Name: Aisling McCrory.
Business Name: Kelly & O’Neill Ltd Chartered Accountants.
Business Location: Cookstown, Portadown, Coleraine
How long have you been in business? Kelly & O’Neill Ltd has been in business since 2007 when Cathal O’Neill and Fergal Kelly the founding partners started the practice. I qualified as an accountant in 2009 and joined the firm in 2010 after a short spell in industry and have worked my way up to becoming a partner in the practice last year following Fergal Kelly’s retirement.
How many staff do you employ? 17.
What are your strengths? I think that my ability to connect with people has helped me greatly in my job. Sometimes clients just need a bit of reassurance or someone to listen to them. I’m also very hard working and passionate about quality service delivery.
What are your weaknesses? Not being able to say no! Whether it be work, family or football related, you will always find me putting my hand up to offer help if I can.
There are however only so many hours in the day, and I think if Covid-19 has taught us all anything it’s to make the most of life and spend plenty of time with your loved ones.
Has Covid-19 affected your business? Covid-19 has certainly affected us, I suppose like a lot of other businesses we have had to adapt to some form of remote working arrangements. This time last year, online meetings with clients were only occasional whereas now it’s a way of life. Ultimately, we have all had to do whatever we can to ensure the safety of our staff, our families and our clients.
What makes your business unique? I believe what makes us unique is our down-to-earth approachable nature and our willingness to go that extra mile to try and ensure we help our clients as much as possible. We have a great bunch of dedicated staff who work hard and especially throughout the last year, they have enabled us to provide much needed support to clients whose businesses have been impacted by Covid-19 in addition to continuing with their normal daily workload.
What does your business mean to you? Anyone who knows me will know that I really do love my job and I am proud of how Kelly & O’Neill Ltd has grown over the years and my input into that. However tough or stressful the job might be at times, it’s worth it and I gain great satisfaction in being able to support and guide people through whatever challenges they are facing.
Aside from family and friends, who has been the greatest influence on your life? What are your plans for the future? I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for the influence from my parents and grandparents. They taught me dedication, commitment and hard work from a young age. Cathal and Fergal certainly helped guide my career over the years and without question have helped me achieve what I have done so far. Cathal has put his faith in me as his business partner for the future and together we will ensure Kelly & O’Neill Ltd continue to provide the highest quality of advice to our clients.
Any advice for anyone starting out in your industry? Be honest in what you do and never be afraid to consult with others you know in the industry. If I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s that past work colleagues and friends can provide you with great support and there will always be a time to return the favour.
If you weren’t in this field of business, what would you be doing? Back when I was growing up, I spent a lot of time in my wellies out on the farm as my father, grandfather and uncle were all involved in some way. I was never too far away when something was happening and because of that involvement and interest, for a long time I wanted to be a vet.
What do you do to relax? Relaxation time for me at the minute with my two girls aged four and almost three is limited, but I do enjoy cooking and find it a great way to unwind after a hard week at the office. A nice meal paired with a bottle of red wine is hard to beat! Failing that, a walk through the fields in the fresh air with my husband Brian and our girls does wonders to blow the cobwebs away.
What would you do if you won the lottery? First thing on my list would be a trip of a lifetime with the girls from school and our other halves. We have been saying for ages now that we should organise something for our 40th which is fast approaching so a lottery win would provide a lot of options!
We might be limited in our travel at the moment but where is your favourite holiday destination? Anywhere with a beach and plenty of sun is good, but Las Vegas would have to be the one that sticks out. It’s just a whole different world and a great place to go on holiday.
What do you miss most about Tyrone when you are away? I’m a bit of a homebird, so aside from holidays and my time as a student in Belfast, I haven’t really been away. I suppose with being involved in ladies football now for a long time in some shape or form, that’s the one thing I would really miss if I were away.
If you could swap lives with someone, who would you choose and why? My younger brother Adrian who is currently living in Perth with his wife Emma and their two children. Sun, sea and sand on your doorstep is something that I think everyone would dream of from time to time and I’m certainly envious every time I see the photos they send.
And finally take the chance to give a shout out to another local business who you think is doing great things. My granny is a resident in Glenview Nursing home in Cabragh, and I have to say that although it’s been very tough not getting to see her the same way we used to, the staff there have pulled out all the stops. From DJs, to ice cream vans and in-house games and beauty treatments, they really do all they can to provide a home from home.