#GradStories Barry McCarthy, Auditor, Office of the Comptroller & Auditor General

Last updated: 22 Jun 2023, 13:20

#GradStories Barry McCarthy, Auditor, Office of the Comptroller & Auditor General

What is your name, job and organisation?

My name is Barry McCarthy and I'm a trainee auditor in the Office of the Comptroller & Auditor General.

What does your job involve?

The office's main purpose is to audit state bodies, be they a civil service department or a semi-state body operating in the state. You're giving a level of financial assurance over the financial statements that these entities prepare. So part of what the role is, is audit and then the other part is the reporting division as well that produces special reports and value for money audits. There's a huge amount of variety.

I work in the semi states division and I'd spend most of my time on the road visiting clients, working on site doing fieldwork either as part of an internal audit or a final audit of their final set of accounts.

How did you get into your job?

I studied with the Institute of Public Administration in pursuit of a bachelor in business studies and accounting. I also studied taxation with the University of Limerick before joining a big firm so I think that gave me a really good grounding and opened up the opportunity and the job was advertised with the office. I thought it was something really more interesting than I'd looked at before. As part of the recruitment process I had to do an aptitude test with Public Jobs and there was a selection process and then an interview and I secured my place.

What skills are important to be successful?

Well the main skills you need to have is the ability to analyse. Have an analytical approach to the way you approach the work and it's not just about the numbers - you've got to look behind them and look at it and make sense of what's going on and learn, what can be very complex organisations, and try and understand them as best you can to be able to gain insights into what they're actually doing and identify any potential risk areas.

What do you love about your job?

Variety, I like to be challenged I like to see new things all the time. And I think that's what you get when you're working with the Comptroller & Auditor General. It's never the same and you move from client to client, you can move within the office into different reporting areas and there's huge variety there, so you're constantly, you know, one minute you're dealing with the transport semi-state company and the next month you could be in a hospital, so huge variety and some really challenging issues that arise. So it's great.

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