New report on the accountancy profession shows percentage of female accountants on the increase

Aug 03, 2018

-        36% of all UK and Irish accountants are female;  41% of Chartered Accountants Ireland members are female, up 9% in ten years    -

Recently released figures from the UK’s Financial Reporting Council (FRC) show that the percentage of female members in the accountancy profession in the UK and Ireland stands at 36%.  Chartered Accountants Ireland exceeds this number with female members representing 41% of the overall membership, up from 32% in 2008. Furthermore 49% of its 6,600 student population are female.  

The FRC’s annual ‘Key Facts and Trends’ analyses the accountancy profession using data from the end of December 2017 and reports strong growth in the number of all qualified accountants across the UK and Ireland. Membership figures at the main accountancy bodies have reached a five-year high and there are now 360,000 qualified accountants in the UK and Ireland, and almost 164,000 students.

Ireland’s largest accountancy body, Chartered Accountants Ireland has the fastest growth amongst the major accountancy bodies in the UK or Ireland.  Chartered Accountants Ireland’s members based in Ireland and in the UK grew by 5.3% in 2017 and by almost 19% since 2013.

Though overall student numbers have eased back across the UK by 0.4%, Chartered Accountants Ireland’s student numbers have increased by over 5% in 2017. 1,153 students qualified to become full members of Chartered Accountants Ireland during 2017.  

Chartered Accountants Ireland Chief Executive Barry Dempsey said:

“While the FRC report highlights the welcome increase in female membership in the profession and more female graduates are choosing a career in Chartered Accountancy, we would all acknowledge that we have more to do to further grow this number. One third of our governing Council is female and 49% of our students are female – we see this as a great indicator for the future.

“Chartered Accountants Ireland has developed its own events to support female members, for example, a bespoke ‘returners’ workshop was held last year and was very well received, more are planned for later this year. The Institute also provides one-to-one coaching and support pre- and post-career break or for maternity leave, as well as CV and interview preparation. 

“Chartered Accountants Ireland will continue to encourage, develop and bring through female talent that can make our profession more diverse and consequently more successful.

“Our recent student growth points to the attractive career opportunities available to newly qualified members, and demand for these highly qualified finance professionals in the employment market is now acute.  The Institute has announced a range of enhancements to our education programme, including agreements for the provision of specialisms with the Institute of Banking and with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. These enhancements will be available to students from October 2018 and will give employers access to highly qualified specialists in banking, financial services, consulting and public sector financial management.

“The sheer scale of the accountancy profession across these islands is also noteworthy.  With over 360,000 qualified accountants it represents one of the most important components of the professionals services sector. It’s a priority for our members that Brexit must not affect their right to work and practice across the island of Ireland and in the UK.  Chartered Accountants Ireland is working with governments, regulators and others to minimise the impact of Brexit on the current recognition of our qualification. We want to ensure that the Irish Chartered accountant qualification continues to be recognised in the UK post-Brexit and similarly that the UK qualification is recognised in the EU once the UK leaves the bloc.”


Reference:  Bryan Rankin, Marketing Manager, Chartered Accountants Ireland    T: 01 637 7268

Note to editors:

Chartered Accountants Ireland is the largest, longest established and fastest growing professional accountancy body in Ireland with over 26,500 members in 93 countries around the globe.