The accounting profession continues to be one of the largest employers of graduates in Ireland, and in 2012 the Big Four accounting firms recruited the same number of graduates as before the start of the economic crisis in 2008. Indeed, Gradireland 2012 Graduate Salary & Recruitment Trends Survey shows that 48.4% of all graduate jobs created in 2011 were in the accountancy and financial management sector.
One of the key advantages of a career in accountancy is the variety of opportunities available for employment in the traditional roles of financial reporting and budgeting to more ad hoc projects such as advising management on potential investments and expansions into new markets. Accountants are increasingly seen as business advisors rather than bookkeepers.
An additional benefit of obtaining an accounting qualification is that it not only allows you to work in Ireland but you can also travel and work abroad. Most of the professional qualifications are recognised in other countries and there are a high number of Irish accountants working in other countries such as the UK and Australia. The International Experience year, an optional fourth year offered on our BComm and BComm (Accunting) programmes, offers students an opportunity to study abroad and go on work placement.
No matter what route to qualification you take, the skills you gain while training to become an accountant are invaluable. These skills include not just the development of technical skills and the ability to interpret, analyse, summarise and report financial information, but also the development of excellent communication, negotiation and interpersonal skills. This enables professional accountants to become confident communicators and team players, and ultimately these skills help them to become inspiring business leaders of the future.
So how do you become an accountant? A career in accountancy usually starts with an undergraduate degree in business, commerce or finance. The BComm degree allows you to specialise in a particular business discipline and if you choose to specialise in accountancy you can gain valuable exemptions from the professional accountancy exams offered by the accountancy bodies. The BComm (Accounting) specialises in accountancy from the start and requires accounting for the Leaving Certificate. This degree offers opportunities for more advanced study of accounting and is suitable for students who have fully decided on an accounting career.