Chartered Connect

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Welcome to Chartered Connect – well done on taking the first step on the road to your great future. Here you'll get:

  • Access to exclusive masterclasses on creating a stand-out CV, nailing your interview and more,
  • Exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews with graduates now earning great salaries in great companies and,
  • Notification of job opportunities as they launch,
  • And much more!
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Current ACA student training insights

Hear from current ACA students sharing their experiences of life as a trainee, balancing work, study and life, in our ‘Trainee Diaries’ video series and GradIreland interviews.


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Jason Sullivan, Chartered Accountant, Pfizer


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Debbie Somorin, Senior Associate, PwC

Careers support and resources

Become A Chartered Accountant

Visit the 'Become a Chartered Accountant' Hub to hear from students and members of Chartered Accountants Ireland, who will tell you what its really like to be a Chartered Accountant. They will prove that you don’t have to be a maths nerd, how it’s anything but a boring career and how it brings great opportunities.

In addition to the below video masterclasses on career planning, CV’s and interviews, and more, follow our Instagram careers page for regular insights, tips and information being shared from our team.

5 steps to finding the right career for you

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CV & application forms with impact

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Chartered Accountant career paths

In our ‘Chartered Career Chat’ video series, hear from students and members sharing their profession insights and varied career journeys.

Eoin McMullan, Hill Vellacott

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Dr Caroline McGroary, Dublin City University

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ACA Training Opportunities

Latest news


We learn in different ways, but the art of note-taking is critical in achieving examination success. Sophie Campbell, winner of the Samuel Smyth Memorial Prize, gives her top tips for effective note-taking. Effective note-taking, when mastered, is a powerful tool, and it is not limited simply to our studies but has application for our day-to-day working environment.  Much has been written on the subject over the years by experienced practitioners. However, I would like to focus on effective note-taking for exam success. Taking effective notes is the foundation for building your knowledge on each subject. Taking notes can help retain information to memory, challenges our understanding, and essentially becomes a reference point from which we build knowledge and expertise on each topic. Even more importantly, effective note-taking helps identify gaps in our understanding which we can use to guide our future study.  A knowledge gap analysis is critical as you move through the various examination levels, as they build on cumulative knowledge from the previous years. Taking notes will allow you to pinpoint knowledge gaps more efficiently, taking pressure off as you approach the exams because you will already have a list of areas that require greater focus.  The following are my top tips for effective note-taking: 1. Preparation is key – Be prepared for the live webinars by creating notes from the self-study sessions. Your prepared notes will allow for more efficient note-taking during the live webinars, which recap and reinforce what you have previously covered. During the live webinars, you won’t have time to complete notes from scratch, therefore, by having base notes available, you are able to efficiently add or amend if the lecturer goes into more detail in certain areas or gives additional examples. 2. Method – In the open book exams, taking structured, precise and meaningful notes is crucial to refresh your memory when you are under time pressure. Pre-COVID-19, during class, I annotated on printed slides. This method was time consuming as you had to incorporate the slides and annotated notes into one document. Now that classes are held online, I find that using a split screen and taking notes in a word document much more efficient. 3. Structure – Be consistent with your structure by choosing a format that works for you and stick with it so that your notes are all structured the same way. That way, regardless of which standard is examined, I can quickly locate the information I need. For example, in financial reporting, each standard starts with an introduction to the standard and finishes with disclosure requirements.  4. Cheat sheets – Ensure that your notes are self-explanatory yet concise as you may need to use them during an exam to refresh your memory. An example of this is using ‘cheat sheets”, a document in bullet point or tabular format that detail key information for a particular topic. 5. Don’t zone out – Think as you write. Ask yourself if your notes cover the objectives in the learning journals and if you have an understanding of each topic covered. If not, add the topic to your knowledge gap list for you to come back to at a later date.  6. Stay up-to-date – Keep your file up-to-date by printing your finalised notes after the live webinars and use sticky note labels with a short description for ease of reference. This allows for quick access during the exams.  7. Ensure understanding – Use your notes in an exam style scenario when completing questions from each session. I often take further notes on areas missed or, if my notes are unclear, I will go back to the lecture to address any gaps in my knowledge and ensure my notes are updated to reflect same. Everybody has a different approach to note taking. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find what works best for you. Once you find a method that suits you, you will be able to make the most of your notes and be more successful in your studies.

Jan 13, 2021
Student Interviews

Chartered Star Aisling McCaffrey wants to connect with other young leaders to find effective solutions to today’s global problems. Why did you want to be the 2020/21 Chartered Star? For me, being the 2020/21 Chartered Star would ultimately give me access to a global platform and a network of people to help create greater awareness for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and effect lasting change. This was my main motivation when applying. What do you hope to learn at the conference this year? What are you most looking forward to? By attending the One Young World summit, I am hoping to deepen my understanding of the issues currently facing our society and identify practical steps I can take to help address same. I am really looking forward to connecting with other young leaders who are passionate about making a social impact. I’m excited to share my ideas, learn from the experiences of others and collaborate to find effective solutions to global issues. What has been the most challenging part of your Chartered journey? Initially, finding the balance between work, study and life in general was tricky. I learned that creating routine and setting goals to encourage consistency worked well for me, as well as lots of lists!  As I have progressed through my career, I’ve found the challenge is more about finding confidence in my own knowledge and ability. I’ve been very lucky to be surrounded by colleagues, friends and family who regularly encourage me to be the best version of myself.  What do you hope to accomplish in your year as the 2020/21 joint Chartered Star? My hope is that alongside Caroline, we can facilitate the implementation of initiatives that relate to UN SDG 2030 targets. My Chartered Accountants Ireland qualification has provided me with technical knowledge and skills that I have been able to utilise in all aspects of my life, and to that end I also want to use the opportunity to promote the profession and encourage others to consider pursuing the qualification.  Who inspires you personally and professionally? My number one inspiration is my granny May – she has always encouraged me to think of others, be grateful for the opportunities I have and look for ways I can use my abilities to assist those less fortunate.  Second, I’ve had the pleasure of watching my good friend Linda Djougang rise through the ranks of Irish Rugby while also training to be a nurse. Her positivity coupled with relentless ambition and drive are a source of inspiration for me.  Lastly, I greatly admire the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her lifelong pursuit of women’s rights. Aisling McCaffrey, Associate Director, Financial Services Advisory, Grant Thornton. 

Jan 13, 2021
Student Profile

For Chartered Star Dr Caroline McGroary, being a Chartered Accountant isn’t just about the numbers – it’s about the impact you can make on society. Why did you want to be the 2020/21 Chartered Star? Over the past number of years, I have been following the work of the Chartered Stars and One Young World ambassadors and have been inspired by their work in promoting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Given the promotion of the SDGs is something that I am very passionate about, and have been actively working towards, I was motivated by the possibility of becoming a Young Chartered Star.   What do you hope to learn at the conference this year? What are you most looking forward to? The One Young World summit is a unique platform that brings young leaders together with the common goal of creating social impact. I am very excited about the opportunity to meet with some of these leaders and to learn about the impactful work they are engaged in. I am also looking forward to sharing my experiences and to collaborating with others both at the summit and beyond.  What has been the most challenging part of your Chartered journey? The most notable challenges of my Chartered journey have been balancing the demands of working full-time and studying part-time, both when preparing for the professional exams, and more recently, when completing my PhD.  In addition, adapting to the cultural and professional nuances of working in Saudi Arabia were challenging initially but ultimately extremely rewarding.  What do you hope to accomplish in your year as the 2020/21 joint Chartered Star? Over the coming year, my hope is that both Aisling and I can create meaningful impact through our attendance at the One Young World summit and our engagement with the FinBiz2030 taskforce. Both platforms will provide us with the opportunity to work with others and to contribute towards the UN SDGs agenda.  It is also my hope to educate future accountants about the UN SDGs, as well as promoting the value of the Chartered Accountancy qualification, through my role as a lecturer.  Who inspires you personally and professionally? From a young age, my parents and grand uncle, James Anthony, have been a great inspiration. Together they instilled in me the importance of education, the virtues of hard work and perseverance, and to always treat others with respect.  I have also been truly inspired by my friend Jenny Reynolds. She has had an incredibly successful career to date both with Honda Ireland, where she rose to Director level by the age of 30, while at the same time developing her own payments app, Topper. However, what inspires me most is her humility, kindness and ability to elevate all those around her – qualities which I believe are indicative of a true leader. Dr Caroline McGroary, Assistant Professor of Accounting, Dublin City University.

Jan 13, 2021

Get in touch

If you have any specific questions about studying to become a Chartered Accountant, we’d love to hear from you.

ROI (353) 1890 28 29 28 / NI (028) 9043 5840
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