ACCOUNTANCY PARTNERS SET UP NEW PRACTICE IN THE CITY
The Leader Questionnaire Mary McKeogh, Eoin Gallagher and Eoin Ryan left careers in big accountancy practices to start a new firm – we talk to Mary about her own outlook.
Tell us a little about McKeogh Gallagher Ryan (MGR).
We are a traditional accountancy practice, based in Shannon Street. We have an insolvency department, which represents nearly half our practice. We do a good bit of work for NAMA, having just been appointed to its new panel. The business was set up last summer, with three partners. Eoin Ryan trained with PricewaterhouseCoopers, and joined first. Eoin Gallagher trained with BDO, where I was a partner, and he has been with us since the start also. At present, we employ 20 people, and we plan to train three new people this September.
How are the roles divided up?
Eoin Gallagher specialises in the area of audit and accounting. Like myself, he is a founding partner of McKeogh Gallagher Ryan Accountants. He was born in Quin, Co Clare, and holds a Bachelor of Business Studies Degree from the Institute of Technology, Tralee. Meanwhile, our other founding partner Eoin Ryan specialises in the areas of business advisory and recovery, including insolvency. A Limerick man, he is an Associate of both Chartered Accountants Ireland and the Irish Taxation Institute. He also holds a Bachelor of Business Studies Degree from the University of Limerick. I specialise in the area of tax consultancy and compliance. I provide business and financial advisory services to a range of clients, particularly in respect of debt restructuring, banking, financing and strategic business planning
How did MGR come into being?
We all worked within bigger firms and developed a niche. People are more fee conscious now, and we saw a gap in the market as an alternative to the Big Four practices (KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst &Young, and Deloitte). We have specialisms in audit, tax, insolvency, corporate finance, and we felt there was a need for such a business. We built up a decent base of clients between us. A lot of our clients would come with us: it is a relationship business. I have had some of my clients for 15 years or more.
What was your educational background?
After completing my secondary education, I did night courses in the School of Professional Studies, which is now the Limerick Project School in O’Connell Avenue.
How did you get to where you are today?
I began my training while at BDO, before rising to being a partner in this firm. I was the first female partner in the company. About nine years ago, I left BDO to set up Horwath Bastow Charleton. After this, we set up MGR.
What made you want to set up in business in the midst of a recession?
The clients’ needs dictated this opening. We felt there was a niche for good advisors at a good price. We have lots of experience in the various disciplines, which leaves us well placed. We would have been well known, and had a following in each of our specialisms.
Tell us a little about your involvement with the Limerick/China forum, which is seeking to bring investment into the region.
I was approached by Cllr Jim Long to get this forum up and running. The city’s business community have been very good to me over the last 20 years, so I wanted to give something back to the region. I wanted to give freely of my time, and my staff’s time to this initiative. We have a delegation visiting next Monday. If we could get them interested in the airport, something which they have expressed an interest in, this would be key.
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
I work a lot with start-up businesses. I work a lot in green energy, I would have wind-farm clients, and I would work on employment initiatives. I would hope to continue this and keep developing the business. Eoin Ryan will be working on our insolvency side, while Eoin Gallagher will be trying to develop our audit base.
The article appeared in the print edition of the Limerick Leader on Saturday March 9 2013