Accountants in high demand as average earnings hits almost €110,000

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The average remuneration package for a chartered accountant in Leinster has hit almost €110,000.

The figure includes salary, car allowances and bonuses, and shows that accountants are in high demand, according to industry group Chartered Accountants Ireland.

The group said the average salary package for a chartered accountant in their first year post-qualification is €61,044. For those who are five years qualified it is €74,706.

It said 23pc of respondents to the survey had a company car or car allowance, 18pc get share options, and 48pc were enrolled in a workplace health insurance scheme.

The survey of more than 1,100 chartered accountants shows “a continued strong demand for chartered accountants, with growing earning potential and considerable career opportunities in many different areas, including business, public practice, government and the voluntary sector”, said Lorna Larkin, chairman of Chartered Accountants Leinster Society.

“Chartered accountancy remains the largest single employer of new graduates in Ireland so it’s good news for the wider economy and for graduate prospects that the market for chartered accountants remains buoyant,” she said.

“We are seeing more training vacancies available in businesses and practices across Ireland for graduates of all backgrounds.”

Almost half of those surveyed had been promoted in the last three years. But the profession – like many others – is facing challenges from developments in technology. It is seen as being vulnerable to the rise of artificial intelligence.

Fayezul Choudhury, the head of the International Federation of Accountants, told the ‘Sunday Independent’ in 2016 that advances in data-processing capability raise questions about the role human beings will play in future.

“The effect of technology on all professions, including the accountancy profession, is going to be very profound. Because if you have that much processing capacity, than arguably artificial intelligence becomes much more realistic, indeed likely,” Mr Choudhury said.

“Given that one of the hallmarks of a profession is the exercise of judgment, you can have the technical rules, but where you add the value is the exercise of the technical judgment.

“So certainly you can put a lot of the technical rules into technology, you can do that today. But if artificial intelligence can start to exercise judgment… that diminishes the role of the human being.

“Changes are under way and trying to identify the issues and how to be ahead of it is obviously important.”

The shift in tech also presents opportunities for firms to profit. Software tycoon Pearse Mee has backed AccountsIQ, an Irish firm that produces cloud accounting software.

The software is designed to make it easier for firms to carry out accounting functions across multiple entities.

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