KPMG’s Galway office celebrates 30 years in business in the West of Ireland this year. In celebrating the firm’s success in the region, KPMG hosted a black tie gala dinner last month for its alumni in the Radisson Blu Hotel where more than 100 people gathered to mark the occasion. It also proved an ideal opportunity to acknowledge all the people who contributed to the firm’s success in the Galway region over the decades.
Speaking at the celebrations, Brian Thornton, partner in charge at KPMG Galway, who joined the Galway office 20 years ago said, KPMG is proud to have had a dedicated presence in the West of Ireland for so many years. “We now employ over 50 people in Galway, providing business advisory services to clients in the Border, Midlands, West and Mid West regions. The strength of KPMG Galway’s client relationships built up in the region over several decades is testament that the firm has become an integral player in the West of Ireland’s business community.”
KPMG Galway’s client base ranges from high profile multinationals to established private Irish businesses and budding entrepreneurs. According to Mr Thornton “The West of Ireland has a great industrial base, comprising both indigenous and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI ) firms and we are delighted to work with some of the best businesses in the region.”
Commenting on the current business environment Mr Thornton notes, “The area continues to face significant challenges but the strong presence of foreign direct investment and resilient domestic enterprise in the region are grounds for optimism. Locally we’re still seeing some inward investment with the region being promoted by the IDA and Údarás na Gaeltachta very successfully. The most recent FDI arrival is EA Games.”
The changing economic environment means an increase in demand for specialist areas such as tax management. Companies need to be aware of the incentives available and how to go about documenting and maximising their entitlement. “The R&D tax credit is a terrific incentive to indigenous and FDI sectors to boost economic activity in this area. Recent improvements to the tax credits means that companies can claim a credit of 25 per cent of the qualifying spend which can be set off against corporate tax or give rise to a refund of payroll taxes, in certain circumstances.
Inevitably foreign direct investment is fundamental to continued economic stability however Mr Thornton says it is also essential to acknowledge the value to the economy of indigenous business. “Private and family owned indigenous business is a vital part of the overall economy – not just in the West but throughout Ireland.”
“We’ve been privileged to work with many of those who have grown from strength to strength to become major players in the sectors and we look forward to continuing to be part of their success.”
KPMG in Galway has very strong connections with local third level education institutions and has access to high quality graduates from NUI Galway and GMIT. Brian Thornton is clearly proud of the strong connections – he notes: “In the main we recruit from NUIG and GMIT and this has proved to be a good strategy over the 30 years as we have had a terrific calibre of staff at any given time.”
KPMG Galway trainees continue to achieve huge success in their professional accounting and taxation exams with ten staff sitting and passing the recent final exams, three of whom were placed in the top ten in Ireland.
“Such a performance reflects the talent and commitment to be found across KPMG’s Galway office and highlights the exceptional training and on the job experience that is such an integral part of a career with the firm. Such an achievement adds to the firm’s market leading reputation,” said Thornton.
In April, KPMG sponsored a Galway Chamber business lunch where the US Ambassador, Dan Rooney, and British Ambassador Julian King, addressed business leaders from the Galway community on topics such as innovation, Ireland’s economic growth and sustainable energy. Ben Bradish of KPMG was treasurer of Galway Chamber for several years and Mr Thornton is on the board of Cancer Care West. He has also lectured, along with several of his colleagues, at NUI Galway and for the Irish Taxation Institute
Over the past 30 years, KPMG Galway has become an integral player in the region. The firm delivers a regular programme of practical workshops and seminars focusing on industry sectors or topical areas such as new tax legislation, cash flow and cost control management. Staff members also participate in local business associations and special interest groups. Mr Thornton added that the success to date of the Galway office provides an ideal platform for a positive outlook for the future development of KPMG in Galway.