Newly Qualified Accountant? What to do Next.


Firstly, CONGRATULATIONS on finishing the professional exams. It’s certainly an exciting time for newly qualified Accountants who are in high demand right now. It’s a busy market with unemployment levels at approximately 5.4%, the lowest since 2008. As the economy nears full employment, you will not be short of choice for a new position.

Serious consideration should be put into the possible moves you can make coming out of practice for the first time. It is important to have a clear understanding of the range of different job opportunities available to you.


Staying in practice and your career trajectory

For some, staying in practice is also an option. The defined career path in practice and opportunities to step into management roles makes it attractive.

Some will choose to remain working in practice as practice accountancy usually offers client exposure and management experience. It also demonstrates a mixture of skills across accounting and tax which will benefit you during your career.


From practice to industry

Working in a practice environment offers you the opportunity to work with clients from a range of industries, allowing you to hone your technical skills while being exposed to a variety of industry sectors from tech to financial services whether that be in the audit, taxation or advisory service lines. Working in industry often focus on the economics within a business including cash flow, cost control and budgeting.

Specialised areas you may work in include financial accounting, cost accounting and management accounting. Moving from practice to industry gives you the opportunity to utilise your skill set in a very different environment, where you are able to focus on the specific needs and requirements of the business you work in, rather than across the many businesses that are your clients.


Contract vs Permanent

A new permanent role brings you long-term security on top of new responsibilities. You can enjoy the stability of knowing you are in an organisation for the long-term which allows you to shape your role.

Whether you wish to stay close to the day-to-day finance responsibilities to become a solid team performer or wish to develop into a managerial position with increasing people management responsibilities, you can carve out the version of your role that meets the business needs

A permanent position may not always suit newly qualified accountants, with many of you looking to use your qualification abroad. Some of you might consider choosing to gain experience, through contract work, in the Irish market before making the move. Contract opportunities can be common with multinationals and financial services. They are a great way to broaden your experience and a lot of the time, they tend to go permanent.


Speaking to recruiters – the benefits

A recruiter has a vast network of connections, usually within a specialised industry. They will prepare you for the interview and let you know what skills to highlight. Having someone in your corner for a job interview makes the entire process significantly less stressful.

Feedback is key to success. A recruiter will follow up with the employer and you will either come away with some constructive criticism or a job offer!

Some companies go directly to agencies before sharing a vacancy publicly. Since these positions are only available through the recruiter, you may never even have the chance to apply if you were to carry out your own job search.


For a discussion about your career, please contact Sinead Canning, Recruitment Executive, Engage People on [email protected]