Lorraine McKeigue, Thomas Clare & Co

Tell us about your academic background?

BSc (Hons) in Quantity Surveying and became a Chartered Surveyor in 2002, working 11 years in the construction industry, until the recession hit end at the of 2018.

Why accountancy? 

Accountancy is very similar to Quantity Surveying, all dealing with costs, reporting, but with more job security, the construction industry too volatile - boom or recession! 

Why Chartered Accountants Ireland?

It gave me an opportunity to work with the degree base I had and an opportunity to expand my horizons.

Can you explain the Flexible Route to someone who doesn't know what it is?

Yes, in my words, you can work and study at the same time, the route that I took allowed me to work during the day, study at night and attend lectures at the weekends. I am a mother of four kids, so very suitable for anyone with kids.

How was combining work and study?

You get a better understanding of what you’re studying, it makes sense, not just words, you understand tax etc.

Where have you worked and what kind of roles have you been in?

I am working in a small accountancy practice in Co Louth, getting a wide range of experience, including accounts preparation, preparing & filing tax returns, dealing with CRO Annual returns, sitting up new companies.

Describe a typical day for you?

It could be anything, preparing accounts, meeting clients, filing tax returns. Or meeting a new client and setting up a company.

Is it flexible?

Yes, as I am a mother, it allows me to work flexible hours and work from home if necessary.

Can you see how someone who is not an accountant might benefit from this qualification?

Yes, as a Quantity Surveyor, with 11 years’ experience in the Construction Sector and now working as an accountant, one qualification compliments the other.

Would you recommend the Flexible Route to others? Why?

Yes, as it allows you to broaden your horizons, a new challenge, good for the brain, a change in career was good for me, I'm glad I did it.

What advice would you give someone who is considering the Flexible Route?

Start as you mean to go on, start the notes and study from the beginning, it’s tough going, but earlier if you stay on top of it, it’s not too difficult, it’s the volume of work you cover.

What success are you looking for?

To blend my two qualifications on future construction developments.

What are your future goals?  

To keep learning and enjoying work and life.