Chartered Accountants the world over secure their qualification through a combination of professional exams and practical accounting experience. Within that model, we offer a range of training routes that provide choice and flexibility to graduates, non-graduates, Accounting Technicians and experienced professionals.
Your starting point with us will depend on your prior education qualifications. You can train via the Flexible Route or via a Training Contract. Read on for more information about these different routes.
Chartered Accountants often occupy leadership positions in top Irish companies. It’s a common misconception that Chartered training is all about getting a contract in an accountancy practice. In fact, over 1,000 of our Chartered students are now training in business, financial services, public sector and retail – almost every sector is represented. Whether you’re already in employment or looking at a graduate entry programme in business, you can join us through our Flexible Route.
Most people working in business and looking for an outstanding qualification will choose our Flexible Route.
Our Flexible Route is just that – flexible and designed with you in mind. It means you can stay in your job, study on your own terms and generate the relevant accountancy experience now or further down the line. If you’re not working in a finance role right now, that’s fine. You can begin your studies with us and use the Chartered Accountancy qualification as a stepping stone in your career.
The track record of our students shows that as soon as you start studying with us, employers will notice you. Once you’ve generated and recorded your relevant accountancy experience, you’ll have exactly the same qualification as someone in a training contract. You’ll take the same subjects, sit the same exams but critically, the education and experience elements do not have to run concurrently.
Who is the Flexible Route suited to?
If you are working in business, a graduate, postgraduate, school leaver or Accounting Technicians Ireland graduates, this route is open to you. If you’ve been working for less than four years, the only stipulation is that you generate at least one year of relevant accountancy experience before sitting your final exams (FAE).
Benefits of the Flexible Route:
• No training contract required (you can however transfer into a contract at any stage).
• Flexibility: you can sit two subjects at a time up to and including the CA Proficiency 2 (CAP2) exams.
• Modular education: you can take all the year’s exams together, or alternatively, spread them out over different sittings, even consecutive years.
• Experience requirements: trainees in the Flexible Option are required to obtain the same amount of relevant experience that applies to every student: three years for accredited masters or postgraduate students, three-and-a-half years for graduates, four years for Accounting Technicians.
• Recognition of prior work experience: prior professional work experience can be recognised to reduce the stipulated experience requirements, up to a maximum of 18 months.
• Time to complete: with the Flexible Option, you have a period of eight years to complete your studies and gain the relevant experience to qualify.
• Audit or tax not compulsory: if you wish to become audit certified at a later stage, you must fulfill the requirements at that point.
• Mentors: your mentor can be any recognised qualified accountant.
Please note the programme is not open to students who reside outside the island of Ireland.
Our Training Contract is a structured, supportive training model and it is the most popular route to the Chartered qualification. Most people who enter this route do so via a Training Contract within an accountancy practice. The student in contract will remain with the practice for a defined time period (for graduates, the duration of a contract is three-and-a-half years; for recognised masters or postgraduates, three years; Accounting Technicians, four years).
Who is a Training Contract suited to?
Business graduates with a 2:2 honours degree or better can expect exemptions from the first year exams.
Postgraduates from accredited Masters programmes who may be exempt from all first and second year exams.
Non-business graduates. These students are popular with training firms and consistently do very well in Chartered exams. Your starting point is our first year exam, known as CAP1.
The benefits of a contract are:
* All education and exam fees paid.
* Study and exam leave assured.
* Exposure to quality, professional accountancy experience.
* Mentored by senior Chartered Accountants.
* Salary that increases in line with exam progression.
* Strong foundation in skills such as audit, tax, or financial services for careers in either practice or business