The Institute of Certified Public Accountants Ireland (CPA Ireland) has warned that Ireland is facing a growing shortage of professional accountants.
CPA Ireland points out that in 2008 more than 4,800 students registered across all the accountancy Institutes to commence their professional training. However, this had fallen to 2,970 students, in 2012, embarking on the pathway to obtain a professional accounting qualification. This reflected the dramatic downturn in the economy where many potential accountancy students emigrated or opted for a different career path.
Although slowly increasing, the number of new accountancy students remains 27% below pre-recession levels. CPA Ireland estimates a shortfall of almost 15,000 trainees in the accountancy profession over the last over the last decade. Despite the wealth of opportunities for newly qualified accountants, the number of trainees entering the profession has not recovered since they "fell of the cliff" during the recession.
Speaking at the conferring of new CPA accountants, President of CPA Ireland, Deirdre Kiely said, "I am delighted to say that we continue to see full employment among newly conferred CPAs, reflecting the strong reputation among employers for the CPA qualification. The demand for accountants reflects the continued growth in the economy and has reached new heights with employers telling us they are now finding it increasingly difficult to fill vacant positions."
She added, "With fantastic career opportunities and continued strong demand for qualified accountants, I would encourage leaving certificate and undergraduate students to seriously consider a career in accountancy. It is a valuable and flexible qualification, providing many career paths and one that opens many of doors both nationally and internationally. An accountancy qualification is a forward facing profession and provides the flexibility to deliver varied and interesting career paths to all those who pursue it."