Accounting is a critical skill in Ireland: CPA Ireland's Chief Executive is inviting expat Accountants.
In 2022, the Irish government declared that there is a critical skill shortage of accountants. Now more qualified accountants are looking at Ireland to build a career to gain various advantages.
Qualified accountants are considering Ireland as a possible place to work and live.
The Irish government put Accountants, Auditors, and Tax professionals on the critical skills shortage list.
The Finance Story spoke with Eamonn Siggins, the Chief Executive of CPA Ireland for almost 30 years, to get his take on the situation.
How has the Irish economy changed throughout time? What are Ireland's major industries?
Ireland is a small, beautiful island home to more than 5 million people.
At this moment, we have been a part of the European Union for more than 50 years. We are currently the sole English-speaking nation in the European Union as a result of Brexit.
The economy of Ireland has always been open and interconnected.
Over 1700 multinational companies are based in Ireland. Many of them have chosen Ireland to be their headquarters, manufacturing bases, R&D centres. There are 430 financial services companies that are growing phenomenally; Barclay's Bank is one of the newcomers.
Many UK companies have chosen Ireland to gain a foothold.
The companies coming to Ireland are some of the top-performing players across sectors, such as the Financial Sector, IT, Social Media, Life & Medical sciences, etc.
Our talent is the main factor attracting top players to Ireland. Up to the university level, our education system is largely free. We have been able to assemble a skilled workforce as a result.
We have a fairly stable political and economic environment.
Ireland offers a business-friendly environment that makes starting and running an organisation simpler.
Lastly, we have a highly favourable and steady corporate tax regime. We are one of the fastest growing economies in the European Union.
Ireland is the microcosm of the global economy.
Is there a demand for Accountants in Ireland?
Ireland has a history of gaining from the immigration of foreigners, or as I like to say, "brain gain."
In Ireland, there is a thriving expat community in every industry, including IT, banking, and healthcare.
Due to a mixture of Covid, the difficulty to travel, and economic growth, there is now a talent war going on.
Additionally, not as many students in Ireland are interested in enrolling at the Professional Accountancy Body of Ireland, as they once were.
As a result, Ireland is unable to produce as many accountants as is required by the economy. If you open LinkedIn and search for vacancies in Ireland, you'll see that there are at least 1832 accounting and finance jobs available across sectors.
To improve the situation in 2022, the Irish government declared a critical shortage of Accountants, Auditors, and Tax professionals.
This resulted in an increase in demand for financial professionals working outside of the European Economic Zone.
What kinds of job roles are available for Qualified Accountants in Ireland?
An accounting qualification opens the door to a wide range of job possibilities. The entirety of Ireland has a demand for accountants.
Opportunities are available at every level, from freshly qualified accountants to finance directors, in the public and private sectors.
I just stumbled upon a job posting on LinkedIn from a recruiter in Ireland. There were 16 vacancies for newly qualified accountants.
System accountants, commercial business partners, CFOs, finance directors, statutory reporting, roles in compliance, financial analysis, and management accounting, among other positions, were among those with open positions.
With six years of post-qualification experience, the salary range was between 55,000 EUR and 160,000 EUR. This, in my opinion, says something about the opportunities that are available.
The best part is that it just takes 3 hours of driving to go from East to West in Ireland, and just 4 hours to go from North to South.
What initiatives is CPA Ireland taking to address the skills shortage?
CPA Ireland is working as hard as the Irish government to address the skills gap.
We have Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) with the Professional Accounting Bodies listed below:
- CPA Australia
- CPA Canada
- Association of National Accountants of Nigeria
- South African Institute of Professional Accountants
- CA Sri Lanka
They all offer a pathway to CPA Ireland membership.
If you are an ICAI-qualified CA and want to pursue CPA Ireland, you must first complete three online competency examinations. The course curriculum includes an overview of Irish taxation, Irish law, and business strategy.
Aside from that, you will need two professional letters of reference from the ICAI.
I met with the Irish Council during the World Congress of Accountants 2022 (WCOA) in Mumbai, India, and discussed the critical skill shortage.
The Council assured us that Indian CAs would receive a prompt response to their critical skills visa applications. The application procedure, which typically takes 12 weeks, would take only 4 weeks.
CPA Ireland organizes frequent awareness campaigns to motivate students to seek a career in accounting.
Our website contains information on visas, and seeking employment in Ireland, and has a job search tool where employers can post job openings for free.
We are on our way to creating our own recruitment service in 2023.
How can a person from another country apply for a work permit in Ireland?
Matching one of the critical skills professions outlined by the Irish government is the key to obtaining a work visa in Ireland.
The majority of firms in Ireland post job openings on LinkedIn. Currently, interviews are taking place over Zoom or other virtual platforms.
People who come to Ireland on a Critical Skills Employment visa have a better chance of living and working in Ireland. They are permitted to bring their families as well.
Most recruiters in Ireland sort our CVs using Optical Character Recognition (OCR), so make sure yours is brief and compelling.
Include globally recognised skills in your CV, such as International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and International Auditing Standards.
Once you've landed the job, you and your employer must cooperate to get the visa.
If you are a CA or other Qualified Accountant looking to work in Ireland, I strongly advise you to consider obtaining a CPA in Ireland, for,
- It shows your enthusiasm for and commitment to Ireland.
- Demonstrates your understanding of Irish tax and legislation.
These might be advantageous when applying for jobs in Ireland.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of working in Ireland?
Working in Ireland, like any other nation, has its pros and cons.
- Expats are very much welcome in Ireland.
- We serve as a bridge between Europe and America.
- Accountants in Ireland are well compensated. They earn a high net salary, which allows them to purchase property or save money.
- Ireland is one of the top countries in terms of quality of life.
- There is a well-established community of Indian CAs, as well as Australian and South African accountants in Ireland. I always advise accountants to network with these expats if they wish to visit Ireland.
- People working in Ireland are willing to help expats and assist them in finding work.
- You don't come to Ireland to enjoy the weather. Expect a generous amount of precipitation every now and then. However, it is also something that contributes to Ireland's greenery.
- Personal taxes are greater than corporate taxes in Ireland.
- Some present geopolitical issues, such as the war in Ukraine, have resulted in a cost of living crisis, excessive inflation, and so on.
- We have accommodation concerns (Due to Ukrainian refugees taking shelter in Ireland).
- Incoming expats must be cautious when it comes to finding suitable housing. This is where networking comes into play.
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