Opportunities for newly qualified accountants
Congratulations on completing your professional accountancy exams, your new qualifications give you greater control over the direction you want your career to take. I have compiled a list of the most common routes taken by newly qualified accountants in order to give you a flavour of the journey ahead.
COMMERCE & INDUSTRY
Within large and multinational companies, the finance functions provide CEOs, CFOs and board executives with the data and intelligence they need to make strategic and operational decisions. Newly qualified accountants are in demand for roles in business & financial analysis, project accounting, internal audit and risk management. In the largest organisations, many of these roles will also incorporate an international remit.
If you’re an agile thinker with a flexible, hands-on approach, you will play a central role in a growing SME. Many successful and fast-growing start-ups and small businesses are run by energetic entrepreneurs who value the finance and business know-how of like-minded qualified accountants.
Many finance directors of today’s FTSE-listed companies have worked in internal audit at some point during their careers. Such is the reach of internal audit that you can expect to significantly raise your profile, impressing senior decision-makers and hiring managers. You’ll also develop company-wide insights that could be invaluable when promoted into management roles. Today’s internal auditors act as proactive, consultative business partners, reducing risk and adding real commercial value.
Competition for work in investment, retail and boutique banks, asset management and insurance companies remains high and is still the ultimate career destination for newly qualified accountants. However the bar is high; exemplary records in academic and professional exams must be coupled with energy and enthusiasm, industry knowledge and credibility with demanding senior colleagues (and clients) in order to thrive.
If you decide to stay within the profession, switching to a different firm might provide the quality clients and substantial assignments you need to enhance your career. While boutique firms are small by definition, many of the most successful – and those which appeal most to newly and recently qualified accountants – have been set up by entrepreneurial finance professionals with large-firm training, who demand high standards in both recruitment and client service delivery.
Whether you stay in practice or move into industry, tax work in today’s business world calls for powerful analysis skills and lateral thinking, along with an anticipatory, problem solving mind set. In industry, in-house tax professionals who make their mark in mainstream tax compliance or reporting can ultimately look forward to challenging, stimulating work at the heart of corporate tax strategy.
Qualifications awarded by Irish accounting bodies are recognised and respected globally by employers large and small, both in industry and professional services. Overseas opportunities are mainly found in industrialised economies, tax havens and financial centres. Those who use their Irish accounting qualification as a passport to overseas opportunities typically report a positive impact not just on their careers but also their lifestyle, cultural awareness and personal development.
For more information on your recruitment needs, please contact our Accountancy and Finance team on 01 571 0011.