney Carey

15,000 Meetings and Counting

On Friday of last week (18th), Cooney Carey held our strategic away day, where we discussed plans and opportunities in the upcoming 12 months. As a multi-disciplinary professional services firm, we had input from 12 members of our senior management team. It was an extremely productive day and many discussion points arose throughout the day.

Afterwards, I reflected on the day and specifically the importance of holding a successful meeting. I estimate that in a normal working week, I attend an average of 10 – 15 meetings a week (client and internal meets), which when I think about, over 30+ years of experience is upwards of 15,000 meetings.

Each person has different strengths and qualities in their professional armoury but when it comes to holding a successful meeting, there are a few fundamentals that have stood me in good stead down through my advisory career. This list is not an exhaustive, but merely a list of the take-away points that have resonated with me over the course of my career to date:

  1. Always come to the meeting with a positive attitude.
  2. Be prompt in arriving and return from any breaks held during meeting.
  3. Understand why everyone is in attendance.
  4. Define purpose from the outset.
  5. Come prepared to a meeting and never try to wing it.
  6. Speak one at a time and try to wait for the right moment to interject.
  7. Make sure your point adds or creates value. Reiterating a point already made doesn’t add value but prolongs the meeting.
  8. Try not to tuck into the boardroom sweet jar, halfway through the meeting.
  9. Listen – we were blessed with two ears and one mouth for a reason – particularly important in respect of client meetings.
  10. Keep the flow – deal with one topic at a time and move on once finished.
  11. Don’t revisit old topics.
  12. Keep good notes.
  13. Humour can often lighten the tension – Be careful to ensure appropriateness and to whom it may be directed.
  14. Ensure action points are identified, agreed and recorded.
  15. Respect other’s ideas – there is no such thing as a “bad” idea, but there may often be a better one.
  16. Summarise the action points at the end and try to end meeting on time.

I hope these tips will help you make the most of the meetings you hold and attend.

What questions do you have?

We are happy to help. Please post your comment below or call Tony Carey, Business and Financial Advisory Partner at Cooney Carey, on 01 677 9000. Alternatively, connect with him on LinkedIn.

Posted on January 30, 2019 by Tony Carey

What are the benefits of offering an internship programme?

Does your company offer an internship programme? Have you considered the benefits of such a programme?

I have heard several people say that that an internship programme is beneficial for the intern only, while for the company the time invested in the intern is wasted as the intern returns to college just as they become useful.

While it is true that there are several benefits for the intern; paid summer job, gaining on job experience and a perspective on a potential future profession they may wish to follow, your company can benefit too.

Let us share with you our experience

As a company,  we are new to the idea of internships. While in the past we took on summer students their role has been of an office admin type. However, since 2016 we have actively sought interns who are doing a business or accounting degree and who are looking to commence a career in accountancy following college.

In our first year, we took on one intern as we wanted to see how the whole programme would work out. While this approach means more time and effort is spent when recruiting the intern, we felt the benefits far outweighed the costs. As a consulting firm, we tend to have many employees on study leave/annual leave over the summer period and the presence of the intern allowed us to alleviate some of the work flow issues that can arise around this time.

Another benefit for us was that we could use the internship programme as a recruitment tool for future employees. It allowed us to assess the intern in a work environment rather than in an interview setting. This enabled us to gain a much more rounded judgement on the person and how they would fit into the team.

Our first venture into the world of internship was so successful that this summer we took on two interns. And we never looked back.

So, we would highly recommend that your company considers such a programme. As our experience shows it can be beneficial for both the intern and the company.

What questions do you have?

We are happy to help. Please post your comment below or call Will Townsend (ACA, BBS (ACC), CMC), Partner at Cooney Carey, on 01 677 9000. Alternatively, send him an email: wtowsend@cooneycarey.ie

To keep in touch, connect with our friendly team on LinkedIn.

If you found this article interesting, please share it with other businesses. 

Posted on September 14, 2017 by Will Townsend

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