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Managing a fast moving accountancy firm Back  
John Glennon’s role as managing partner of Baker Tilly Ryan Glennon sees him take on the task of managing a newly formed and growing firm. April 2007 saw the merger between PKF Ryan Glennon. and Baker Tilly O’Hare. The merger saw the company become the ‘fastest mover’ in the FINANCE Magazine Accountancy Survey 2007 as the firm doubled its fee income to €12 million. The new company now an ‘all island’ practice is expanding further as Glennon oversees a recruitment drive to attract new talent to Baker Tilly Ryan Glennon.
7.am I start my day by arriving at my local gym. If possible, I try to get to the gym at least two days a week and once at the weekend. I am by no means a fitness fanatic but I enjoy swimming, which I feel helps me to focus both physically and mentally for the working day ahead. Some days I go directly from the gym to the office and have breakfast there, other days I return home (which is only two minutes away) to have breakfast and bring my girls Wendy, 15, and Sophie, 13, to school, which is nearby. I am lucky to live only five minutes from the office.

8.45am I arrive in the office having dropped the girls off at school. I usually begin the working day by reviewing my priorities. I meet with my PA Marie who goes through the list of the days’ activities in my diary with me. I normally have a number of meetings scheduled each day, some with external clients and more recently a number of internal meetings as I now have greater involvement in the internal runnings of the business.
John Glennon

9.20am I have a quick briefing meeting with Aidan Byrne marketing partner and his team to finalise the agenda and objective for the ‘away day’ we are running with Baker Tilly Mooney Moore in Belfast. We formed an all island practice in April 2007. Economic activity is on the increase, initiatives and structures have been put in place to support the peace process and there is increasing evidence of cross border activity. We see this as a business opportunity for an All Island practice offering the complete range of business and accounting services.

9.30am I am chairman of the firm’s executive partner board. We have 4 key performance areas within the business - people, finance, operations and growth and each of the performance areas is led by a functional lead partner who are all members of the executive board. We meet once a month to make decisions elevated by our management team and the principal agenda for today’s executive board is the approval for the firm’s budget for the financial year 08/09 and sign off on the business and functional unit priorities and action plans.

11.20am After the executive board meeting, I catch up on a few phone calls. I try to return all telephone calls within 24 hours and I work my way through my list. One of our major clients has been approached by a UK PLC who is interested in purchasing a stake in the business. The purpose of my call to the MD of the PLC is to establish the broad outline of the deal that is on the table in order to determine if it would be of interest to our client, who at the moment has no plans to sell his business. After getting a handle on the situation I have a chat with our corporate finance partner Brian Hyland about the case. I then have a long telephone conversation with our client to brief him on my earlier phone call and arrange to meet him the following week to discuss the approach.

12.00 I sit down for a meeting with Catherine Corcoran, people and business planning partner to prepare for a lunchtime presentation to a leading firm of solicitors. We were recently awarded the country’s top human resources management award selected by the Chartered Institute Personnel and Development and sponsored by Watson Wyatt and have been invited to present a synopsis of our winning submission to the business unit team within the firm of solicitors. We arrive at 12.45pm and over lunch we give a fairly informal briefing followed by a very interesting discussion on the issues facing professional service firms in the current environment.

14.35pm I return to the office and make a telephone call to Laurence Longe, managing partner in Baker Tilly United Kingdom. I invite him to visit our Dublin office and we agree an outline agenda for our meeting. Our firm is an independent member of Baker Tilly International, which is the 7th largest accounting network in the world with representatives in 126 firms across 93 countries globally with over 22,000 staff. There is a total fee income internationally of US$2.3bn.

I then spend approximately 25 minutes making numerous follow up calls on issues from the executive board and other meetings yesterday.

15.00 I then sit in on the final interview for a key new appointment within the firm, a director within our consulting department. We use psychometric testing for all senior appointments and I normally attend all final interviews. Over the last 12 months this has taken up a considerable amount of time, as we have been involved in a recruitment drive to attract new talent to Baker Tilly Ryan Glennon. The purpose of this recruitment drive is to increase the breadth of specialist services we have on offer to our existing clients and the marketplace.

15.45 One to one meeting with two of our business leaders to discuss problems they are having in relation to a project we are involved with internally.

16.35 Client meeting.
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17.05 I then spend time returning both internal and external calls and messages.

17.35 Review and clear as many of my emails as possible. I then sit down with my PA to review my diary for the coming days ensuring that I am fully briefed on tomorrow’s schedule.

18.00 Sit down to read through and sign off on a presentation we are making next week.

18.30 Attend function along with our senior partner Liam Twohig at a firm of solicitors on “The downturn in property market” which provides me with an opportunity to meet with other professionals to listen to the news on the prospects for the Irish economy and the property market in particular.

19.30 Arrive home

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