What are the main occupations in this sector?
No other professional qualification can offer such mobility, Chartered Accountancy allows members to move freely and successfully across a diverse range of sectors and roles. There are two main career paths for the profession:
- 65% of Chartered Accountants work in finance, business
- 35% of Chartered Accountants work in practice (in accountancy firms), offering professional services to a range of business clients.
Working in Business Chartered Accountants play a vital role in Irish and international business. Chartered Accountants typically work in roles such as business analyst, management accountant, financial controller, corporate treasurer, tax advisor or internal auditor. Chartered Accountants are involved at the highest level in virtually every sector from Healthcare to Technology, Finance to Manufacturing. Working in Practice Chartered Accountants working in practice provide professional financial services to business. Auditing, financial analysis, risk management and advising on information systems and financial structures are the primary services provided by practising firms.
Today, Chartered Accountants are also called upon to advise on strategic issues such as corporate governance, corporate finance and financial control procedures as well as undertaking financial advisory, liquidation and restructuring tasks. They are also highly sought after to advise on the tax implications of clients' current activities and future investment decisions. Many major accountancy firms operate thriving, high profile management consultancy and advisory divisions.
Chartered Accountants act as consultants on business strategy, process re-engineering, human resources, production and financial control and much more. Working in Financial Services Chartered Accountants enjoy rewarding careers in the Financial Services sector. Chartered Accountants working in this arena advise on risk management, on raising finance, on the optimum use of assets and on the choice of specialised financial instruments. It is challenging work - Chartered Accountants are constantly alert to new market forces and changing market trends - but the monetary rewards reflect this responsibility.
What are the typical earnings of these occupations?
There never was a better time to begin your studies with Chartered Accountants Ireland. The 2018 Leinster Society Salary Survey enforces the message that there is significant demand for Chartered Accountants at all levels.
Some of the key findings from the survey:
- Average salary package (base salary, car or car allowance, plus bonus) for a Chartered Accountant in Leinster is €109,146. (2017 figure: €106,500)
- The Average Salary Package for a Chartered Accountant in their first year post-qualification in industry stands at €61,044. (2017: €56,800)
- 83% of Chartered Accountants have received a significant salary increase within the last three years, with more than 50% obtaining an increase of over 10%. (2017: 79% said their salary had increased by at least 10% in last three years)
- 46% of respondents have been promoted in the last three years (2017: 45%).
- 25% reported moving to a new job in the last 12 months. (2017: 23%)
These and other key findings are contained in the Chartered Accountants Leinster society salary survey 2018, carried out in association with Barden.
How do you get a job in this sector?
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The Chartered Accountancy professional qualification can be obtained through a number of routes and is open to graduates, non-graduates accounting technicians and school leavers.
Like any profession, the path to qualification is not easy and requires a high level of dedication. The rewards that qualified Irish Chartered Accountants' generate in terms of career satisfaction, salaries and advancement, are remarkable.
The first decision you'll need to make will be whether to train under a training contract with a registered training organisation (RTO) this is often a large accountancy practice. Or the flexible option, independent of a training contract in practice, industry, financial services, public sector etc.
Becoming a Chartered Accountant involves a combination of academic training and professional experience. The majority of students generate the required level of experience working full time while studying part time
What is the Training Contract?
A training contract is agreed with the employer and will outline the length of you will work with the practice (for graduates, the duration of a contract is three-and-a-half years; for recognised masters or postgraduates, three years; Accounting Technicians, four years). The employer pays tuition fees and assigns a mentor and provides study leave when needed to support students to ultimately qualify.
What is the Flexible Option?
The flexible option is another way to qualify independently of a training contract. It delivers the same standard of education as the traditional route via a training contract, but the education and experience elements do not have to run parallel.
As a student following the flexible option, you will sit the same exams as other students and will have to meet the same experience requirements that pertain to others.