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Tuesday, 11th August 2020
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Midlands accountancy firm offers something different Back  
Russel Brennan Keane (RBK) is the only accountancy firm outside of Dublin to feature in the top 10 firms in this year€s Accountancy Survey. With its midlands base, RBK is able to offer its employees a dynamic and competitive working environment in less congested surroundings outside the capital.
With a strategic focus on sustainable growth and development across the central belt of the country, Russell Brennan Keane (RBK) is the only regional firm ranked in the Top 10 Accounting Firms in the Annual Finance Accountancy Survey. With objectives that include more than tripling their fee income in five years, RBK is a firm to watch.

A full service firm, RBK has rapidly expanding offices in Dublin, Athlone and Roscommon. Benefiting from being headquartered in the heart of the country, the firm is reaping the rewards of having multiple attractive locations containing almost 200 staff and aggressive growth objectives as it heads towards its 50th year.

While the firms€ growth strategies are implemented nationwide, there is a particular emphasis on the Dublin region. Dublin currently accounts for approx 10 per cent of RBK€s business with that figure expected to triple in the next year. €Our growth strategies include acquisition and we currently have a number of discussions underway at various stages. We have agreed our growth objectives and are very serious about them,€ said Liam Rattigan, chief executive of RBK.

Not surprising, given that the firm is headquartered in Athlone, over 60 per cent of the firm€s business comes from Leinster, excluding Dublin city. Recently the midland region has seen a rapid expansion with the much publicised Athlone Towncentre and improved accessibility with the extension of the N6. €In the past it was difficult to recruit experienced people to a midland location but not anymore. Many of our new employees have seized the opportunity to enhance their careers and quality of life with the added benefit of leaving traffic behind, with over 25 per cent of our senior employees relocating from Dublin. The mix of staff is healthy and exciting particularly with people from a non accounting background,€ added Rattigan.

One such recent recruit was Brian Feeney, who relocated to Athlone from Dublin to join RBK in March as senior audit manager. Typical of many recent recruits, Feeney had previously worked with Arthur Andersen and KPMG. €I joined RBK because of the specific role and for the career progression opportunities in a firm like RBK. I€m greatly enjoying the experience. Each day brings with it a new opportunity to work with highly skilled and friendly people. Our emphasis is on working together to deliver an outstanding service to our clients. My working hours are no shorter but, because of our location, all amenities are very accessible with no traffic and a constantly improving infrastructure. There is also the added benefit of purchasing a new home and taking up golf,€ he said.

€Having the right people is critical for the success of any business. We have invested significantly in our people, in internal training and recruiting some very talented individuals many who have come from the larger firms and from industry. We do more for our clients and have a broad commercial approach. As a result our roles tend to be much more varied and challenging. Our permanent staff turnover level is minimal,€ said Karen Buckley, HR Director.

€Our growth is strong and as we advise clients to think about succession, we too are putting in place the team that will take the firm into the future,€ said Rattigan. Currently searching for a corporate finance partner, the firm certainly is one to watch for accountants at all levels. €We have 10 partners and 15 directors running this large business and we need to increase that number as we grow. We will be recruiting for some very senior positions in the next 12 months.€

Not shy of rewarding staff, RBK adopts a flexible outlook to motivate the growing team using a range of benefits both financial and non financial. Ensuring standard conveniences are in place with facilities to work from home with remote access, a very active social club and constant encouragement to network in the community are further aspects to ensure staff settle into life at Russell Brennan Keane.

A firm in transition, its vision is to become an even bigger player in the national scene. Having recently expanded the internal support services to include learning and development, training, marketing and business development, further areas to watch include wealth management and expansion of our corporate recovery teams.

€We maintain a very close relationship with our clients and aim not only to provide accounting services but critically to assist clients making strategic commercial decisions, often prompting them to do so,€ says Rattigan. €Our clients are incredibly loyal to us and we see that as a two way street. We are not just there to do the accounts but have a much more strategic role as an advisor.€

About Russell Brennan Keane
Established in 1958, the firm has grown rapidly over the last decade by placing particular emphasis on relationships, quality business and tax services for wide range of corporate services and strong business support for its many successful clients. In addition to core tax, audit and accounting services, the firm also provides business consulting services such as corporate finance, wealth management, HR solutions and technology across a range of industries.

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