Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked James Stewart from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

James Stewart

Science Communicator

Smart Futures

Read more...

  James Stewart
Get some experience even if it is voluntary work so that you have an idea if you like the sector and you will have something to talk about at interview.
Close

Social?
Social 
The Social person's interests focus on some aspect of those people in their environment. In all cases the social person enjoys the personal contact of other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.

Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people, and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
Career Interviews
Career Sectors
College Videos
Undergraduate Courses
Leaving Cert Subjects
Study Skills
Other
   
CV & Interview Preparation
School Work Experience
What employers want
Occupation Details
logo imagelogo image

Accountant

Job Zone

Education
Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an engineer must complete four years of college and work for several years in engineering to be considered qualified.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Job Zone Examples
Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, teachers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

€20k > 100 
Accountants
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€20 - 100 
Related Information:
Tax Accountant: 28 - 75
Cost Accountant: 40 - 65
Newly Qualified Accountant: 30 - 70
Assistant Accountant : 20 - 45
Treasury Accountant: 40 - 75
Accounts Receivable: 20 - 35

SYSTEMS / PROJECT ACCOUNTANTS
Systems Accountant: 38 - 90
Project Accountant: 40 - 80

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE STAFF
Accounts Payable Clerks: 20 - 35
Accounts Payable Manager: 35 - 65

FINANCIAL/MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTANT
Financial/Management Accountants: 35 - 70
Financial Controller: 55 - 80
Financial Controller: (5+ yrs exp) 70 - 100
Data Source(s):
Collins McNicholas / Morgan McKinley / Brightwater / Sigmar

Last Updated: May, 2014

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Shortage Indicator

Accountants and auditors with skills in Tax, Compliance, Solvency, and Financial Management, as well as specific industry experience, including Banking, Manufacturing. etc.

-1%
Occupational Category

Accountants & Tax Experts

Also included in this category:

Chartered and certified accountants; management accountants; tax consultants and advisers; tax inspectors

Number Employed:

38,300

Part time workers: 9%
Aged over 55: 9%
Male / Female: 59 / 41%
Non-Nationals: 8%
With Third Level: 97%
Return to List
Saves this course to your Career File if you are registered.
At a Glance... header image

Analyses financial information and prepares financial reports to determine or maintain a record of assets, liabilities, profit and loss, tax liability, or other financial activities within an organisation.


Videos & Interviews header image

1Total Records: 7

Ruth Byrne
Chartered Accountant  

Ruth works as a Chartered Accountant and has recently been made a Partner with Bluett Conran & Co. She completed a primary degree in European Business and Languages at the National College of Ireland, and went on th do a Post Graduate diploma in Accounting in DIT. She then chose to study with the Chartered Accountants Ireland to become a Chartered Accountant.

Go to Interview  
 
Chester Reid
Chartered Accountant  

Chester Reid works as a Chartered Accountant. He holds a B.Comm degree from NUI Galway.  After a period in the workplace he decided to pursue a Chartered Accountancy training contract with BDO Simpson Xavier from where he passed his ACA exams. He is currently studying for the AITI qualification.

Go to Interview  
 
Gail Sterio
Corporate Accountant  
Gail Sterio works as a Corporate Accountant in McDonald's. She holds a Marketing Degree from DIT and recently completed her accountancy exams with the ACCA. It was while she was working part-time in McDonald's during her studies that she went for the interview for a full time position in the accounts department and was successful.  McDonald's encouraged and supported her to take her ACCA exams.
Go to Interview  
 
Bernard Brogan
Chartered Accountant  

Bernard Grogan did his training contract to become a Chartered Accountant with Farrell Grant Sparks in Dublin which lasted 3 and half years. He is also a member of the Dublin Senior Football team.

Go to Interview  
 
Peter Gavagan
Chartered Accountant  

Peter works as a Chartered Accountant for Barkley's in London. He completed a Degree in Economics before specialising in Accountancy.

Go to Interview  
 
John McElhinney
Accountancy Partner  

John McElhinney is a Partner with John McElhinney and Company Chartered Accountants. He completed the IATI accounting technician course and following a 2 year stint in the banking sector where he completed the Financial Services exams and the Investment Advisor exams through the Institute of Bankers in Ireland he returned to the accountancy world and completed a Chartered Accountancy Contract. 

Go to Interview  
 
Justine McCosh
Accountant  
Justine is from New Zealand and completed her secondary education and primary degree there. She moved to London and worked in the Banking sector for a while. She then studied to become a Chartered Management Accountant (CIMA), and after moving to Dublin took up a position in the ESB.
Go to Interview  
 

The Work header image

Accountants help organisations and individuals manage their money. They examine financial records and statements and check them for accuracy. This allows them to provide their clients with a clear picture of their financial activities.  

Many limited companies are required by law to be externally audited. An external audit is a check carried out by a qualified person, who is not connected with the company. When doing an audit, the accountant has to examine accounting systems as well as check figures. Some accountants specialise in taxation.

Accountants work in various settings:

  • Public sector where they may work for bodies such as the Health Boards or local councils     
  • Public practice where they work for firms of accountants whose clients can vary from individuals to commercial and government organisations.

   
In both industry and the public sector, accountants are concerned with the day-to-day finances of their organisation. They provide analyses of costs and report on the financial implications of management decisions.  

Accountants who work for accountancy firms audit the accounts of their clients to ensure that the financial records give a true and fair view of the client's activities. Some accountancy firms also act as management consultants and advise clients on tax planning and ways to improve profits.

Accountants in Private Sector

All limited companies are required by law to be externally audited. An external audit is a check carried out by a qualified person, who is not connected with the company. When auditing, the accountant has to examine accounting systems as well as check figures. Some accountants specialise in taxation.    
   
Private sector accountants work in firms of accountants whose clients can vary from large commercial companies to self-employed people running a small business. An accountant's role is to audit accounts, making sure that records accurately show a company's activities and financial situation. Auditing is performed on the client's premises, so some travelling is necessary.    
   
When the audit is finished, an accountant presents financial statements to directors, shareholders and the Revenue Commissioners. Sometimes alternative accounting systems may be recommended. Accountants may also offer a company financial advice on taxation and investments.    
   
Large accountancy firms act as management consultants, investigating mergers and advising on ways to improve profits. Accountants doing this sort of work are less desk-bound than others because their work involves frequent visits to clients' premises.    
   
Accountants in the private sector sometimes take responsibility for executing wills and administering trusts. They also deal with the financial affairs of companies or people declared bankrupt. 

Accounts in the Public Sector (Government)

Public sector accountants (also known as public finance accountants) manage the financial records of public bodies. Although the work is similar to that of an accountant in public practice, a public sector accountant's main concern is not with raising profits. Instead, they aim to balance the cost of public services against income. Local government accountants also check and pay creditors' invoices, collect debts and charge customers for goods.

 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

bullet

Prepare, examine, or analyze accounting records, financial statements, or other financial reports to assess accuracy, completeness, and conformance to reporting and procedural standards.

bullet

Report to management regarding the finances of establishment.

bullet

Establish tables of accounts and assign entries to proper accounts.

bullet

Develop, implement, modify, and document recordkeeping and accounting systems, making use of current computer technology.

bullet

Compute taxes owed and prepare tax returns, ensuring compliance with payment, reporting or other tax requirements.

bullet

Maintain or examine the records of government agencies.

bullet

Advise clients in areas such as compensation, employee health care benefits, the design of accounting or data processing systems, or long-range tax or estate plans.

bullet

Develop, maintain, and analyze budgets, preparing periodic reports that compare budgeted costs to actual costs.

bullet

Provide internal and external auditing services for businesses or individuals.

bullet

Analyze business operations, trends, costs, revenues, financial commitments, and obligations, to project future revenues and expenses or to provide advice.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported Work Activities in this occupation.

bullet

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work:  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

bullet

Processing Information:  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

bullet

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships:  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

bullet

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards:  Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

bullet

Getting Information:  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

bullet

Analyzing Data or Information:  Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

bullet

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

bullet

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates:  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

bullet

Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

bullet

Performing Administrative Activities:  Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported Knowledge areas for this occupation.

bullet

Economics and Accounting:  Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.

bullet

Mathematics:  Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

bullet

English Language:  Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

bullet

Computers and Electronics:  Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

bullet

Clerical:  Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

bullet

Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

bullet

Mathematics:   Using mathematics to solve problems.

bullet

Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

bullet

Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

bullet

Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.

bullet

Systems Analysis:   Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

bullet

Judgment and Decision Making:   Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

bullet

Writing:   Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

bullet

Active Learning:   Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

bullet

Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

To be an accountant you need to be capable of analysing and interpreting figures. As many accounting systems are computerised, you should also feel comfortable using computers. You'll need good written and spoken communication skills when communicating with clients. You also need to be numerate and analytical with an ability to handle complex information and pay attention to detail.     
In some areas of accountancy you will need to develop a thorough understanding of tax law.


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..   Assistant Management Accountant - from:  icould [UK] Video
Go..   Chartered accountant - from:  GradIreland
Go..   Financial accountant - from:  GradIreland
Go..   Management Accountant - from:  N.C.S. [UK]
Go..   Management Accountant - from:  icould [UK] Video
Go..   Management accountant - from:  GradIreland

Contactsheader image

bullet

Organisation: Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
  Address: 9 Leeson Park, Dublin 6
  Tel: (01) 447 5678
  Email: irelandinfo@accaglobal.com
  Url www.accaglobal.com/ireland
   

bullet

Organisation: Chartered Accountants Ireland
  Address: Chartered Accountants House, 47 - 49 Pearse Street, Dublin 2
  Tel: (01) 637 7200
  Email:
  Url www.charteredaccountants.ie
   

 

Job Search

Career Articles

View Article Which is better - ACCA or ACA?
View Article Career Change - From Veterinary to Accountancy
View Article An Overview of Forensic Accountancy
View Article Financial Services Jobs: Legislation changes in the funds industry

Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

Administrative  Enterprising  Investigative 

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Accountancy & Taxation
Business Organisation & Business Management

Search for Related Courses from Qualifax - the National Learners Database

Go..


CAO Course suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following CAO / HETAC courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.
Courses found: 54
Accountancy - ACCA
Limerick City College
Accountancy - ACCA
Independent Colleges
Accountancy and Management
Limerick City College
Accountant - Chartered Certified - ACCA
Cork City College
Accounting
IT Carlow
Accounting
IT Sligo
Accounting
IT Tallaght
Accounting
Waterford IT
Accounting
Cork Institute of Technology
Accounting
GMIT - Galway-Mayo IT
Accounting
Cork Institute of Technology
Accounting
IT Carlow
Accounting
Athlone IT
Accounting
UCC (NUI)
Accounting and Finance
IT Tallaght
Accounting and Finance
Independent Colleges
Accounting and Finance
IT Tallaght
Accounting and Finance
Griffith College. Limerick
Accounting and Finance
ICD Business School
Accounting and Finance
Griffith College. Limerick
Accounting and Finance
NCI
Accounting and Finance
Dublin Business School
Accounting and Finance
Maynooth University
Accounting and Finance
DIT
Accounting and Finance
DCU
Accounting and Finance
Dundalk IT
Accounting and Finance
Griffith College. Cork
Accounting and Finance
Griffith College. Dublin
Accounting and Finance
IT Blanchardstown
Accounting and Finance (Thurles)
Limerick IT
Accounting and Financial Management (Castlebar)
GMIT - Galway-Mayo IT
Accounting Technician
Athlone IT
Accounting Technician (ATI)
GMIT - Galway-Mayo IT
Accounting Technician - Certified
Limerick City College
Actuarial and Financial Studies
UCD (NUI)
Actuarial Mathematics
DCU
Actuarial, Financial and Mathematical Sciences - Common Entry
DCU
Arts (subject option: Accounting)
Maynooth University
Business
Griffith College. Limerick
Business (Accounting & Administration)
Letterkenny IT
Business (Accounting and Finance)
Limerick IT
Business (Accounting and Finance)
Limerick IT
Business - Accounting
Letterkenny IT
Business and Accounting
Maynooth University
Business in Accounting
Dublin Business School
Business in Accounting
IT Sligo
Business in Accounting
Dublin Business School
Business in Accounting
Grafton College
Business in Finance and Investment
IT Sligo
Commerce - Accounting
NUI Galway
Finance and Investment
Waterford IT
Financial Mathematics
University of Limerick
Financial Services
Dublin Business School
Gnů agus Gaeilge (Business & Irish)
DCU