Is Ireland right for your career? This Indian CA gives an exclusive breakdown on starting out in Ireland as an Expat.
The Irish Government has declared Accounting to be on the critical skills list. This created many opportunities for Accountants in different industries in Ireland.
- Is there a demand for Accountants in Ireland?
- Meet Siddharth Patel, a Chartered Accountant from India and ex-Facebook who moved to Ireland in search of work-life balance.
- Here is an exclusive breakdown of starting out in Ireland as an expat and the job roles to look out for.
From India to Ireland as a CA
I was born and raised in Mumbai, India - also known as the city of dreams and the financial centre of the country. I pursued and completed my studies in chartered accountancy.
After four years of qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, I wanted to do an MBA and study abroad.
When I began searching for foreign business schools, I found out that Ireland was a hotspot for accountants and IT professionals.
I started doing my research and talking to people on LinkedIn who were already working in Ireland.
All the Big 4 firms had offices in Ireland, I noticed.
This gave me the assurance that there was scope for accountants.
Countering the common perception that it's difficult to gain long-term employment in Ireland after completing a Master's/ MBA degree, I'm glad to say that I found the process fairly straightforward.
In fact, in 2017 Ireland was one of the few countries that provided a 2-year post-study visa for Master's graduates.
I decided on Trinity Business School in Ireland and came here to pursue my MBA.
During my MBA, I received job offers from various accounting firms, one of which was from RSM Ireland. I joined them toward the last 3-4 months of my course and was able to continue my studies simultaneously.
That's how I started my professional journey in Ireland. I'm currently working as a Transaction Services Manager at Evelyn Partners Ireland. I'm truly enjoying my work-life balance here in Ireland.
In-demand Finance Job roles in Ireland
There are different options to consider when it comes to finding work in the finance and accounting industries in Ireland.
All the Big 4 firms operate in the country and offer a variety of roles in departments such as audit, taxation, and advisory services.
Alternatively, you could also look at working for big tech companies such as Facebook, Apple, or Google. I worked for Facebook for 10 months after completing my MBA, and I never would have thought of working for them back in my home country of India.
The competitive job market in India makes it nearly impossible to get your foot in the door at a company like Facebook, but luckily there are more opportunities available in Ireland.
UK-based banks are plentiful in Ireland, making it a third option for working professionals in the accounting and finance industry.
These banks offer many positions like credit roles, risk roles, and more for accounting and finance professionals. And of course, there is an option to work in various industries like manufacturing, construction, automobile, retail, etc.
One might find roles such as accounts manager, financial controller or CFO.
You can also find great opportunities in Corporate Finance. If you want to work in due diligence, valuation, or succession planning, then you should look at the Big 4.
But if you want a flavour of all of those areas then look up the top 10 firms in Ireland.
How to find employment in Ireland as an Expat
Studying in Ireland:
This is the most common route people follow to get a job in Ireland.
After completing your Master’s you can apply for the Stamp 1G Visa. Stamp 1G gives you permission to stay back for another 2 years and look for employment in Ireland.
If you work at a Big 4 or a company that has a subsidiary or a branch in Ireland, request for an internal transfer.
Applying for the job from outside Ireland:
Applying for a job from outside of Ireland can be tricky but it's definitely possible to land your dream job in Ireland if you're willing to put in the extra effort.
Start by looking for job postings on LinkedIn, Jobs.ie, and other websites that cater to the Irish market. You can also reach out to recruiting firms based in Ireland and ask if they have any vacancies that match your skill set.
Once you've identified a few potential employers, send them your CV and cover letter and hope for the best.
If you're offered a job in Ireland, ask your new employer to sponsor your visa so you can legally work in the country. If they cannot, then you will have to pay the visa application fee of 1000 EUR.
When you're looking for a job in Ireland, it's always best to apply from within the country.
There's a simple explanation for this - accounting professionals from Europe are more likely to get the job than expats. That's because, unlike Indian nationals, European accountants don't need a visa to work in Ireland.
The Irish Government has recently declared that Accounting is a critical skills occupation.
Fewer Irish students opted for an Accountancy course over the past few years. Because of this reason, the government hasn't been able to meet the high demand for accountants.
If you are an experienced accountant, you may be eligible for a Critical Skills Employment Permit, which would allow you to work in Ireland for a specific employer.
This permit is designed to attract highly skilled workers to Ireland in order to boost the economy.
To be eligible, you must secure a job in Ireland and obtain a Contract of Employment. If you are successful, this permit will allow you to live and work in Ireland for up to two years.
Living in Ireland: Pros and Cons
Living and working in an entirely different country has its pros and cons.
And everyone should weigh the advantages and drawbacks before making the transition.
Working in Ireland has very few disadvantages, to be honest. Keep in mind that these opinions are subjective:
- Culturally, Ireland can be quite a shock if you're coming from India, since the two countries are vastly different from one another.
- In general, the people of Ireland are friendly but they tend to keep to themselves. Once work hours are over, they head home and spend time with their families - whereas in India, it's not uncommon for them to socialize and spend time together at the workplace.
- Ireland's weather might be a bit off-putting if you're not a fan of winter since the country experiences shorter days and cooler temperatures for 3-4 months out of the year. Summers in Ireland can be quite lovely though.
- The tax brackets are much higher in Ireland than in other developed countries. You'll be asked to pay a 20% tax on an income of up to 36,800 EUR. If your salary exceeds that amount, you'll be required to pay 40% tax plus more social insurance taxes, and other deductions.
- You may work as a senior manager or director in your home country, but don't expect to start at the same level in Ireland.
The pros of working in Ireland are:
- The quality of life is great in Ireland. The people are friendly, and the scenery is beautiful.
- Work-life balance: In Ireland, you can have a life outside of work. That being said, every company has a different structure, so it is important to find one that values work-life balance.
- Many companies don't allow their employees to pursue entrepreneurship outside of work, but in Ireland, you can do a side hustle or business alongside your day job (after getting the proper visa).
- The spouse of the holder of a critical skills visa can also get a Stamp 1G visa.
- Age is of no restriction in Ireland. Some people even enrol on the accountancy course at the age of 25 or 35. Even if you are above 40 you can consider this opportunity.
Looking to accelerate your career in finance? Fill up this form to talk to an industry expert.