Simple Facts of Accounting

The following accounting information leaflets are prepared by The Institute of Certified Public Accountants for SFA members. Each one discusses a different topic and they aim to simplify facts about accounting. The intent is to give an overview of the subject rather than an in-depth analysis.

Bulletin 1 - Availing of the Audit Exemption

The topic discussed in this accounting information leaflet discusses how a company can avail of an audit exemption. It also outlines .. Read more

Bulletin 2 - Duties of Company Directors

Every company must have at least two directors. The main purpose of the directors is to manage the affairs of the company. No formal qualifications are required to become a company director. However certain persons are ineligible to act as company directors, for example .. Read more

Bulletin 3 - The Auditor and The Audit

This information leaflet informs you of what an audit is and what an auditor is. It also discusses .. Read more

Bulletin 5 - Surviving the Pitfalls of Business

This guide addresses the most common reasons for and makes suggestions for avoidance of business failure. As many businesses fail for management reasons, it is important to realise that .. Read more

Bulletin 6 - Finance and IT a special relationship?

This guide talks about how people often perceive the Finance and IT functions to be inseparable. Some would even say that there is a special relationship between these two functions. If a special relationship exists then this bond could be based on the fact that in a lot of businesses there is a perception that .. Read more

Bulletin 7 - Business Plans for SME’s

Business plans are prepared for a variety of reasons including obtaining finance from investors and bankers or providing a plan for strategic and corporate development. A well developed business plan is your roadmap to success for your venture, whether it's a new business or it's been around for a while. It's a document that describes .. Read more

Bulletin 8 - Unlawful Transactions with Company Directors

In 2005, the Director of Corporate Enforcement cautioned some 700-company directors in respect of their improper use of company funds. This information bulletin outlines the restrictions that the Companies Acts places on companies when entering into certain arrangements with company directors and addresses frequently asked questions such as .. Read more

Bulletin 9 - Family Business the Future

It is estimated that only 33% of family businesses make it to the second generation, of which more than half are either sold or split up. A mere 15% make it to the third generation with less than 4.5% surviving beyond. This guide asks .. Read more

Bulletin 12 - Generating Funding from your Business Plan

All businesses require funding to start, grow and develop. Whether the business is a start up or in growth phase, a well thought out business plan helps convince potential investors that you .. Read more

Bulletin 13 - Thirty Five 'Best Practice' Tips for more effective credit control

Cash flow is the very lifeblood of a business. In this regard, each business should consider whether it is doing everything it can to ensure that its customers are paying on time. Furthermore, the recovery of business debt can be frustrating, time consuming and often unsuccessful. It is better to put in place .. Read more

Bulletin 14 - Rights and Duties of a Shareholder

This guide outlines what a shareholder is, their duties, rights and powers, transfer of shares, right to dividends and .. Read more

Bulletin 15 - Guide to Creditors Meeting

In many cases the first indication that a supplier gets of a customer being in financial difficulty is the Notice of a Creditors Meeting. Section 266 of the 1963 Companies Act states that notices of the meeting of creditors must be sent by post to the creditors at least .. Read more

Bulletin 17 - Tax Implications of Redundancy for Employers and Employees

In these challenging times companies are being forced to consider restructuring in a bid to have leaner cost structures and in some cases, to survive. Consequently the prospect of redundancy has, unfortunately, become a reality for many SMEs and their employees. This .. Read more

Bulletin 18 - Research and Development

General consensus would have us believe that in order to be working in Research and Development we must be scientists, wear white coats and be striving to invent or produce life changing products or services for the greater good of the entire universe. A bit exaggerated, possibly but the definition of what can be termed as .. Read more

Bulletin 19 - Going Concern, What Directors need to know

During the boom years it was generally assumed that companies would continue trading. Now, however, things have changed and for many companies there is some doubt as to whether they will be viable going forward. These doubts may arise due to .. Read more

Bulletin 20 - What can an Accountant do for you?

It is likely that recovery for our economy may be a few years away yet. A recent survey to members carried out by the CPA revealed that 89% of respondents said they are seeing viable businesses getting into trading difficulties because of lack of credit from their banks. 94% said they have seen an increase in the number of clients being refused loans or having credit facilities removed and .. Read more

Bulletin 21 - Keeping the Sheriff at Bay

The office of the Sheriff pre-dates Norman times. The laws governing their activities are complex. While the Law Reform Commission made a number of recommendations in 1988 on changing the law, none of these changes have yet been implemented. This guide outlines .. Read more

Bulletin 22 - How companies can raise funds from business angels

A business angel is an individual that invests his/her own funds in an early stage, unlisted enterprise. Business angels have become an increasingly important source of finance for new and growing enterprises in recent years, as many venture capital investors are not in a position to accommodate smaller deals. Business angels tend to bring their .. Read more

Bulletin 23 - Meeting Your Companies Registration Office Deadlines

Missing the filing deadline for a company’s annual return to the Companies Registration Office can be a costly mistake for a company. The information in this guide will assist you in ensuring that your company never misses its deadline. The information .. Read more

Bulletin 24 - Accelerated Capital Allowance Scheme

Accelerated Capital Allowances (ACA) for energy efficient equipment was introduced in the Finance Act 2008 and has been expanded in subsequent Finance Acts. In effect, the scheme allows businesses seeking to reduce energy costs by .. Read more

Bulletin 25 - International Financial Reporting Standards for SMEs

Most SMEs in Ireland currently prepare accounts using Irish GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Standards). IFRS for SMEs is a reporting standard for non-publicly accountable companies which is likely to replace Irish GAAP by 2012. The standard is based on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and was published by the standard setters in July 2009. One of the main reasons why this standard has been published is .. Read more

Bulletin 26 - Personal Guarantees - What Directors Need to Know

Directors of various companies, whether they are startups, or long established, one man operations or huge development enterprises, are often asked to sign personal guarantees ("PGs") on behalf of their companies. Those seeking PGs include .. Read more

Bulletin 27 - Using a"21 Day" Letter to Collect a Debt

One of the most common problems in commercial life today is the difficulty getting paid as the country’s economic difficulties affects businesses of all sizes. In many instances, Companies are referring the matter to their legal advisors. In advising their clients on how best to collect .. Read more

Bulletin 28 - Company Law Update

In this continuing time of economic uncertainty it is important that Ireland be viewed as a competitive location for business with simplified procedures for establishing and operating a company. However, it is equally, if not now more important, that we maintain a strong compliance and enforcement regime in order to attract foreign investment and .. Read more

Bulletin 29 - Employment and Investment Incentives Scheme

Finance Act 2011 introduced the Employment and Investment Incentive (EII) Scheme. The scheme is a replacement for the Business Expansion Scheme which was introduced in 1984. The Business Expansion Scheme (BES) was introduced initially to encourage employment in manufacturing companies. Over the years this expanded to include .. Read more

Bulletin 30 - Potential Traps for the Small Business Professional

As the economic uncertainty continues, those lucky enough to still be in business might think that it is enough to concentrate their efforts more on keeping their business afloat than on keeping their tax affairs in order. While it is true that “every penny counts” that goes into the Exchequer, nevertheless such businesses will not be rewarded for .. Read more

Bulletin 31 - What You Need to Know About Cash Flow

Managing your cash flow is the single most important factor in surviving in business. It is one of the major challenges to arise out of the current economic climate for almost every business owner. Assets need to be evaluated, liabilities assessed and all income and expenditure items should be critiqued line by line. Businesses need to focus activities in those are where .. Read more

Bulletin 32 - How to deal with the bank

Banks are saying they are open for business but companies are finding it difficult to access credit. The fact is banks can’t and won’t increase the level of credit into a struggling business. Banks are lending but only in cases where .. Read more

Bulletin 33 - Getting the Most from Your Accountant

More than ever, business owners need the advice of a good accountant. For business owners, an accountant’s contribution can go beyond the technical competence of ‘book keeping’ to developing realistic, strategic plans for the survival and recovery of their business. Be willing to work with your accountant and know .. Read more

Bulletin 34 - Collecting what you are owed

This guide addresses debt collection for SME's in Ireland. Many companies are facing increasing problems in collecting debts from customers and clients. Debt collection is a process that can be learned and .. Read more

Bulletin 35 - Finance for Non-Accountants

This guide here concentrates on understanding and analysing financial statements and focuses on the technical and legal requirements faced when preparing your accounts. How can a manager, for example .. Read more

Bulletin 36 - Finance for Non-Accountants Part 2

This guide here concentrates on analysing a set of financial statements so they become more meaningful for the reader. Analysing financial statements through comparative ratio analysis will help a business owner to identify and quantify the company’s strengths and weaknesses and evaluate its true financial position. Finance .. Read more

Bulletin 37- Finance for Non-Accountants Part 3

This guide here concentrates on analysing a set of financial statements so they become more meaningful for the reader. Analysing financial statements through comparative ratio analysis will help a business owner to to identify and quantify the company's strengths and weaknesses and evaluate its true financial position .. Read more