What are the rewards on qualification?

May 08, 2019

This is an article written by Karin Lanigan, Manager of the Career Development and Recruitment Service highlighting the benefits of the Chartered Accountancy qualification.

If you are juggling study and work then a timely reminder of the rewards and benefits that await your qualification might give you that much needed boost!!

Rewards on Qualification?

Now more than ever employers are seeking quality finance professionals for their organisations. The Chartered Accountancy Qualification certainly will provide you with exposure to an extensive range of job and career opportunities even in the current environment. In my role as Careers Advisory & Recruitment Executive with Chartered Accountants Ireland I am well placed to see the wide range of exciting opportunities that are currently available for Chartered Accountants. I am contacted on a daily basis by organisations in practice, industry and financial services, here in Ireland and internationally specifically seeking Chartered Accountants for opportunities at all levels.

Positive Market Conditions

The training you receive to become a Chartered Accountant is well recognised and respected by employers on a global level. It provides you with the foundation from which you can further develop your career in practice, industry and financial services. The demand in the market for qualified Chartered Accountants has been steadily improving over the last 12 – 18 months. The market within the area of practice and professional services has improved significantly with many of the larger firms actively recruiting. Also many smaller firms are experiencing an increase in their pipeline of assignments and as a result have also come into the market for additional talent.

Earning Potential

Salary levels for accountants have remained attractive and have been robust in the midst of downward pressures on salaries in general. The market rate for a newly qualified accountant is in the region of 50-55k€ depending on experience and location and a number of other variables. This has remained steady in recent years. Should the demand for recently qualified accountants continue to grow, and I would expect that it will, these salary levels will move upwards. Within 2 – 3 years of qualification you can expect your salary to have increased to a level of 60 – 65k€ depending on the experience you gain. Therefore you can see that there is a definite return on your investment of time and effort in obtaining the chartered accountancy qualification.

Business Opportunities

If you decide that you would like to diversify from the area of practice upon qualification, as in excess of 60% of our members do, there is a myriad of choice out in the market. A typical route for a recently qualified Chartered Accountant would be to obtain a role as a Financial Accountant within industry. A role of this nature will provide broad exposure to the day to day running of a finance function and will act as a platform from which to advance your career even further. Many members choose this route with the role of Financial Controller or Finance Director being their target. Ultimately it can even lead on to roles such as CFO or Chief Executive.

New Developments

One area in particular where there has been a significant increase in demand is for chartered accountants with strong analysis and interpretation skills for roles such as Finance or Business Analysts. These positions have a very strong business and commercial dimension to them and allow you to work at the leading edge of the decision making and strategy process for a business. There are currently excellent career development opportunities in this area as many corporates move towards a business partnering model in their finance functions globally.

Financial Services

Financial services and banking is another sector which offers excellent career opportunities and rewards for accountants. You can opt for more mainstream financial accounting roles or if you wish to specialise you can also do so by considering areas such are fund accounting, insurance, corporate finance, corporate governance and compliance. The area of compliance and corporate governance in particular has experienced strong growth levels in recent years and this set to continue with increased regulation.

Your International Passport

The Irish Chartered Accountancy qualification is very well respected on a global level including in the UK, Australia, Bermuda and New Zealand. Irish Chartered Accountants can expect that the qualification will open the door to many opportunities abroad also. If you are interested in global mobility the Chartered Accountancy qualification is your ticket to success. Many of my corporate clients with international offices specifically look for Irish Chartered Accountants for key roles in these operations.

Overview

Ultimately armed with the Chartered Accountancy qualification you are in a position to map out your career direction and progression. With strategic planning, a strong work ethic and a positive mental attitude you can go far.

Careers Advisory Service

A distinguishing feature of the service you receive from Chartered Accountants Ireland when you qualify and become a member is a bespoke in-house careers advisory service. For further details in relation to the confidential and impartial career support services on offer click on the link below. 

These services are available to all members from newly qualified to retirees and beyond and we look forward to supporting you throughout the course of your qualification and you can contact the team on careers@charteredaccountants.ie we support the work of the Young Professionals Committee which runs topical and fun events for ACAs so if you’d like to get to know the events https://bit.ly/2hfU9J4 or attend the upcoming ‘The Art of Executive Presence for Young Professionals’ please register your interest https://bit.ly/2GX8AML .