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'It opened doors for me': 4 people share how accountancy took their career to new heights

We hear from corporate managers, public sector workers and more.

THAT LONG-AWAITED promotion, a job offer that takes you to an exciting new country, or the chance to enter a diverse new industry. Success looks different for everyone, but whatever your career dreams are, there’s a way to achieve them.

If you want take your job prospects to new heights and gain a globally recognised qualification in a way that fits around your life, Chartered Accountancy training could be for you.

With Chartered Accountants Ireland’s Flexible Route, you can work as you study, building a schedule that suits your needs while still having access to all lectures, resources and supports.

Once qualified, your skills could take you to any number of roles, from senior financial advisor to corporate CEO. We spoke to four people who’ve unlocked their career potential in new ways thanks to Chartered Accountancy…

“I moved from hotel management to the public sector”

Irina_Yotova_1 Irina Yotova Source: Chartered Accountants Ireland

After moving here from Bulgaria 20 years ago, I worked my way from the bottom of the hospitality industry up to Deputy General Manager for a number of Dublin hotels, getting a degree in Hospitality Management along the way.

I ended up moving into a financial role within the hospitality sector and did my Accounting Technician qualification within a year. My next goal was to become a Chartered Accountant.

The training was definitely challenging, but if you can learn to plan your time well and give all subjects equal focus, it is very manageable.

Doing the Flexible Route meant I could watch lectures back online and spread my second year exams across two years. By that time, I was working as an auditor within the public sector and had to travel around Ireland a lot, so the flexibility was all the more important.

I had a lot of confidence in Chartered Accountants Ireland as an institution and knew that graduating with them would open a lot of doors for me. I couldn’t have secured the role I am in now without my qualification.

- Irina Yotova, Auditor at Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

“I was able to work and care for my young daughter while training”

Catalina_Alkhatib_1 Catalina Alkhatib Source: Chartered Accountants Ireland

I was on maternity leave after having my daughter back in 2016 when I first got in touch with Chartered Accountants Ireland. I had been working as an office manager for a holiday rental company for about three years and was ready to progress my career. I studied finance and banking at college so an accountancy qualification felt like a natural fit.

The full-time course, full-time job and a young baby were tough to juggle at times, but not impossible. Opting for the Flexible Route was the best choice I made. I would try to attend classes in person most of the time [classes and education materials are currently delivered exclusively online, in line with Covid-19 restrictions], but if that was not possible I could watch the recordings online, not having to worry about physical attendance.

The fact that I landed an accounting role less than six months after enrolling on the course speaks for itself. And that was just the beginning of my new career path. It has been upwards and onwards ever since.

I feel that many doors have opened for me in the past five years. The training has been a fantastic experience that has helped me be part of a network of like-minded people. It has taught me how to get outside of my comfort zone and I’ve learned to always test my limits.

- Catalina Alkhatib, Financial Accountant with HomeStore + More 

“Passing my final exams was a surreal feeling”

CAI-DM-BACA-1980x1080-Deborah-blank Deborah Somorin Source: Chartered Accountants Ireland

I liked maths and budgeting before I even went to secondary school so, as ridiculous as it sounds, I knew from a very young age that I wanted to become a Chartered Accountant.

I had a difficult upbringing and at some stages it did not seem like a qualification was within my reach. But, after I had my son at 15, I realised that I had to work as hard as I could to create a better life for him. Getting qualified and being able to provide an income to support us both became my focus.

The training process for any professional qualification requires a lot of hard work, and the ACA training is no different. Having already completed my undergrad and Masters in Accounting, passing my Final Admitting Exams with Chartered Accountants Ireland was a surreal feeling. There was a really lovely sense of accomplishment for sticking with the late nights of studying and working.

Straight after you pass your exams, if you’re in one of the Big 4 accounting firms as I was, you’ll typically get a bonus and increase in your salary and it leads to very quick progression. So you literally see the positive impact of the qualification on your career straight away.

- Deborah Somorin, Assistant Manager at EY

“My training gave me so many life skills beyond accountancy”

CAI-DM-BACA-1980x1080-Clodagh-blank Clodagh Allen Source: Chartered Accountants Ireland

I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for my ACA qualification. Before I qualified I was working in HR. I progressed into an accountancy role in the same company during my training and now work in a senior finance role with Microsoft.

I studied Law originally and thought that my non-accounting background might have held me back in the training, or put me at a disadvantage, but that wasn’t the case. You get a huge amount of support along the way – not just from the lecturers but from your fellow students.

One of the main things I would say to people is to get to know people on the course. That way, even when the workload is tough, you have your buddies and you’re all in it together working towards shared goals.

The training gave me so many life skills even beyond accountancy: it helps with problem solving, it makes you look at things from a new perspective, you start to question the status quo and you learn to take a step back and see things differently.

When you do take on new roles after qualifying, you go in at a level where you’re able to have a real impact. The training is the difference between me having the career I have, and not having it.

- Clodagh Allen, Senior Finance Manager at Microsoft

Become a Chartered Accountant and you can become anything. The time is now… Applications close Sept 13, 2021. Find out more here.

Sponsored by:

Chartered Accountants Ireland

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