INSIDE BUSINESS Having taken on four new partners, Cavan and Longford based accountancy firm KBG’s MARK REILLY talks to the Celt about surviving the downturn, preparing for the upturn, the team’s gender equality ethos, and look forward to their ‘Counting on You’ project.
“Quality of service and ensuring that you meet the needs of the clients,” this is the mantra that Mark Reilly partner of KBG Accountants says was essential for building the business during a time of financial hardship.
That commitment by KBG to the needs of clients has seen it thrive in the last number of years having staved off the ravages of recession. KBG just announced they are to reward the diligence and hard work of four employees by appointing them partners in this exciting firm.
“We had three partners up to February 2017, now we have expanded that with the addition of four new names to our management team. Three ladies Siobhan Brady, Bernice Clarke and Louise Quinn with one male Francis Mulderrig are added to the existing team of Paddy Keavney, Ciarán Brady and Mark Reilly. Obviously, this is a major development in an accountancy firm the size of ours,” Mark says of the latest development.
As a progressive, dedicated and hard-working accountancy firm KBG is a mid sized firm at the forefront of its profession. With offices in Cavan and Longford, not to mention a substantial online presence, they have built up a client base that appreciates the attention to detail and personal touch provided.
The KBG partner says their growth is down to the support of the clients.
“We don't use terms like 'company' or 'firm' here, we are all a team. We are all in this together. We reward people who contribute to our team. Accountancy locally has been a male dominated area, we are changing that. We have seven partners now, three of them are female. This move is about securing the future of the practice and rewarding loyal employees, who show great hunger, initiative and ability.
“Not everyone is cut out to be a partner and not everyone’s personal circumstances allow for such a commitment. You need to have certain skill sets and our new additions have displayed their ability in bucketfuls.”
Over the last number of years, KBG has given back to the community in a number of different ways. Sponsorship of GAA clubs has been the preferred method, but they are about to embark on a new initiative that brings a little fun into the mix.
“We are facilitating a charity event in conjunction with Pieta House. We have invited football clubs from Cavan, Longford and Leitrim to send two free takers, one male and one female, to participate in our 'Counting on You' competition in Gowna GFC on July 22. There is a €6,000 prize fund. It serves a threefold function of raising more awareness about Pieta House, getting our brand out there and providing sponsorship for the four winners for their clubs,” Mark told the Celt.
This it the latest endeavour by the accountants to support local organisations.
“We have been synonymous with supporting football clubs over the last number of years. Each year we picked up to ten clubs to provide them with gear bags and training tops. That has worked very well over the last number of years. This is just something different for us to try.
“KBG will have some well known names, like the Mayo ladies football legend Cora Staunton, Monaghan star Jack McCarron and former Cavan keeper Alan O’Mara, all confirmed to attend. We are hoping that this will develop into an annual event,” he explained.
The firm also boasts seven current footballers as part of its team including current Cavan star Gerard Smith, current Roscommon ladies starlet Bronagh McHugh and former Cavan sharp shooter Martin Dunne.
KBG has a dynamic and experienced team. Paddy Keavney (FCA) is the firm’s founding partner. Paddy has over thirty years experience in advising clients on many aspects of commercial and financial management. Ciarán Brady (ACMA) joined Patrick Keavney & Co in 1993, which subsequently led to his partnership and to the formation of Keavney Brady & Co. Ciarán is a highly successful and respected member of BNI the world's biggest referral marketing organisation. Mark Reilly joined the firm in 1999. He obtained his Institute of Chartered Accountants qualification in 2003 and presently specialises in personal insolvency. Like all the partners he has a wide range of experience from assisting business start-ups to advising established business on sustainability.
The new partners to join the team bring a range of talents that will be invaluable to the KBG client base. Siobhán Brady from Gowna, completed a BA in Accounting and Finance joined the firm in 2005. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants and in 2015 she qualified as a Certified Tax Adviser (CPA). She runs the Longford office having set it up from scratch in 2007.
Bernice Clarke joined the firm in 2005 and qualified as a Certified Public Accountant in 2008. She has particular expertise in meeting the company secretarial requirements of clients across a variety of industries and sectors. She is very much involved in the local Cavan Ladies Business grouping.
Louise Quinn, from Aughawillan, Leitrim, is an Associate of Chartered Accountants Ireland and joined KBG in 2013 after working for a number of years with an accountancy practice in Dublin. She has extensive experience in all business sectors and works closely with clients to review their business and where necessary introduce changes to drive their performance.
Frank Mulderrig from Mayo is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland. After qualification he joined Grant Thornton Dublin where he specialised in Audit & Assurance and worked as Audit Manager. In 2007 Frank joined KBG Accountants as Audit Director and presently heads up the firm’s Audit division. KBG boasts a broad client portfolio providing general practice services along with audit and assurance, business advisory, general business, corporate and tax advice, insolvency advice, to a wide range of clients.
The firm learned a lot of lessons over the last number of years. Many coming at considerable costs when the economy collapsed in 2007.
“We were heavily reliant on construction in the past, so when the boom turned to bust we were, like most other similar firms, badly affected. To sustain the viability of the business at the time tough decisions had to be made. We ended up losing some really good employees, we had to cut costs and become leaner and more efficient as a business. Not just builders, but architects, plumbers, groundsmen, tilers and electricians, but indirectly retailers and many other sectors suffered - the downturn really affected us and our clients. We lost a lot of very experienced people, but the model we had could not continue.”
Mark says that there has been a palpable change in the economic temperature in recent times.
“We saw an upturn in the economy in Dublin in September 2013. It is slowly coming back in many sectors locally. For example, there were recent planning applications for a substantial housing development in Virginia. That is the first time in 10 years,” he told the Celt.
“We are back up to similar numbers employee wise, however KBG's client spread is much better across the different sectors. There is no dominant sector, so hopefully we are better equipped to deal with any downturn. Our portfolio covers everything from the person with a small rental house in a rural area to a firm that is exporting up to €50m of goods a year and everything in between. We work with farmers, publicans, retailers, beauticians, grocers, entrepreneurs, doctors, dentists, solicitors, anyone who needs financial advice. We have a very broad client base,” the accountant outlined.
The most attractive feature of the KBG model is the range of specialised skills they offer to clients. Mark believes that by offering specific services they can better meet client needs.
“We can do this by the level of service we provide and the technical expertise we have. We have an in-house tax consultant, Fionnuala Tobin who specialises in Succession Planning, Corporate Cash Extraction methods and various methods of reducing tax liabilities for large and small entities. She deals with all taxes and keeps herself fully up to speed with all changes and new ideas to help clients.
“Our specialised audit department is a first locally. Also Paddy Beirne a native of Drumshanbo is our in house qualified forensic accountant, dealing with loss of earnings claims, and all other cases requiring a more detailed eye. A qualified financial advisor is available and I am a personal insolvency practitioner. We have the interest, experience and hunger to help our clients. All these go toward meeting our clients needs in this changing country.”
If you would like advice, assistance or consultation on any financial matter you can contact KBG in Cavan on 049-4361444 or Longford 043-3354028.