Credit: The Irish Examiner

As one of the country’s fastest-growing cities with its population set to increase by 60% from 211,000 to 336,000 by 2040, Cork continues to attract both indigenous and international businesses as its base for European operations. The redevelopment of the docklands, considered to be the ‘jewel in the crown’ of European regeneration projects, is expected to result in an additional 30,000 residents.   

Based in the heart of this expanding business and financial quarter is MC2 Accountants.

Growing to meet demand 

Founded in 2013 by Jim McCarthy and Seán McSweeney, MC2 Accountants swiftly positioned itself as one of Munster’s leading independent audit, tax and business advisory firms, carving a niche for itself as a trusted partner for private businesses seeking expert bespoke solutions.

MC2 prides itself on the standard of services it provides to its clients in Cork and beyond. With a focus on professionalism, integrity, and client-centricity, the firm has built a reputation for delivering exceptional results and personalised service by offering a comprehensive suite of financial and business solutions tailored to each client.

As MC2 continues to evolve and expand in line with the local economy, its commitment to excellence remains steadfast. With a growing team of dedicated professionals, a culture of innovation, and its relentless pursuit of excellence, the firm is poised to empower businesses in Cork and beyond to thrive and meet the demands of an ever-changing business landscape.

The firm also recently expanded its office on Penrose Quay, one of two offices it has in the city, to accommodate newly recruited employees to meet the demand of continued business growth, with the aim of creating a further 20 roles in the next 18 months.

Senior appointments 

As part of its business strategy, MC2 has announced the appointment of James Loughrey as its new Managing Partner. James has been a Partner with the firm for over three years, and takes over the position from Jim McCarthy, Partner in Corporate Finance, and co-founder of MC2 Accountants.

Loughrey continues to hold the position of Partner in MC2’s Audit and Business Advisory Department and has extensive experience advising indigenous businesses across the country. He has previously worked with EY and Parfrey Murphy, which MC2 acquired two years ago.

Jim McCarthy, MC2 co-founder and outgoing Managing Partner, with James Loughrey, newly appointed Managing Partner of MC2 Accountants.

To support this continued growth, MC2 has appointed James McMahon to the position of Tax Partner. McMahon joins MC2 from Grant Thornton, where he was Tax Director supporting entrepreneurial business owners. James joins Seán McSweeney in MC2’s growing Tax Department.

Seán commented:  “The appointment of James as Tax Partner reflects the continued growth of our practice as we continue to support our ambitious clients to achieve their goals. James will further strengthen the expertise of our leadership team and shares the firm’s vision of providing exceptional service to our clients.”

James McMahon added: “I am thrilled to have joined MC2 Accountants as a Tax Partner. It is an exciting opportunity to be part of a forward-thinking and progressive practice with ambitious plans for the future. MC2 has a strong commitment to excellence and innovation, and I am eager to contribute to its continued growth and success. I am particularly excited about the opportunity to continue serving entrepreneurs and business owners, helping them navigate the complexities of taxation and financial planning.

James McMahon, newly appointed Partner at MC2, and Sean McSweeney, MC2 Co-founder and Partner. 

“In joining MC2, I am confident that we will continue to make a positive impact in the industry and continue to be a trusted partner for entrepreneurs and business owners seeking expert tax advice and strategic guidance.” 

Our clients are our focus 

The announcement of the senior appointments is part of MC2’s expansion plans as it reinforces its position as one of Cork’s largest independent accountancy firms and one of Munster’s leading private business advisors.

According to James Loughrey: “Jim and Seán set up MC2 offering audit, tax and advisory services to private businesses. While the firm has grown significantly since then, that passion to support private businesses and their owners has never diminished. Being able to act as a trusted business advisor to our clients and having the focus on long-term, often multi-generational, relationships is something that we pride ourselves on.” 

While there is ongoing consolidation in the accountancy industry in both Ireland and the U.K., MC2 believes that by remaining an independent firm it will continue to offer unparalleled value to its clients through personalised and uncompromised service, deep client understanding, enhanced staff career progression and the ability to be more agile in an ever-evolving business landscape.

Loughrey states: “We considered joining an international network and had various approaches from Private Equity firms; ultimately, operating as an independent firm has delivered for our clients and our people to date and this flexibility is vital as we embark on our next stage of growth. Private Equity is suitable for accountancy practices where succession might be an issue; in MC2, we have a young and energic partnership — succession is not an issue. In fact, we are actively seeking to expand through strategic acquisitions, leveraging our proven experience in successful integrations.” 

MC2 offers a nurturing environment where employees can thrive, grow and advance their careers. The absence of rigid corporate structures allows for greater autonomy and creativity, fostering a sense of ownership and pride in one’s work.

The firm also has a workplace culture that understands the importance of employee health and wellbeing and the role that a balanced working life plays. “Our people are our greatest asset and the driving force behind our continued success. That’s why we’re committed to fostering a work environment where every individual can thrive, both personally and professionally,” said James.

“The events of recent times have put into sharper focus the need for employees, and employers, to provide a better balance to work and personal life. We recognise that not all employees have the same responsibilities outside the office and offer several different benefits to help and support through innovation and foresight. One of the initiatives we introduced last year was a four-day working week, which has proven to be exceptionally successful.” 

Four-day working week one year on

 In April 2023, MC2 introduced a four-day working week, just one of a very small number of Irish companies to launch such an initiative.

One year on, how is it working out? According to Pamela Murphy, Partner in MC2, the firm has seen very positive outcomes, including increased productivity, improved employee morale and reduced absenteeism.

“Overall, the experience has been extremely positive, particularly from our clients. We were very cognisant of ensuring there would be no negative impact on the quality of service we provide and the business would operate as normal, which has been the case. We saw an increase in client satisfaction over the past 12 months as the focus is on results and not accumulated hours,” said Pamela. “We’ve been delighted to see that the initiative is working as well as it is.” 

The future

MC2 has never been a firm to rest on its laurels; it is a firm willing to explore options and take the decisions that it believes are right for its employees, clients and its future growth.

“We are very excited about the next phase of MC2,” said Loughrey, “we are continuously enhancing our service offerings to our clients, most recently corporate finance services for management buy-outs as well as sustainability reporting services for SMEs. We challenge ourselves to be the best in terms of our client offering, our team and our position in the market. And I believe that by doing that on an ongoing basis, we will maintain our competitive advantage.”