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Driving Diversity: Belfast-Based Accountancy Firm Maintains 50/50 Gender Split


Wednesday 24 January 2024

Driving Diversity: Belfast-Based Accountancy Firm Maintains 50/50 Gender Split
RBCA has promoted Women in Business Member Claire Deane to Senior Manager.
Belfast-based chartered accountancy, RBCA, has appointed Claire Deane (Associate Chartered Accountant) to the role of senior manager. The business, which now employs 20 people, was founded in 2010 and has set a leading example for the industry with its gender diversity standards maintained at a 50/50 split since 2010. 

RBCA’s male to female employee ratio is reflective of current industry trends – it’s reported that 47 per cent of accountants in the UK are female. However, Deane’s promotion from manager to senior manager reflects the firm’s commitment to diversity in senior leadership with 50 per cent of its senior roles held by females, compared to an average of 20 per cent industry wide.

Claire Deane, senior manager at RBCA, said, “It’s as motivating as it rewarding to have my commitment to the business acknowledged. RBCA is an exciting business to be part of, especially in recent years, as we’re experiencing continued growth of our client portfolio and our team. I’m delighted to take on the role of senior manager and continue to deliver on our strategic aims, whilst also continuing to have a positive impact on our clients’ business. The latter being more important than ever with businesses across Northern Ireland continuing to navigate a harsh economic climate.”

Commenting on the challenges facing businesses across Northern Ireland, Ross Boyd, founder and managing director of RBCA, said there is a growing need for strategic counsel. 

Ross explained, “We’re amid the most complex economic landscape of a generation with multiple factors continuing to impact consumer confidence and operational costs. The outlook for the SME community here in Northern Ireland is set to be challenging over the coming months as wage inflation and increased corporation tax squeeze profit margins. The recent Autumn Statement positioned an idea of recovery, but the reality is businesses need to be conservative and manage their finances prudently. The RBCA team are acutely aware of the economic headwinds and will continue to advise our clients accordingly.”

Commenting on Claire’s appointment Ross said, “I’m pleased to announce Claire’s appointment to senior manager. With a robust professional background spanning 11 years, including several years at management level, Claire consistently brings a wealth of experience to our team. Her practical accounting knowledge and commitment to excellence enables her to meet the diverse needs of her client portfolio, whilst also expertly guide the younger members of our team and set them up for future success.”

RBCA recently invested in a Belfast city centre office - a reflection of its continued growth, which Ross credits to his commitment to workplace culture, but warns that enhancing the sector’s image is crucial in attracting the right talent. 

Ross said, “Our headcount has grown by 25 per cent to accommodate recent client acquisition. Talent and growth are entirely correlated, and like other progressive organisations we invest in human capital. After all, organisations that prioritise diversity, inclusion, and flexibility, are proven to have higher retention. This is becoming clearer post-pandemic as Gen Z, now aged up to 26, are becoming more present in the workplace and are due to account for 27 percent of the workforce by 2025.”

Ross concluded, “In 2023, our RBCA Graduate Programme and welcomed seven bright individuals at the very start of their careers to our fold and it makes me proud to support them to enhance both their technical and interpersonal skills and enable them to become trusted business partners to their clients. We look forward to providing more entry-level accountants the same opportunity in 2024.”

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Wednesday 24 January 2024

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