CPA Ireland is absorbing the membership of the Institute of Incorporated Public Accountants as two of Ireland’s largest accounting professional bodies agreed to a permanent collaboration.

As part of the deal, the IIPA plans to cease operations as a recognized accounting organization in September. Beginning Sept. 1, 2017, CPA Ireland (short for the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland), will service, support and regulate IIPA members.

The memberships of both organizations voted to approve the combination at recent general meetings, and the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority has also approved the changes, as required under Irish law. As a result of the consolidation, the number of accounting bodies in Ireland will decline to eight and CPA Ireland will increase its membership by 5 percent. Its footprint in public practice in Ireland will grow 18 percent.

“In global terms, the Irish accountancy profession is relatively small, but has a relatively large number of distinct industry bodies,” said CPA Ireland President Deirdre Kiely in a statement Thursday. “Therefore collaboration and resource sharing is a sensible pursuit. We look forward to supporting IIPA accountants and welcoming our new cohort of members as we continue to operate as strong independent professional body supporting business needs.”

Accounting is a growing profession in Ireland, with more than 36,000 qualified professionals. The number of new members entering the accounting profession grew nearly 20 percent last year, from 1,575 in 2015 to 1,856 in 2016. The most recent CPA Ireland graduating classes have all landed jobs.

IIPA President John McCarrick (left) with CPA Ireland President Deirdre Kiely and CPA Ireland CEO Eamonn Siggins
IIPA President John McCarrick (left) with CPA Ireland President Deirdre Kiely and CPA Ireland CEO Eamonn Siggins Colm Mahady / Fennell Photography

“This collaboration provides a positive future for the members of IIPA,” said IIPA President John McCarrick in a statement. “We are joining CPA Ireland, a professional body of over 90 years standing with international recognition. From the outset, our discussions on collaboration were conducted with mutual respect and confidentiality. I am very proud of what IIPA has achieved since its foundation in 1981 and I am also proud of the manner in which IIPA members embraced this opportunity for closer collaboration with CPA Ireland.”

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Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn, editor-in-chief of AccountingToday.com, has been covering business and technology for a variety of publications since 1985.