Becoming a CPA
Why did you choose the CPA qualification?
During secondary school I developed a keen interest for accounting. After completing a 4 year accounting and finance degree in Cork Institute of Technology I knew I had to attain a professional qualification to pursue a career in accounting. I decided on CPA because of its recognised qualification, its exam structure and the platform it provides to progress in an international career.
How did you become a CPA?
I studied for my professional examinations at Griffith College Dublin. The college provided exceptional lectures, syllabus notes and exam technique training. They offered night-time classes and online tutorials which I found extremely helpful. I always sat my examinations in Cork. I began my career with Fitzgerald and Partners where I got excellent exposure to a broad range of accounting functions. After that I moved to Toronto and worked as a Financial Accountant. Returning home I worked with One51 on the disposal of a subsidiary before qualifying with Digital Realty, a US NASDAQ quoted company.
Since qualifying as a CPA how has your career progressed?
My career has excelled since qualifying as a CPA. I managed the accounting for European management & holding entities, become responsible for reporting of a global consolidation process, got promoted to a senior level within a global finance team and I am accountable for training and mentoring of other graduates. Working in industry, the CPA qualification has given me a unique competitive advantage that I use in everyday work life. It allows me to be flexible and motivated to achieve the best possible outcomes in every task. I am working to become a senior accounting manager in the near future.
What do you consider your greatest career achievement to date?
When working for Digital Realty I worked on the acquisition of UK data-centre provider Sentrum. The sale value of the company was USD1.1 billion. The team I worked within was responsible for the adoption and integration of the accounting function of the acquired group structure. This involved working with the previous accountants to obtain accounting data, working with valuation companies, booking opening journals and ensuring continuation of the accounting cycle. The transition period was 12 months and was a huge success. It was difficult work but I got great a great sense of achievement at the end of it all!
The Accountancy Profession
What is the most valuable piece of advice you would give someone starting out in the profession?
Have an open mind; be flexible to new challenges and opportunities that arise. Never say “no” to a new opening without properly evaluating the pros and cons. Actively seek new responsibilities and be prepared in everything you do. Set specific realistic goals and strive to achieve them. Sit down and come up with a plan of where you want to go in your career.
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