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 Martin Dunn from Failte Ireland to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Martin Dunn

Activities Manager

Failte Ireland

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  Martin Dunn
  • Qualities & Values - Patience, hard work, like meeting people, enjoy providing good customer service, desire to do a good job for yourself and your employer 
  • Client Skills - Qualification both education qualifications and practical ability to the job
  • Interests - to be generally interested in the field you are working in. I think that it is easy for people to look at the job and think its great and must be loads of fun because you get to go on the high ropes all the time. That is just a small part of the job and generally you are watching others having fun and playing on the activities and you only go on them to do staff training or to do safety checks. You must also be prepared for the paper work that goes along with a job where you are responsible for that safety of people and this cannot be overlooked.
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Realist?
Realist 
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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Accountancy & Taxation
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At a Glance... header image

Accountancy & Taxation

Accountants work with every type of organisation from the newest tech start-up, to the oldest bank, from the smallest local business to the largest multinational conglomerate - all need financial experts to serve and advise them on their business.

Taxation too is a cornerstone of every business transaction and every commercial decision that is made. The ongoing growth in the international dimension of business in Ireland requires knowledge of overseas tax jurisdictions, as well as the domestic taxation environment.


Accountancy header image

The job of an Accountant is to help businesses to achieve their targets by providing information on finance, business performance and progress, and to ensure that the individual or company is in compliance in important areas such as Taxation, Company Returns and Contractual Obligations etc.. The accountant will assess the client's income and outgoings, look at the financial dealings of the company and advise accordingly.

Accountants are not only found in the business environment. They work in a wide range of organisations from charities and government bodies, to sporting organisations. This means that people who qualify to work in this field have wide range of opportunities to choose from across the sectors - for example, if you are the kind of person who sees yourself working for a charitable organisation rather than in the corporate sector, you can serve as an important advisor, ensuring that the charity gets the best use of its money, and that charitable status is maintained, by preparing and issuing required documents in good time.

Opportunities to work in a wide variety of sectors, excellent remuneration and relative job security, makes a career in accountancy an attractive choice.  It is estimated that there are over 2.5 million accountants worldwide. In Ireland, demand for accountants in all areas continues to flourish, and there is currently a shortage of qualified accountants.

Accountancy with a language is increasingly attractive to employers, especially in the the thriving International Financial Services Sector. 

Getting into Accountancy and Finance - Video presentation ~ Accounting Technicians Ireland

Accounting and Financial Management is at the core of all business activity. There can be a degree of overlap between the different professions, but the sector can be broadly divided into those firms that provide advice and accounting services to a range of clients in the public and private sector (this area has traditionally been called private practice), and those working in one particular organisation, either in industry or commerce, the public sector, privatised industries or the health service. 

Getting into Accountancy

As a trainee or unqualified accountant, you would typically work for a firm of Accountants (Financial Accounting) or perhaps in the accounting department of a company (Management Accounting). While continuing to work, you would join one of the professional bodies and complete your professional accountancy exams over a period of time.

There are five main professional routes to choose from:

Accounting Technician - Accounting Technicians Ireland (ATI) is a popular study route while also being a highly relevant qualification. The Diploma for Accounting Technicians programme is delivered in approximately 70 colleges around the country. Accounting technicians go on to work as qualified accounting professionals in the public sector, industry, commerce and private accountancy practices. 

Accounting technicians are involved in the day-today practical work of accountancy, including the preparation of information and accounts, budgeting, costing and credit control. While not technically accountants, accounting technicians often perform many of the same functions, and are qualified to take accounts beyond trial balance stage, as well as prepare full financial accounts.

Chartered Accountant - Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI) is the largest accountancy body in the country and probably the biggest educator of professional accountancy students in Ireland. CAI offers routes to the ACA qualification for business and non-business graduates, and for accounting technicians. 

Chartered accountants work across an array of business activities and sectors. They provide professional financial services to businesses, such as auditing, taxation, accounting, consulting, financial analysis, recovery and risk management advice, and work in diverse roles in every sector.

For those interested in pursuing the chartered route, they should first decide whether to opt for the chartered practice route (usually by securing a training contract with an accountancy practice) or CAI’s new chartered business route. The latter is a direct route for students with no requirement for a training contract.

The majority of CAI students still train in practice, having secured a training contract. There is always a competitive element in gaining these training places.  There are currently more than 1,000 CAI students working in business and the public sector. Four out of 10 chartered accountants hold senior executive roles such as Finance Director.A good starting point is to visit the institute’s training vacancies page, (charteredaccountants.ie/vacancies) , where there’s also information on how to secure a contract and a list of registered training organisations. 

Promotional Video ~ Chartered Accountants Ireland

Management Accountant - The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) is the third largest professional accounting body. CIMA members are trained to understand all aspects of business, so that they can make and support key decisions and manage risk. Management accountants are also expected to be able to effectively analyse business decisions and strategies, apply their accounting expertise to budgetary planning, and generally being able to communicate their accounting information to nonfinancial managers. Management Accountants may go on to achieve senior positions as Strategic Managers in both public and private sector organisations.  

For those already pursuing a business or financial qualification, there are a number of routes to attaining the CIMA qualification. These include a blended learning approach, developed to facilitate online and distance learning; a fast-track route for MBA holders and a one-year fulltime MSc in Strategic Management Accounting, offered by UCD Smurfit School in conjunction with CIMA. CIMA has partnered with a number of professional organisations to offer tailored routes into the CIMA qualification, which take account of their members’ existing qualifications. There are nine exam centres across the country for students sitting the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting (CBA) exams. This qualification is an excellent grounding for non-finance graduates and professionals wishing to upskill.  

Financial Accountant - 
The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is the global professional body for accountants that trains and develops finance professionals. This qualification equips individuals for a range of finance roles, from audit to tax. It has a broad base in finance and accountancy with courses designed to provide the skills and knowledge relevant to any business, so individuals are free to choose which type of accountancy role and organisation they want to work for. Some 44% of ACCA members in Ireland are currently working in the corporate sector, with almost 20% in financial services and over 20% working in public practice. 

Financial accountants develop skills in areas such as financial management, corporate reporting, management accounting, audit and assurance and taxation. 

Certified Public Accountant - The Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland (CPA). CPAs can be found in every sector, from healthcare, financial services and education, tech and gaming. And they are not simply crunching numbers either - holding diverse roles at senior management level, from managing partners to chief financial officers, chief executives and entrepreneurs.

Graduate Entry

Graduates of business or accounting degrees, or those with existing qualifications will be offered exemptions. As well as completing exams, CPA students must undertake three years of relevant training under the supervision of a qualified accountant.

Although it is still possible to join straight from school, more and more students are opting into accountancy from graduate level, typically by taking a third level course in Business/Finance and then specialising in Accountancy.


Specialist Accountancy Areas

Forensic Accountant - A forensic accountant provides accounting skills in civil and criminal cases, and in non-legal related investigations. This is a much specialised area of accountancy involving a variety of skills from core accountancy skills such as financial reviews and calculation of loss of earnings to conducting interviews, assisting with the Discovery process, preparing expert witness reports and giving evidence in court.

Forensic Accountants require a very specific skill set such as information gathering, attention to detail, information preservation, investigating potential fraud, dispute resolution, issues arising in family law and understanding legal processes. This ensures they can advise their clients on the consequences of certain actions and ultimately produce a report to their client or to the courts if required.

Forensic Accountants can be engaged in public practice or employed by insurance companies, banks, police forces, government agencies and other organizations. They are commonly retained to analyse, interpret, summarise and present complex financial and business related issues in a manner which is both understandable and properly supported.

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Taxation header image

The taxation sector in Ireland has experienced significant growth in recent years. The favourable corporate tax regime available to businesses in Ireland, together with the complexity of taxation laws and the fact that they apply to every area of business, means that most companies employ tax specialists. The importance of the EU to the Irish economy has also created many opportunities to work abroad in this field.


Video presentation ~ Irish Tax Institute

Although one of the smallest fields in finance, taxation is the cornerstone of every business transaction and commercial decision and as such there is an ever growing demand for outstanding tax consultants particularly for those with proven advisory skills. The constantly growing international dimension to all areas of business in Ireland means that knowledge of overseas tax jurisdictions is increasingly sought after.

Taxation is a constantly changing discipline – one of the tax consultant’s greatest challenges is to stay abreast of domestic and international development and to translate these into opportunities for clients or the organisations they work for. As Ireland’s tax regime operates on a self-assessment basis, there is a strong demand for quality taxation advice.

Taxation Adviser

Tax consultancy is one of the fastest growing and best-rewarded professions in Ireland. Qualified tax advisers are recruited by:

  • Major taxation/accountancy firms
  • Major financial institutions
  • All the major legal firms
  • Larger quoted companies 
  • Multinational corporations located in Ireland 
  • Many government departments

Tax advisers can also join or establish smaller consultancy firms. Taxation courses ranging from one year technician courses to three year professional qualifications are available. The main qualification is the AITI, acheived by passing the Irish Tax Institute examinations. This can be persued full time, at night or through home study.

For more detail on a career in Taxtation see  Sector Expert - The Irish Tax Institute.

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9, Leeson Park, Dublin, 6.
(01) 498 8900
47-49 Pearse Street, Dublin, 2.
(01) 649 8100
Chartered Accountants House, 47-49 Pearse Street, Dublin, 2.
(01) 637 7200
CIMA Ireland, 5th floor, Block E, Iveagh Court, Harcourt Rd, Dublin, 2.
(01) 643 0400
17, Harcourt Street, Dublin, 2.
(01) 425 1000
Government Buildings, Upr. Merrion St., Dublin, 2.
(01) 676 7571
Heather House, Heather Road, Sandyford, Dublin, 18.
(01) 206 9000
57-61 Lansdowne Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin, 4.
(01) 240 3600
South Block, Longboat Quay, Grand Canal Harbour, Dublin, 2.
(01) 663 1700
Dublin Castle, Dublin, 2.
1890 333 425
Clanwilliam House, Clanwilliam Place, Dublin, 2.
(01) 634 0020

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