An IT Sligo lecturer has been elected as the Ireland Chair of the largest global professional accountancy body, ACCA.
Sligo native John Gaynor formally assumed the role of Chairman of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Ireland for the next 12 months at the organisation’s AGM in Dublin on Thursday evening – and begins the new role immediately.
He is just the second Sligoman to hold this prestigious post, following in the footsteps of Diarmuid O’Donovan who was ACCA Ireland President four years ago (2013/14).
John is currently lecturer and Programme Chair of IT Sligo’s Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Accounting, a three-year degree programme which has established a strong national reputation for producing high quality accounting graduates. It offers one of the fastest routes to achieving a professional accounting qualification and attracts generous exemptions from the four professional accounting bodies.
He has been a staff member at the Institute since 2001.
“It is a tremendous honour to represent the professional body which I’ve been a member of for half my life,” said John.
“I grew up in a family business environment. My elder brother Neil and my cousin Donard both pursued careers in accounting when I was still at school, so my passion for accounting developed from an early age. I also had an excellent teacher for accounting in Joan Delaney from Summerhill College.”
A former student of IT Sligo in accounting himself, John trained as a professional accountant with Gilroy Gannon Chartered Accountants in Sligo during his formative years. After becoming a member of ACCA, he was appointed Financial Controller with Anglo Irish Beef Processors in their Donegal plant. He subsequently joined United Technologies Automotive in their Derry plant as Project Accountant in an asset management role. On his return to Sligo, John worked in practice with his brother Neil, specialising in SME consultancy and advisory. He provided financial management training for SMEs, a role which eventually led him towards accounting education and IT Sligo.
In 2005 John completed an MSc in Accounting, exploring the Management Accounting needs of small business and achieved a distinction.
Welcoming his election as Chair of the professional body, the Head of ACCA Ireland & Europe Liz Hughes said:
“I am delighted to welcome John as chairman of ACCA Ireland. The breadth of his experience, across practice, corporate and education sectors, is a true testament to his understanding of our members’ needs. ACCA enjoys a successful academic partnership with IT Sligo for a number of years, and John has been an inspiring advocate for ACCA and the qualification. I am looking forward to working with him as he takes up the mantle of chairman.”
One of John’s key objectives in the new role will be to help foster a change in the perception of Accounting as a profession, particularly among young people. “It is one of the professions to have been most affected by the changes in technology. ACCA has invested significant resources in research to help provide an insight into the future of professional accountancy and have continued to evolve the qualification to develop professional accountants who are strategic forward-thinkers with the necessary skills to thrive in the modern business environment” he says.
“The accountant of the future won’t be a number cruncher. Rather, he/she will be a good communicator with an ability to explain an often complex story of financial performance in a clear and unambiguous way. In 21st century Ireland, accountants are integral parts of senior management teams. They help managers to manage.”
John’s three main priorities in his new role as ACCA chair during the coming 12 months:
- To examine more closely the nature of accounting education in Ireland
- To help accountants embrace advancements in technology and the impact on the profession
- To be a passionate ambassador for ACCA and the wider accounting profession in general.
John will continue to teach at IT Sligo during his tenure as Chair of ACCA.