Karina McAuliffe’s Journey: Leading FDC Group’s Growth in Western Ireland
With a degree in Food Business from University College Cork, Karina joined FDC Group in 2001 as a Trainee Accountant. At this time, Karina was based in the Cork City headquarters, working with Barry Murphy (Deputy Group Manager) in the Southern Region. When Karina joined, by her own admission, it was time to put the head down and work hard and in 2004, Karina achieved her ACCA professional qualification that was quickly followed by her professional tax qualification from the Irish Tax Institute. It could be said that Karina had duely arrived as a crucial part of the Southern Region’s Accountancy and Tax team.
Karina’s pathway in FDC Group dovetailed with Jack Murphy’s (FDC Group Manager) National Outreach Programme which was instigated in 2017. This programme sought to establish FDC Group with a 32 county presence.
The development programme was based on a series of organic growth as well as strategic mergers and acquistions. On the back of a certain amount of business, FDC Group opened a Western office in 2018 in Athenry, Co. Galway. As a green field office, Karina was tasked with the organic growth of the FDC Group’s Western business and has not looked back since. As Karina mentions “the opportunities in the West are huge for FDC Group, we continue to do what we do well and, in doing this, it is all about understanding the client. One of the things we take seriously is getting to know our clients and understand their business through client meetings or visits. By doing this, we can act in a more beneficial way as a client advisory team.”
As the Head of the Western Region and part of the FDC Group Senior Management team, Karina oversees an impressive business being built in the West of Ireland. Following the opening of the Athenry office in 2018, an office was opened in Claremorris in 2020 and in Kiltomer in 2022. Sensing a sparkle in Karina’s eye, there may be more on the horizon for FDC Group in the West of Ireland. As the business develops, Karina reflects on her own growth; “over the years, I have learnt that we should trust in our own capabilities and while we strive for perfection, we also strive to bring maturity and value in dealing with the various client situations.” When talking with Karina, there is a great sense of having the client as the primary concern of the business, while building the capabilities within the business to perform to the best of our abilities.
“Over the years, I have learnt that we should trust in our own capabilities and while we strive for perfection, we also strive to bring maturity and value in dealing with the various client situations.”
Celebrating 22 years in FDC Group, Karina, now based in Galway, reflects on her time with the company. “It is hugely enjoyable to be in a client–facing business. As an advisor and consultant, we face the personal situations as much as the financial situations and, in doing this, we need to be able to support the full spectrum of situations. It is hugely satisfying to be able to help our clients. While supporting our clients, we are also supporting our staff to be the best advisors they can be.”
Of course, there are challenges faced by the business and while smaller practices are struggling to offer the full range of accountancy, taxation and finanical services to their clients, we are well postioned to offer these as a well as understand what clients in rural Ireland require. As FDC Group continues to evolve in a holistic way, a large and pivotal part of this is Karina’s stewardship of the Western division. This is achieved through prioritising client value, whilst ensuring that our internal capabilities are at the highest level. Stay tuned as FDC Western Region continues to evolve.