Ireland’s accounting profession has
mixed feelings about how the nation’s refusal to accept the EU’s
Lisbon Treaty will affect business.

On 12 June this year, the Irish people voted ‘no’ in a
referendum to determine whether the nation would ratify the treaty
– an agreement intended to create more cohesion and coherence in
the operation of the EU.

Ireland’s vote against the treaty means it is unlikely to be
ratified in its current form by the EU. This has led to criticism
levelled against the Emerald Isle by some European politicians.

Ireland’s business community, including professional services
institutes and firms, campaigned in favour of ratifying the treaty.
None of the partners speaking with the International Accounting
believe there will be any short-term impact from the
‘no’ vote on the profession but some were cautious about the
longer-term implications.

KPMG Ireland managing partner Terence O’Rourke commented: “We
were very clearly disappointed with the ‘no’ vote, but it is not
yet clear what the implications of that are.

“I am not sure it is going to influence anything in the
short-term, in terms of investment decisions by overseas people,
but if you look at the direction of the trend, unless we get this
issue solved, I think it may. I would just be nervous that unless
we get this sorted out in the medium-term that there may be a
negative factor for Ireland, but I wouldn’t be losing sleep about
it at the moment.”

Deloitte Ireland managing partner Pat Cullen foresees no
short-term impacts from the ‘no’ vote.

“Where it might impact down the road is if it affected Ireland’s
attractiveness as a location for investment,” he said. “I don’t see
that happening in the short-term and obviously what happens with
[the treaty] in the longer-term will determine whether there is any
negative [impact] at any point in time.”

PricewaterhouseCoopers Ireland senior partner Ronan Murphy does
not believe the vote will have any impact on accounting firms.