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Occupation Details

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Job Zone

Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, you may need to complete three - four years of college and work for several years in the career area to be considered qualified.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Job Zone Examples
Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

€22k > 135
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€22 - 135
Related Information:
Tax Accountant: 40 - 70
Cost Accountant: 27 - 65
Newly Qualified Accountant: 25 - 55
Assistant Accountant : 22 - 35
Treasury Accountant: 25 - 70
Accounts Receivable: 23 - 38

Systems Accountant: 26 - 90
Project Accountant: 29 - 90

Accounts Payable Clerks: 23 - 38
Accounts Payable Manager: 40 - 65

Financial/Management Accountants: 25 - 65
Financial Controller: 55 - 90
Financial Controller: (5+ yrs exp) 65 - 135
Data Source(s):
Brightwater / Sigmar / CPL / Robert Walters / Hudson / Abrivia / Lincoln

Last Updated: February, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Shortage Indicator

Employment growth was low for this occupation group, and, indeed, declined in the most recent year. Although they feature in the vacancy data, the recent job hires analysis indicates that churn is a significant factor in these openings. Declines in employment levels are expected to continue as some tasks become automated, although replacement demand for such a large occupation will continue to translate into job opportunities.

National Skills Bulletin 2018

Shortages are reported in niche areas only, specifically Accountants with experience in legislation, regulation and compliance. 

National Skills Bulletin 2018

Occupational Category

Accountants & Tax Experts

Also included in this category:

Chartered and certified accountants; management accountants; tax consultants and advisers; tax inspectors.

Number Employed:


Part time workers: 11%
Aged over 55: 14%
Male / Female: 51 / 49%
Non-Nationals: 7%
With Third Level: 94%
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At a Glance... header image

Analyses financial information and prepares financial reports to determine or maintain a record of assets, liabilities, profit and loss, tax liability, or other financial activities within an organisation.

Videos & Interviews header image

1Total Records:5

Gail Sterio
Corporate Accountant
Gail Sterio works as a Corporate Accountant in McDonald's. She holds a Marketing Degree from DIT and recently completed her accountancy exams with the ACCA. It was while she was working part-time in McDonald's during her studies that she went for the interview for a full time position in the accounts department and was successful.  McDonald's encouraged and supported her to take her ACCA exams.
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Ruth Byrne
Chartered Accountant

Ruth works as a Chartered Accountant and has recently been made a Partner with Bluett Conran & Co. She completed a primary degree in European Business and Languages at the National College of Ireland, and went on th do a Post Graduate diploma in Accounting in DIT. She then chose to study with the Chartered Accountants Ireland to become a Chartered Accountant.

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Bria Murphy
Equity Analyst

Hear from Bria Murphy, Equity Analyst with Davy Private Clients. As a result of becoming a Chartered Accountant, Bria has been able to enjoy one of her passions; travel as she took part in PwC’s international secondment programme to Philadelphia during her training. UCC graduate Bria explains how there is no typical day in her current role with Davy.

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John McElhinney
Accountancy Partner

John McElhinney is a Partner with John McElhinney and Company Chartered Accountants. He completed the IATI accounting technician course and following a 2 year stint in the banking sector where he completed the Financial Services exams and the Investment Advisor exams through the Institute of Bankers in Ireland he returned to the accountancy world and completed a Chartered Accountancy Contract. 

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Bernard Brogan
Chartered Accountant

Bernard Grogan did his training contract to become a Chartered Accountant with Farrell Grant Sparks in Dublin which lasted 3 and half years. He is also a member of the Dublin Senior Football team.

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Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

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Go..Assistant Management Accountant - from: icould [UK] Video
Go..Management Accountant - from: icould [UK] Video

The Work header image

Accountants help organisations and individuals manage their money. They examine financial records and statements and check them for accuracy. This allows them to provide their clients with a clear picture of their financial activities.  

Many limited companies are required by law to be externally audited. An external audit is a check carried out by a qualified person, who is not connected with the company. When doing an audit, the accountant has to examine accounting systems as well as check figures. Some accountants specialise in taxation.

Accountants work in various settings:

  • Public sector where they may work for bodies such as the Health Boards or local councils     
  • Public practice where they work for firms of accountants whose clients can vary from individuals to commercial and government organisations.

In both industry and the public sector, accountants are concerned with the day-to-day finances of their organisation. They provide analyses of costs and report on the financial implications of management decisions.  

Accountants who work for accountancy firms audit the accounts of their clients to ensure that the financial records give a true and fair view of the client's activities. Some accountancy firms also act as management consultants and advise clients on tax planning and ways to improve profits.

Accountants in Private Sector

All limited companies are required by law to be externally audited. An external audit is a check carried out by a qualified person, who is not connected with the company. When auditing, the accountant has to examine accounting systems as well as check figures. Some accountants specialise in taxation.    
Private sector accountants work in firms of accountants whose clients can vary from large commercial companies to self-employed people running a small business. An accountant's role is to audit accounts, making sure that records accurately show a company's activities and financial situation. Auditing is performed on the client's premises, so some travelling is necessary.    
When the audit is finished, an accountant presents financial statements to directors, shareholders and the Revenue Commissioners. Sometimes alternative accounting systems may be recommended. Accountants may also offer a company financial advice on taxation and investments.    
Large accountancy firms act as management consultants, investigating mergers and advising on ways to improve profits. Accountants doing this sort of work are less desk-bound than others because their work involves frequent visits to clients' premises.    
Accountants in the private sector sometimes take responsibility for executing wills and administering trusts. They also deal with the financial affairs of companies or people declared bankrupt. 

Accounts in the Public Sector (Government)

Public sector accountants (also known as public finance accountants) manage the financial records of public bodies. Although the work is similar to that of an accountant in public practice, a public sector accountant's main concern is not with raising profits. Instead, they aim to balance the cost of public services against income. Local government accountants also check and pay creditors' invoices, collect debts and charge customers for goods.

Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation


Prepare, examine, or analyze accounting records, financial statements, or other financial reports to assess accuracy, completeness, and conformance to reporting and procedural standards.


Report to management regarding the finances of establishment.


Establish tables of accounts and assign entries to proper accounts.


Develop, implement, modify, and document recordkeeping and accounting systems, making use of current computer technology.


Compute taxes owed and prepare tax returns, ensuring compliance with payment, reporting or other tax requirements.


Maintain or examine the records of government agencies.


Advise clients in areas such as compensation, employee health care benefits, the design of accounting or data processing systems, or long-range tax or estate plans.


Develop, maintain, and analyze budgets, preparing periodic reports that compare budgeted costs to actual costs.


Provide internal and external auditing services for businesses or individuals.


Analyze business operations, trends, costs, revenues, financial commitments, and obligations, to project future revenues and expenses or to provide advice.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.


Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.


Processing Information: Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.


Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.


Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards: Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.


Getting Information: Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.


Analyzing Data or Information: Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.


Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.


Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.


Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.


Performing Administrative Activities: Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.


Economics and Accounting: Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.


Mathematics: Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.


English Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.


Computers and Electronics: Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.


Clerical: Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.

Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.


Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.


Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.


Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.


Systems Analysis: Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.


Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.


Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.


Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.


Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

To be an accountant you need to be capable of analysing and interpreting figures. As many accounting systems are computerised, you should also feel comfortable using computers. You'll need good written and spoken communication skills when communicating with clients. You also need to be numerate and analytical with an ability to handle complex information and pay attention to detail.     
In some areas of accountancy, you will need to develop a thorough understanding of tax law.

Entry Routesheader image

New entrants to Accountancy can either join following Leaving Cert or as a university graduate. The graduate route has become the most common entry route, but the alternative accounting technician route remains popular.

School Leavers who have obtained 360 points in their Leaving Certificate out of 6 subjects (must include English and Mathematics at Higher Level grade D or better, or Ordinary Level grade C or better) OR 3 GCE Advanced Level subjects at a grade C or better with GCSE Ordinary Level English and Mathematics at grade B or better, who go on to secure a merit pass in the Accounting Technicians Ireland 1st year examination, are eligible to progress to the Chartered Accountants Ireland CA Proficiency 1 Examination. Students register with Accounting Technicians Ireland and Chartered Accountants Ireland at the same time.

To qualify as an accountant, you need to register with one of the appropriate professional bodies. You then combine on-the-job training with part-time study and written examinations.     

The relevant professional bodies are:

  • Chartered Accountants Ireland
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants  (CIMI) 
  • The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
  • Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland  (CPA) 
  • Accounting Technicians Ireland

To register with one of these bodies you must meet their minimum educational requirements. If you exceed the minimum entry requirements you may be exempted from certain professional accountancy exams.  

Accountancy courses are available at universities and Institutes of Technologies and through a range of other centres throughout Ireland.

Last Updated: March, 2015

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

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Go..Chartered accountant - from: GradIreland
Go..Financial accountant - from: GradIreland
Go..Management Accountant - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Management accountant - from: GradIreland

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
Address: 9 Leeson Park, Dublin 6
Tel: (01) 447 5678
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Chartered Accountants Ireland
Address: Chartered Accountants House, 47 - 49 Pearse Street, Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 637 7200
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
Address: 5th Floor, Block E, Iveagh Court, Harcourt Rd., Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 643 0400
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Certified Public Accountants Ireland (CPA)
Address: 17 Harcourt Street, Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 425 1000
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Accounting Technicians Ireland (ATI)
Address: 47 - 49 Pearse Street, Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 649 8100
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Accountancy & Taxation
Business Management & Human Resources

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