Bringing it all back home

Aug 06, 2019
Lured by Ireland’s rudely healthy economy and the superior quality of life offered by their native land, an increasing number of Chartered Accountants are choosing to return home to Ireland. Barry O’Leary looks at some of the practicalities involved.

Wanting to come home and actually making it happen are two very different things. Many people who yearn to bring up their families in Ireland and have also had the opportunity to do so, haven’t yet made it back. This is usually because of something quite simple, which could have been addressed with some advance planning.

The best way to approach this life-changing move is to treat it as a project and plan accordingly. The first stage is to investigate the job market and assess the opportunities that may or may not be there. This is a relatively simple process and a routine scan of recruitment websites, as well as those of reputable recruitment specialists, will give a fair indication of the roles available.

This should be backed up with further research to establish the quality of the opportunities. The Leinster Society Salary Survey will give an indication of salary scales, for example. Also, contact friends and reach out to LinkedIn contacts to hear what they have to say about the climate back home.

Before you apply…

If the results are positive, the next natural step is to start applying for roles. However, a few pieces of the jigsaw need to be put in place first. The first step is to figure out what you are going to do if you do get a job.

Clearly, if you are going to start a job in Ireland, you are going to need a place to live, schools for children and so on. Of course, buying a house or even renting one back in Ireland while still living overseas and before you have even landed a new job is an expensive – and possibly unnecessary – step to take.

Better to consult with family and friends first and establish if there is a possibility of staying somewhere temporarily, say for three months, while you get settled in the new job and make arrangements for your family to follow you back. That gives you the breathing space to sell up property and other assets overseas while going house-hunting in Ireland.

Another essential early step is to speak to the banks about your prospects of getting a mortgage. Having preliminary approval in place will guide the house search. Next is to talk to estate agents and get them looking out for suitable homes. None of this costs money, but it can save a lot of time and heartache in the long run.

The other issue to take care of at this point is insurance. Many Irish people returning home are surprised at how difficult, and expensive, it can be to get motor insurance. Shop around the insurance companies to get some prices to avoid nasty shocks later. That can also influence your job search as a company car can suddenly become a lot more alluring.

Interview stage

The next thing to think about is interview availability. People living in the UK might be able to hop on a Ryanair flight at fairly short notice to attend an interview and be there and back in a day but for those living further afield, more advanced planning is required. One option is to arrange to spend a week at home a month and inform prospective employers of your availability during that time window. Generally speaking, if they are sufficiently interested in you, they will do their best to accommodate you.

Having gone through all of that, it’s time for the job hunt itself. This starts with updating your CV and your LinkedIn profile. It might be worth getting advice from a fellow professional or a recruiter back home at this stage. They can help with the design of the CV and what aspects to highlight in the context of the prevailing jobs market.

After that, you’ve got to decide on the type of role you’re looking for, and where. Is it practice, industry, or the public sector? If it’s industry, what sector? And where? If it’s Dublin, can you afford housing and can you find schools for your children?

You also have to consider your partner at this stage. Will they also be seeking a job when they return home? What area of the country and what sectors best suit them?
Dealing with these questions probably requires the assistance of on an Ireland-based recruitment consultant who can help with the job search and move back home. 

They can offer independent advice on the process and help ensure that you make the right decisions in all circumstances. The first job offer is not always the best one, and the best paid offer is not always the right one – an experienced consultant can help match the right role to the right person as well as assisting with some of the more practical aspects of the move, such as recommending insurance brokers, mortgage lenders and so on.

If you follow this basic roadmap, you will give yourself a much better chance of making a successful move back to the auld sod.

Barry O’Leary is the Co-Founder of ACCPRO.

Taxing times

One of the problems most frequently encountered by accountants returning home is personal taxation. If you want to avoid being subject to Emergency Tax of up to 41%, give your employer your PPS number (Irish people generally have one before returning home) so they can request a Revenue Payroll Notification (RPN) from Revenue. The RPN will show your total tax credits, tax rate band and USC rate band so your employer can make the correct tax deductions from your pay. If you are starting your first job in Ireland, you must register online though Revenue’s myAccount where you can view your personal tax record.

You can read more about living and working overseas in Chartered Accountants Abroad, the publication from Accountancy Ireland for Chartered Accountants Ireland members abroad.