Your career pathway

Elaine Harney, Audit Trainee, BDO

What does your job involve?

As an audit trainee, normally I’m out on site with clients, auditing different parts of their business, as determined by my manager here. This involves obtaining audit evidence and working with other BDO departments such as the tax department and company secretary department. I also work third parties such as banks and solicitors.

Why did you pursue a career in audit?

I studied a commerce degree in NUI Galway, and that has really set me up with the skills I need for my role today. In my final year I specialised in accountancy subjects, which gave me exemptions (CAT 1) for my chartered accountancy exams. I have recently completed the CAT 2 exams and hopefully next year I can do my final year exams. Specialising in accountancy in my final year has given me a real boost in terms of managing work and study.

What skills do you need to be successful?

Most importantly is to be a team player and a good communicator. You deal with so many people in this job; colleagues within audit, senior partners and clients for example so good clear communication is key there. Also, you need to be personable and be able to relate to people easily.

What’s the best thing about your job?

I really love working with my colleagues, it’s a very close knit group. We work together, study together, socialise together so that’s definitely my favourite thing. I also love that I get to work across such a wide range of sectors, from agri-food to media and more. It’s really interesting and no two days are the same.

What skills would you recommend for first-year students to develop?

For first years, I would advise that they work on their time management skills. Assignments, projects and part time work all mean that you can develop these skills in college and they definitely benefit you when it comes to graduate programmes or training contracts. They also have deadlines and study assignments so the experience you can build up in college will stand to you.