Newly qualified… where to next?

Career path 5


Passing your FAE’s is a huge milestone for a Chartered Accountant, and hopefully the first major link in a long chain of good career decisions. As you near completion of your training contract, you are then faced with your next major decision – where to next?

You would not be alone if you felt it was a daunting prospect! There are four major subsects of the market where you will find your first qualified role as a Chartered Accountant post-qualification. They are; Practice (progressing through promotion or moving to a practice that will offer you different exposure), SME, Shared Services centre, or PLC / group function.

Each offers you a wealth of learning experiences and skills to acquire, but each one can send you off in quite difference trajectories, so it is important to use what personal time you have for self-reflection and forward planning.

To help you with your decision, we have outlined some pro’s and key-identifiers of the three non-practice options;


  • Small teams
  • Autonomy
  • End to end exposure
  • Opportunity to be client facing
  • Commercial experience available – negotiations, pricing etc
  • Not over-processed
  • Opportunity to streamline, structure and automate
  • Gratification from clearly seeing the impact you make
  • Very hands on experience
  • Report to the MD / Owner

Shared Service Centres (SSc’s)

  • Large teams
  • State of the art offices
  • State of the art systems
  • Clearly defined processes
  • Perks such as free canteens, gyms etc
  • Clearly defined career pathways
  • Deep experience in one specific area
  • Technical skills, eg. US GAAP, SOX, IFRS

Irish PLC’s / Group Functions

  • Specialist teams
  • Decisions are made here in Ireland
  • Exposure to decision makers
  • Structures in place
  • Management opportunities
  • State of the art systems
  • Opportunities to progress into other areas such as commercial finance, corporate finance etc.
  • Group reporting
  • Seeing a business ‘from above’
  • Strong salaries

For further information and true career advice contact us on 01 631 6065 and do visit our career page for just a flavour of our live vacancies.