CPA Ireland Year in Review 2020


In 2020, CPA continued to progress its strategic pillars and focused heavily on people and customer centricity. We started to prepare our members and students for a world in which we had to operate differently considering the COVID-19 pandemic.

CPA Ireland launched its dedicated resource page to the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-March and continues to keep it up to date with the latest information, resources and supports for both our members, students, and wider stakeholders.

CPA Ireland adapted to the virtual career offering for prospective students and along with attending key careers fairs virtually nationwide, CPA Ireland also ran a series of successful virtual career summits and webinars throughout 2020, ranging in topics from career support, the CPA qualification, securing trainee roles, remote working, and remote trainee management strategies, many of which included panels of experts and members working in both industry and practice.

CPA Ireland also launched its online examinations and remote invigilation for the August 2020 exam sitting and worked with a new partner TestReach, who are industry leaders in both online assessment and remote invigilation.

In May, CPA Ireland hosted a webinar with BrĂ­d O’Meara, Director of Services at Aware, on Stress & Anxiety Management during a Pandemic.  The proceeds of this webinar, €1,500, were donated to Aware by CPA Ireland to assist them with the exceptional work they do.

In June, CPA Ireland, whose members advise over 100,000 Irish SMEs, called for an ‘Action Plan for SMEs’ to provide urgent clarity and support. At the time, in a survey undertaken by CPA Ireland, 91% of CPA accountants believed that the Wage Subsidy Scheme should be extended, 78% of CPAs believed further initiatives are required from Government and that the Revenue Pay and File deadline should be extended. 

At the first ever virtual 77th Annual General Meeting of members held on June 5th; John Devaney was elected President of CPA Ireland.  Addressing the members at the AGM, he called for more considerable government support to assist SME’s in the aftermath of lock-down.

In June, CPA Ireland launched a new syllabus – Ready to Face the Future of Accounting and in July, a new collaboration between CPA Ireland and the Analytics Institute of Ireland was established. Any CPA trainee who opts to study the new elective subject ‘Data Analytics for Finance’ on the final CPA strategic level of the qualification would also be recognised as a Certified Business Data Analyst.

Mary Gleeson, FCPA, FIATI, became the newly appointed President of Accounting Technicians Ireland and was a keynote speaker at a CPA Ireland webinar held in late July, advising ATI graduates about the CPA Ireland qualification and career opportunities.

In August, CPA Ireland launched its new Podcast Channel, containing information about the CPA accountancy qualification and cutting-edge syllabus, career advice and support, CPA trainee and member career journeys, career planning and life as a CPA trainee.

In September, CPA Ireland hosted a full day conference ‘The Future of Accountancy’. As automation and technology continually evolve and change business models, this conference covered key themes that accountants and auditors are adapting to this changing world.

Throughout the autumn period, CPA Ireland launched a series of new digital marketing campaigns, with digital advertising running across the Irish Independent,,,, Newstalk as well as radio advertising on Spin 1038, which concentrated on our new future focused syllabus, flexible learning options and the support available from the CPA Careers Advisory service. An editorial “How accounting is adapting to the digital revolution”, was also run on and websites.

In response to Budget 2021, CPA Ireland welcomed the €3.4bn recovery fund but stressed that it must be easy to access and welcomed the end of tax discrimination against the self-employed.

In October, CPA Ireland carried out research and warned that a further shortage of accountants is inevitable if firms do not commit to remote training.

Also, in October we were pleased to launch our first ever ‘Digital First’ course, Accounting For Now. This course was created specifically for accountants in an online environment and is comprised of highly effective strategies for engaging our learners.  The subjects selected for our inaugural digital first course provide updates on core topics for accountants as well as professional and business skills. We have engaged with subject matter experts to develop an exceptional learning experience for our members.

The Irish Accountancy Awards took place in November and CPA winners included Small Practice of the Year - Loughlin and Co, Advisory Team of the Year – IFAC, Advisory Team of the Year - SME Finance 2nd Place - ORM Accountants, Best Use of Technology in Accounting and Finance (End User) 3rd Place – IFAC.

In November, CPA Ireland held its first ever Sustainability Conference for Future Business Leaders and urged the accounting profession to demonstrate leadership in encouraging businesses of all sizes to plan for a greener future.

The new Advanced VAT for Accountants Programme was launched with national and international tax experts, Brendan Lynch and Michael Brennan covering a range of VAT issues including; VAT on intra-EU and International Transactions, Important VAT Issues & Development, VAT on Property, VAT on Construction.

At the first ever virtual conferring ceremony held in early December, CPA Ireland President, John Devaney called for the accountancy sector to embrace remote learning. 

CPA Ireland launched the CPA Ireland Economic Report with Economist Jim Power in early December, the report states that SMEs will require support long after the COVID pandemic and found that just 6% of accountants believe the new National Economic Plan will help SMEs.

CPA Ireland launched Digital Badges in association with Accredible, the world’s most comprehensive badge and certificate service, thus allowing people to showcase their post qualification specialisms attained from CPA Ireland.

Throughout the year we have run 8 post qualification specialisms, over 120 webinars, more than 30 live online events, 5 conferences, 3 of which were online. We provided invaluable updates on government supports for business, local market issues, financial accounting, audit, tax, cyber security issues, artificial intelligence, Brexit issues and funding options for businesses. We also provided members with access to mindfulness training, physical and mental wellbeing webinars and tips on how to both work remotely and manage remote teams.

For further information on all the above news stories, please visit