Ireland’s first all-virtual chartered accountancy practice

19 Oct 2009

This month, Hardie Brown & Co will become the first virtual chartered accountancy practice in Ireland, using the internet to bring real-time accountancy services to clients.

“Hardie Brown & Co understands the importance of SMEs in Ireland and their critical role in the future success of the Irish economy,” said Gael Hardie-Brown, principal.

“It is the specific needs of SMEs we are seeking to address. Why should this critical sector lack high-quality advice and analysis essential to their success? With the increased acceptance of online business services, Hardie Brown & Co provides a much-needed solution,” said Hardie-Brown.

Irish SMEs represent about 99pc of private enterprises in Ireland with more than 700,000 employees or nearly 67pc of the private-sector workforce (30pc in enterprises with less than 10 employees, 20pc with less than 50 employees and 17pc with less than 250 workers). About 50pc of the Irish private-sector workforce is employed in micro and small enterprises.

Past six months for Irish companies

In the last six months, Irish companies have seen a significant deterioration in their financial strength (78pc reporting a fall in turnover and profit), and with continuing reliance on the banking sector to provide critical funds (39pc received funding from banks in the last two years of which 64pc has been used for working capital), the need for SMEs to have relevant, current financial information is key to their future prospects.

“There are a handful of Irish Chartered Accountancy firms that offer online web-based accounting solutions as part of their offering but this is the first that has embraced a fully online solution. As a firm, we will provide all our services through the web – all the client needs is a laptop and access to the internet.

“With the adoption of broadband increasing every day, now is the time for the SME sector to embrace the full possibilities that such access brings,” explained Hardie-Brown.

By John Kennedy

Photo: Hardie Brown & Co clients now just need a laptop and internet access to avail of its services.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years