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Salary Range
€22k - €135k
Career Zone

In Brief...

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.


  • Economics and Accounting Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
  • Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • 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.
  • English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.


  • 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.
  • Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Mathematics Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.

In Summary - Accountant

Career Sectors

Accountants typically work in the following Career Sectors:

the Big 4
Accountancy & Taxation
Revenue & Governance
Accountancy & Taxation
Accountancy & Taxation
Business Management & Human Resources

Videos & Interviews

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.

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.

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.

Sophie Ellis, Accounting Technician Apprentice

Sophie Ellis is in her first year of the Accounting Technician Apprenticeship programme. Sophie chose to take this route to gain her qualification as it focuses on the practical side of the job and allows her to emmerse herself in real life situations in the workplace.

Videos on the Web

Further Information

The Work - Accountant

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.

Most commonly reported Work Tasks

  • Prepare, examine, or analyze accounting records, financial statements, or other financial reports to assess accuracy, completeness, and conformance to reporting and procedural standards.
  • Report to management regarding the finances of establishment.
  • Establish tables of accounts and assign entries to proper accounts.
  • Develop, implement, modify, and document recordkeeping and accounting systems, making use of current computer technology.
  • Compute taxes owed and prepare tax returns, ensuring compliance with payment, reporting or other tax requirements.
  • Maintain or examine the records of government agencies.
  • 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.
  • Develop, maintain, and analyze budgets, preparing periodic reports that compare budgeted costs to actual costs.
  • Provide internal and external auditing services for businesses or individuals.
  • Analyze business operations, trends, costs, revenues, financial commitments, and obligations, to project future revenues and expenses or to provide advice.

Most commonly reported Work Activities

  • Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • 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.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Interests - Accountant

This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:


Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.


Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and are drawn to commerce, trade and making deals. Some pursue sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or in management roles in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.


The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.


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.

Entry Requirements - Accountant

New entrants to Accountancy can either join following Leaving Cert or as a university graduate. The graduate route has become the most common entry route, but the alternative accounting technician route remains popular.

School Leavers who have obtained 360 points in their Leaving Certificate out of 6 subjects (must include English and Mathematics at Higher Level grade D or better, or Ordinary Level grade C or better) OR 3 GCE Advanced Level subjects at a grade C or better with GCSE Ordinary Level English and Mathematics at grade B or better, who go on to secure a merit pass in the Accounting Technicians Ireland 1st year examination, are eligible to progress to the Chartered Accountants Ireland CA Proficiency 1 Examination. Students register with Accounting Technicians Ireland and Chartered Accountants Ireland at the same time.

To qualify as an accountant, you need to register with one of the appropriate professional bodies. You then combine on-the-job training with part-time study and written examinations.     

The relevant professional bodies are:

  • Chartered Accountants Ireland
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants  (CIMI) 
  • The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
  • Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland  (CPA) 
  • Accounting Technicians Ireland

To register with one of these bodies you must meet their minimum educational requirements. If you exceed the minimum entry requirements you may be exempted from certain professional accountancy exams.  

Accountancy courses are available at universities and Institutes of Technologies and through a range of other centres throughout Ireland.

Last Updated: March, 2015

Pay & Salary - Accountant

Salary Range (thousands per year)* €22k - €135k

Tax Accountant: 40 - 70
Cost Accountant: 27 - 65
Newly Qualified Accountant: 25 - 55
Assistant Accountant : 22 - 35
Treasury Accountant: 25 - 70
Accounts Receivable: 23 - 38

Systems Accountant: 26 - 90
Project Accountant: 29 - 90

Accounts Payable Clerks: 23 - 38
Accounts Payable Manager: 40 - 65

Financial/Management Accountants: 25 - 65
Financial Controller: 55 - 90
Financial Controller: (5+ yrs exp) 65 - 135

Data Source(s):
Brightwater / Sigmar / CPL / Robert Walters / Hudson / Abrivia / Lincoln

Last Updated: February, 2017

* 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.

Labour Market Updates - Accountant

This occupation has been identified as a Job in Demand by the most recent National Skills Bulletin.

Employment growth was low for this occupation group, and, indeed, declined in the most recent year. Although they feature in the vacancy data, the recent job hires analysis indicates that churn is a significant factor in these openings. Declines in employment levels are expected to continue as some tasks become automated, although replacement demand for such a large occupation will continue to translate into job opportunities.

National Skills Bulletin 2018

Shortages are reported in niche areas only, specifically Accountants with experience in legislation, regulation and compliance. 

National Skills Bulletin 2018

Useful Contacts - Accountant

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