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Employer Market

Karin Lanigan

Karin Lanigan, Manager – Career Development & Recruitment Service

Market Insights for Recently Qualified Chartered Accountants
Over the last 12 months the jobs market for recently qualified Chartered Accountants has been steadily improving with the most significant growth taking place in the last 6 months.

Organisations across practice, industry and financial services are seeking to recruit Chartered Accountants at this level.  Although the areas that initially started to show signs of recovery were the multi-nationals and the larger corporates, we have also witnessed the return of SMEs to the market. Additionally, we have seen a number of start-ups and early stage organisations seeking to recruit at this level.

Examples of the sectors currently recruiting:
• Banking/Financial Services
• Services/Professional Services
• Pharma
• IT/Technology/Fintech
• Healthcare

Examples of the roles being recruited for:
• Internal Auditor/IT Auditor
• Financial Reporting Accountant
• Financial Accountant
• Financial/Management Accountant
• Financial Analyst

Skills/Competencies in demand

Initially the skills associated with training in a Big 4 or Top 10 environment were most in demand but over the last 6 months we have seen the demand for members with experience in small or medium practice also increasing.

  • Communication – Ability to liaise cross-functionally and to be able to relate to non-finance functions in a professional and coherent manner.
  • Technical Accounting – US GAAP and IFRS knowledge and experience as well as a willingness to embrace the changes that will come with new accounting regulations such as FRS102. The importance of the fundamentals of debits and credits as well as reconciliations should not be underestimated as many employers will challenge you in this area.
  • Audit and Controls Experience – A robust understanding of the audit and controls environment and structures required in an organisation and an ability to be able to identify where weaknesses may exist and how these can be overcome.
  • Team Work & Collaboration – Working as part of a team is an element of many roles and employers like to see that you have a track record of working collaboratively. In many instances they will also want to see where you have taken the lead and worked on your own initiative in a team setting.
  • Analysis & Interpretation – Organisations like to know that you can see beyond the numbers and that you understand what they mean and what implications they have for the business.
  • Commercial Awareness – An ability to connect the numbers to what is going on in the business as well as an interest in the activities of the business and the challenging and potential opportunities within the sector.

Salary levels

As a result of the improvement in recruitment activity we have seen salary levels improve with the salary range for a recently qualified accountant typically between 40-45k depending on experience and other variable factors such as location.  In some instances the salary may be higher for a particular set of skills or specific knowledge or experience. Bonuses are more of a feature now with organisations where your overall salary will reflect your performance.


The market in general for recently qualified Chartered Accountants is currently very buoyant with a broad range of opportunities arising. Many members are now deciding to stay at home attracted by the job prospects in Ireland.  It is a great time to be considering the options open to you across all sectors. Take the time to research the market and to consider the career move that is most appropriate and beneficial for you. Take all factors into consideration, such as the experience and exposure you can obtain within the company and sector along with the potential for career progression, don’t base your decision purely on salary.

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