Jennifer Kelly is Director of Accounting & Outsourcing Services for Mazars, an international partnership specialising in audit, tax, outsourced payroll and accounting, consulting and financial advisory services.

Based in Dublin, Jennifer reveals that in Ireland, we employ over 500 people in Dublin, Limerick and Galway and work with multi-national companies, public interest entities and indigenous Irish businesses to assist clients at every stage in their development.

We operate in 91 countries including Ireland and overall, we draw on the expertise of 40,000 professionals: 24,000 in the Mazars integrated partnership and 16,000 via the Mazars North America Alliance.

My area of expertise is accounting services, and I have over fourteen years’ experience.  My team provides outsourced accounting and reporting services to clients ranging from SMEs to multi-nationals.

Outsourcing of the accounting function enables companies to improve efficiencies, control costs and ensure timely financial reporting to support decision making, particularly in the current uncertain economic climate.

You can visit Mazars website here

What are your main priorities and goals in your role?

My main priority is to be a trusted advisor to our clients and provide them with timely financial reporting in an efficient manner by utilising innovations in technology to streamline the accounting process. They can then focus on their core business and take decisive actions in a timely manner. One of my main priorities is building a strong team of professionals who can deliver an excellent client service and partner with our clients in the development of their business.

How has your business strategy been adapted in the context of the Covid-19 crisis?

We are focusing on assisting SMEs who may be struggling due to the impact of Covid-19 and need financial information at their fingertips to support them with their decision making.

Many SMEs can no longer afford full-time finance staff, but with the use of cloud technology such as Xero, Receipt Bank and automatic bank feeds we can help them to completely streamline their accounts processes, resulting in time and cost savings.  This ensures they can keep their management accounts up to date and access them in real-time so that they have the information and time they need to make critical decisions and focus on the strategic direction of their business.

What are your biggest challenges?

One of the common challenges we face is encouraging owner managers of SMEs to focus on working on their business rather than just in their business.  We all know how important this is but can often struggle to set aside time to step back and focus on strategy and planning.

Recently my main challenge has been leading a team that would have worked side by side in one office, but now are all working remotely.  With the use of technology such as MS Teams we have been working very successfully as a fully remote team.

What new trends are emerging in your industry?

Digital transformation and Robotic Process Automation are certainly very relevant as organisations seek to eliminate inefficiencies in their operations.  A balance is carefully managing both company culture and the need to innovate.  It is important to focus on the benefits that digitisation can provide and to create a change culture that will support the digital transformation.

How do you define success and what drives you to succeed?

My grandfather said if you can find a job you love then you’ll never work a day in your life – that is my definition of success!  What drives me to succeed is the opportunity to drive change in the financial management of businesses, improving our processes, and the requirement for life-long learning and development.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given, or would give, in business?

Don’t quit!  You have only failed when you give up.

What’s next for your company?

My focus is to grow our division across our three national offices.  We’ve seen an increase in clients looking for support in both accounting and payroll, not only here in Ireland but across the EMEA region, so we’re constantly researching new products and technology that can help companies to improve efficiencies and streamline their processes.

Mazars has also recently launched our Reshape program which has been designed to help businesses affected by the Covid-19 crisis to navigate financial and operational uncertainty with a strategy to guide them through these challenging times.