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Organisation Profile - Certified Public Accountants Ireland



 

CPA - A Career Move Worth Making

#cpacareerforlife

CPA - A Career Move Worth Making

#cpacareerforlife

Career Opportunities... header image
What are the main occupations in this sector?


Becoming a CPA is more than being an accountant. Having the CPA qualification leads to a long rewarding career, one that allows you to simultaneously have a life outside of work. The all-important work life balance!

CPAs can be found in every sector, from healthcare, financial services, IT and education, to tech and gaming. And they are not simply crunching numbers either – holding  diverse roles including: 

Entrepreneur

An understanding of accountancy and finance is crucial to making a business work, which is why so many CPAs are entrepreneurs as well as accountants.

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

The CFO oversees the financial activities of the entire company and is the right-hand to the CEO, Board or President of a company. The role includes financial planning, analysing data, monitoring cash flow and presenting financial reports.

Practice Owner

A practice owner is not only an accountant but a business owner and employer. They work with their clients on a one-to-one basis, managing their accounts, cash flow, profits, etc, to ensure their business is a success.

Forensic Accountant

The detective of the accountancy profession, forensic accountants investigate and document financial fraud and white collar crime, examining and analysing data to identify illegal business practices and fraud. 

Environmental Accountant

Environmental accountants examine company's accounts to ensure they are acting in a responsible way, computing the environmental costs of commercial and industrial decisions.

International Accounting Specialist

Accountants are often relied on to oversee the international transactions of companies, global investment opportunities and trade agreements. Ireland has a high number of multinational companies who need specialist accountants to liaise with their international offices and clients.

Risk Analyst

The job of a risk analyst is to identify risks relating to investments, loans, cash flow, etc, with a view to minimising negative effects on the company. Risk analysts work with mathematics and statistics to identify and mitigate risks and establish the viability of future projects for the business. 

Not only portable across borders, the CPA qualification transfers across all aspects of industry and business with a 70/30 split between business and practice respectively.

 

What are the typical earnings of these occupations?


€23 – €27k average salary for a Trainee Accountant

€40 – €50k average salary for a newly Qualified Accountant

€70 – €80k average salary for experienced Qualified Accountant

 

How do you get a job in this sector?


CPA Ireland offers a JobSearch facility, with jobs for part qualified and qualified accountants throughout Ireland.

CPA Ireland also offers an Approved Employer Directory, where you can find a complete list of over 160 Approved Employers around the country.

Typical accounting graduate career path with CPA – Industry Progression Path

  • CEO
  • Financial Director
  • Financial Controller
  • Assistant Financial Controller
  • Assistant Accountant
  • Accountant Assistant
  • Accounts Payable/Receivable (Specialist)
  • Accounts Clerk

Typical accounting graduate career path with CPA – Practice Progression Path

  • Practice Partner or your own specialist practice
  • Practice Account Manager
  • Qualified Accountant (Practice Specialist)
  • Audit Supervisor
  • Audit Assistant
  • Trainee Accountant

The CPA Accounts Executive Traineeship is a one-year full-time academic programme followed by a three-month training contract, in an accounting practice or an accounts department, for ambitious school leavers wishing to pursue a career as a professional accountant. On completion, students can progress to further accounting studies with CPA Ireland on a part-time basis, supplemented by three years supervised, practical training in a work environment in order to become a fully qualified accountant. The programme will be rolled out on a national scale in September 2016. Download a brochure here

Click on the image to read. 

 


Education and Training... header image
What qualifications are required?


The CPA programme comprises 15 examinations, made up of a formation level and a professional level, and a fully integrated practical experience requirement. Your entry point into the CPA qualification will be determined by an individual assessment of your prior education.

Students must obtain 3 years relevant supervised training and complete all examinations (excluding any exemptions) to apply for CPA membership. Students are also required to submit a Training Record on an annual basis.

 

What are the typical routes into this sector?


There are a number of different routes into the CPA qualification. Many students complete their Leaving Certificate and go on to do a degree in Accounting and Finance or Business Studies in college and then study for their professional accountancy qualification.

But what if you don’t want to go to college? You can start the CPA qualification when you complete the Leaving Certificate. Other students join us from international accountancy bodies with which we are associated, or from other professional accountancy organisations. 

You do not need any previous experience in accountancy to begin your CPA studies. 

Approximately 40% of CPA Ireland students come directly from an Accounting Technician background. ATI Graduates are exempt from all subjects at Formation 1 and are exempt from Financial Accounting, Management Accounting and Taxation at Formation 2. This means ATI students are only a few steps away from their career as a qualified CPA.

Mature Students

CPA is popular with mature students due to its extremely flexible learning options. Students can complete their academic studies while working simultaneously, tailoring an education that suits them.

CPA Accounts Executive Traineeship

We now offer a fantastic alternative to the CAO for ambitious school leavers. This fully funded one academic year programme followed by a three-month training contract is ideal for ambitious school leavers wishing to pursue a career as a professional accountant. On completion, students can progress to further accounting studies with CPA Ireland on a part-time basis, supplemented by three years supervised, practical training in a work environment in order to become a fully qualified accountant. Click here to download a brochure. 

CPA graduates will gain the following skills:

CPA Certificate in Business & Accounting

  • Management in Organisations
  • Accounting
  • Business Law & Professional Ethics
  • Economics & Business Planning

Formation 2:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Taxation
  • Information Systems
  • Management Accounting

Professional 1

  • Corporate Reporting
  • Auditing
  • Managerial Finance
  • Corporate Laws and Governance

Professional 2

  • Strategy Leadership (mandatory)
  • Advanced Corporate Reporting (mandatory)
  • Strategic Corporate Finance (elective)
  • Strategic Performance Management (elective)
  • Advanced Taxation (elective)
  • Audit Practice & Assurance Services (elective)

CPA students train and work in various industries and practices across the country, from those in IT and media to financial institutions and family practices. 

Read some of our students' profiles here

 


Advice... header image
What advice do you have for school leavers?


No CAO Points Needed for a Career in Accountancy

School leavers can bypass college and the CAO points system and go directly to study CPA and begin their career as a professional accountant. Students can work and train simultaneously, allowing them to earn money and complete their training while they pursue their qualification.

Many students complete their Leaving Certificate and go on to do a degree in Accounting and Finance or Business Studies in college and then study for their professional accountancy qualification. However as CPA Ireland recognises that college is not a viable option for everyone, we provide a professional accountancy qualification that is open to school leavers once they complete their Leaving Certificate. 

CPA Accounts Executive Traineeship

We now offer a fantastic alternative to the CAO for ambitious school leavers. This fully funded one academic year programme followed by a three-month training contract is ideal for ambitious school leavers wishing to pursue a career as a professional accountant. On completion, students can progress to further accounting studies with CPA Ireland on a part-time basis, supplemented by three years supervised, practical training in a work environment in order to become a fully qualified accountant. Click here to download a brochure. 

 

 

 

What advice do you have for graduates?


Have you been to college and now want to make the move into the world of accountancy?

Graduates from related degrees, such as accountancy, business or finance, can avail of generous exemptions when studying CPA. Non-relevant degree holders are also eligible and depending on the degree, may be entitled to exemptions.

 

What advice do you have for career changers?


CPA is popular with mature students due to its extremely flexible learning options. Students can complete their academic studies while working simultaneously, tailoring an education that suits them.

 


About this Sector... header image
Please give an overview of your sector?


The accountancy profession continues to perform well in terms of employment opportunities, salary prospects and the potential to work overseas and at an international level. Students seeking a challenging but secure career are increasingly opting for a professional qualification like that offered by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland (CPA Ireland), knowing it is held in very high regard by employers both at home and abroad. The employment record of our most recent graduates is a testament to that, with 100% currently in employment.

The CPA qualification opens up a world of opportunities. You can work in industry/business or practice across a variety of different sectors. CPA members work at every level of business from entrepreneurs and business owners to consultant roles and accountants assistants. The CPA qualification allows you to travel and work abroad through our international agreements with other accountancy bodies around the world. CPA has partnered with over 160 approved employers to date. Companies include Glanbia, AIB, Mircosoft, State Street, and Ulster Bank mong others.

 

What is the size and scope of the sector?


CPA Ireland is one of the main Irish accountancy professional bodies with 5,000 members and students. The CPA designation is the most commonly used designation worldwide for professional accountants and the Institute’s qualification enjoys wide international recognition. In fact, 1 million qualified accountants worldwide are CPAs. Jobs as a Certified Public Accountant span a variety of industry sectors including; healthcare, financial services, IT, education and gaming. 

 

Do you have any statistics relevant to the sector?


According to the latest Morgan McKinley Salary Guide, the Irish economy is projected to continue its strong expansion having delivered GDP growth of 5% over the past 12 months. Growth will provide continued momentum for job creation and continue to reduce unemployment.

Furthermore, average salary increases in 2016 will be in the range of 10%, rising to 15-20% for specialist positions in sectors where there are skills shortages, including Accounting & Finance.

100% of CPA's most recent graduates are currently in employment.

 


About Us... header image

The Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland (CPA Ireland) is one of the main Irish accountancy bodies with 5,000 members and students. The CPA designation is the most commonly used designation worldwide for professional accountants and the Institute’s qualification enjoys wide international recognition.

"1 million qualified accountants worldwide are CPAs."

CPAs can be found in every sector from healthcare, financial services, IT, education, tech and gaming. holding  diverse roles at senior management level from managing partners to chief financial officers, chief executives and entrepreneurs. 

The CPA qualification is open to everyone, from school leavers and graduates to mature students and professionals.

No CAO Points Needed for a Career in Accountancy

CPA now offers a full time one year academic programme including a three month work placement for ambitious school leavers and mature students wishing to pursue a career as a professional accountant. This programme is free of charge. Find a course in your area now.

Click image to read student brochure: