Ireland will experience a growing shortage of professional accountants if there is not a dramatic overhaul of the education and training required to enter the profession. This warning was issued by CPA Ireland, who say that the pipeline of new students is not keeping up with demand, and who have today announced an innovative new FastTrack programme across 12 different third level institutions.
According to Cormac Mohan, President of CPA Ireland, “Globally the number of new students pursuing accountancy is increasing and was up 2.4% last year. However, Ireland and the UK are bucking this trend with a fall of 0.4%. The number of accountancy students in Ireland (16,425 in 2017) remains far below pre-crisis levels (18,289 in 2007) and this is going to cause considerable problems in the years ahead.
“The education and training provided to the profession has stagnated and does not reflect the needs of the 21st century student. If there isn’t a rapid rethink of how we train up new accountants, we are going to be faced with a massive shortage within the next five years. It is incumbent upon all stakeholders, the educators, the industry and the Government to deliver this without delay.
Mr Mohan welcomed the announcement that there will be a review of the Accounting exam in the Leaving Cert. published by the Chief Examiner in Spring 2019. “the syllabus at present lacks diversity and in terms of content, it is years behind the profession. It is long overdue for a revamp.”
CPA Fast Track
Cormac Mohan outlined CPA FastTrack, the Institute’s latest innovation in the training of new accountants. “Currently students who want to qualify as accountants are required to undertake three years of on-the-job training. Now for the first time in Ireland students who complete accredited work experience or internships as part of their degrees can count this towards the CPA training requirement.”
CPA FastTrack is available at Athlone IT; IT Carlow; Cork IT; Dublin IT; Dundalk IT; Maynooth University; National College of Ireland; University College Cork; University of Limerick; Waterford IT; IT Tralee and Trinity College Dublin.
“This means that with CPA FastTrack, students from across Ireland can qualify as professional accountants a year quicker than was previously possible. This is about recognising the nature of 21st century education and is taking some of the difficulty out of pursuing your professional qualification.
“Being part of this means that students also gain access to the CPA Ireland community including support from the student services team, online communities and social events, as well as lucrative career opportunities once qualified with a diversified skillset. We would also actively encourage employers who have third level students completing any internship or work placement, to share the details of the FastTrack programme with them’.
This initiative is part of CPA Ireland’s ongoing efforts to support the evolution of the accountancy profession and workplace. CPA Ireland is committed to providing the highest quality calibre of members to the market place to meet the needs of the future accounting sector.
For students, colleges and employers who wish to find out more about this new initiative, please contact CPA Ireland on 01 425 1000 or visit the dedicated CPA Ireland FastTrack website page here
See Irish Independent coverage from September 30th 2018 here