Excel with Accenture (Sponsored)

Jun 03, 2020
Chartered Accountant, Damien Rooney, and recruitment lead, Michele Martin, explain why Accenture is a great place to work for accountancy professionals.

With over 509,000 people in more than 120 countries and over 4,000 of them in Ireland, Accenture brings continuous innovation to its clients. The organisation hires people from diverse backgrounds with various levels of experience and skills in software engineering, analytics, technical architecture, interactive marketing, artificial intelligence, change management, cybersecurity and, of course, Chartered Accountants.

Some of these accounting professionals work within the organ-isation’s global finance hub in Dublin, which provides strategic, operational, and analytical support to Accenture’s client-facing businesses. They work with other finance professionals to deliver the financial services and strategic business partnerships necessary to help drive and sustain profitable growth for the company.

“The Dublin hub comprises more than 15 teams across seven varied finance functions,” says recruitment lead, Michele Martin. “This variety makes a career in finance with Accenture very interesting and rewarding. Team members gain experience on the financial aspects of proposals, contracts and projects and report on country-wide operations.”

Career advancement is of paramount importance at the organisation. “We drive career progression and skills development because we recognise that we succeed only when our people grow,” Michele adds.

Employee Referral Programme

Damien Rooney joined Accenture in February 2015 as an auditor within Accenture’s European internal audit team. “I was attracted to Accenture by the opportunities the organisation offered to broaden my skillset having completed my training in a medium-sized Chartered Accountancy firm,” he recalls. “I had built a solid foundation in audit and accounts preparation for small- and medium-sized business and charitable organisations while studying and completing my exams. I wanted an opportunity to move outside of my comfort zone and develop my skills working as part of a global finance team.”

The opportunity arose through Accenture’s Employee Referral Programme. “Employees can refer candidates who they think would be suited to roles in Accenture,” says Damien. “I was contacted about a vacancy by a friend who worked here.”
Damien worked initially on a variety of internal audit assignments, which included audits of the client-facing teams to ensure continued compliance with Accenture’s global policies.

The internal audit role is broad by nature and encompasses all aspects of Accenture’s business including legal, procurement, IT, pensions, advisory and client contracts. Team members have the opportunity to travel within Europe and, as part of Accenture’s training and development, staff rotate between the Asia-Pacific and European regions.
Damien joined Accenture’s newly formed Finance Quality and Risk team in August 2017. The group supports Accenture’s business by delivering technical advice and providing assistance in areas such as defining and overseeing best practice in the preparation of the monthly balance sheet account reconciliations. The team also performs dedicated risk reviews to ensure the successful execution of the annual quality risk plan.

“My role differs from other finance roles in the sense that it is a proactive role as opposed to a reactive role when compared to internal audit or statutory finance teams,” he explains. “It’s more of a business advisory function.”

Continuous growth

The training and development opportunities offered by Accenture enable continuous learning. The organisation provides its people with access to both classroom and online training, professional certifications, study and exam leave, and a dedicated career counsellor to help navigate career progression.

“I completed a six-month diploma in Forensic Accounting with Chartered Accountants Ireland in 2016 and Accenture sponsored that. Additionally, finance professionals here have their annual professional membership fees paid for,” Damien adds.

Accenture also encourages its people to become part of a strong community by participating in a variety of employee clubs and societies including Toastmasters, surf club, choir, cookery club, golf society and rugby club, as well as inclusion and diversity programmes focused on culture, gender equality and family. Permanent employees can also take two days away from the office annually to volunteer in a way that works for them and give back to the local community.

Recruitment is a continuous process at Accenture, according to Michele. “We are a major employer in Ireland, hiring talent from finance graduates to newly qualified accountants to experienced professionals,” she says. “We have several different skillsets we hire for across internal audit, compliance, statutory, VAT and tax professionals. And we recruit people in these areas who are at different points on their career and qualification journey – from part-qualified, to qualified with experience and beyond.”

Finance Development Programme

The Finance Development Programme (FDP) is Accenture’s formal finance graduate programme. It aims to nurture and develop finance talent, which will become future leaders within the organisation. Participants rotate through three 12-15-month placements within Accenture’s finance teams during the three-and-a-half-year programme.

“Accenture supports external studies and our graduates work towards a professional accountancy qualification in parallel with the programme,” Michele adds. “The programme gives participants a chance to stand out and demonstrate their ability to adapt to new challenges and build experience in a diverse range of finance areas.”
Accenture’s FDP is structured around four key elements – job rotation, learning opportunities, exposure to leaders within Accenture, and a sense of camaraderie and connection with finance talent in the organisation, which will help build their career over time.

Employees can look forward to a varied career. “Today’s talent expects to have a variety of work and several career moves within their working life,” Michele notes. “We actively work with our employees to encourage them and help them grow for a long-term career at Accenture. It is the diversity of our people that makes Accenture exceptional. Our research shows that diverse teams are more innovative, and they challenge one another to create better and more inclusive solutions for our clients. We foster a totally inclusive culture, allowing our people to be at their best every day.”

Damien has seen those positive aspects at first hand. “What I find most enjoyable are the collaboration and camaraderie,” he says. “Not everyone has the answer, but you always get to a solution that enables you to move forward. Everyone here is willing to help. Working with a successful business is also very rewarding. It’s a great place to build an accountancy career.”

For more information, or to apply for a role in Accenture, email irelandrecruitment@accenture.com or visit www.accenture.com/financedublin to search for the latest Finance roles.

(This article is sponsored by Accenture.)