Eight questions with… Niamh Dooley

Mar 01, 2021
Niamh Dooley was once on the road to being an engineer and now is an audit professional in Deloitte’s financial services practice working with the advisory team on sustainability with a focus on climate accounting. She discusses how easy it is for someone’s path to change.

Five years ago, where did you think you would be now? Have you lived up to your own expectations? 

Five years ago, I was three years into my energy engineering degree and on work placement in GlaxoSmithKline with the expectation to work in a similar position once I got my degree. Needless to say, I chose a different route, but I’ve taken a lot of what I learned there into my current role. 

What has been the biggest challenge of your career? 

So far, the biggest challenge has been entering a new industry and changing my career path to accountancy and audit. With no business background, it definitely took a lot of hard work to bridge the knowledge gap between me and my peers, and get through such a volume of exams. 

What do you wish you had known earlier in life? 

It’s never too late to change your mind and your decisions at 17 are never for life, despite what you’re told.  

Where do you see yourself this time next year? 

I hope to be developing my role in advisory for sustainability and climate reporting, and bringing clients’ attention to the need to report on environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosures. The European Commission’s Green Deal and Action Plan has helped drive the need for more consistent reporting on ESG, with specific regulations like the EU Taxonomy and the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation. My aspiration is to use what I learned in my degree and, as a Chartered Accountant, to help clients create a sustainable business model and report on ESG information. 

Who inspires you, personally and professionally? 

Personally, my parents inspire me every day. Professionally, it’s my colleagues and mentors in Deloitte. 

How has being a Chartered Accountant changed your life? 

Being a Chartered Accountant has made me a more motivated individual and has created opportunities for me to build a career I truly enjoy while also making an impact on society. A career in an organisation like Deloitte has helped me build my technical and soft skills, and I can now use those skills in an advisory capacity to support clients. 

If you weren’t a Chartered Accountant, what do you think you’d be doing? 

Realistically, an engineer. Unrealistically, a professional pastry chef.  

What advice do you have for those who will soon qualify as Chartered Accountants? 

It can all seem daunting balancing work and exams but being qualified is a game-changer. Once you are a qualified accountant, it opens up a lot of doors to different opportunities whether that is to move into a different area or go work in industry.

What's your favourite...

Book: Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton
Favourite meal: Pizza 
Favourite quote: “Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.”
Favourite hobby: Hiking or weightlifting (when the gyms are open!)