A chartered accountant audits accounts, provides financial advice and undertakes accounts administration.
Commercial and non-commercial organisations hire chartered accountants to perform various financial evaluations of their business and to ensure they are financially sound and compliant with legal regulations and requirements.
Chartered accountants (CAs) can specialise in a range of specialist areas. Assurance and auditing involves checking that a company is complying with legal requirements or fulfilling best practice. Tax involves helping clients to understand and meet tax obligations. Business advisory/financial services entails helping businesses achieve their objectives through a package of services including auditing, tax compliance and financial planning.
Accountancy is open to any degree discipline, however numerical or business related degrees are an advantage. In accordance with Chartered Accountants Ireland (professional accountancy body in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland) CAs normally complete a training contract with a Recognised Training Organisation. RTOs are usually a Chartered Accountants practice though training contracts are also available in industry and business. For more information on where to get a training contract, visit Chartered Accountants Ireland’s website – www.charteredaccountants.ie/vacancies. All students must pass Chartered Accountants Ireland’s professional exams and generate a fixed amount of relevant accounting experience – for a graduate this is 3 ½ years. This experience is usually generated as part of the training contract.There are three years of education and exams for students in a training contract. Students with degrees in accounting and finance are often exempt from the first year exams, CAP1, while those with Masters degrees in accounting can claim exemptions from CAP2. All students must pass the Final Admitting Exam (FAE).
Chartered Accountants Ireland have introduced a new entry route known as the Flexible Option. This route will suit new graduates who want to get one year of exams out of the way in route to securing a training contract. It will also appeal to experienced graduates wishing to become chartered accountants. This route, unlike others with Chartered Accountants Ireland, does not require students being obliged to enter a training contract. Other flexible aspects including the ability to switch into a training contract at any stage, flexible learning including distance learning and flexible payment terms.