Accountancy bodies congratulate Leaving Cert class of 2021
Friday 3 September 2021 – The Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies - Ireland (CCAB-I) has today emphasised the need for a stronger pipeline of students from second level to fill accounting courses and apprenticeships at third level, leading to professional accountancy qualifications. Figures have shown that the accountancy profession contributes up to €12.9 billion to Irish GDP, equivalent to 4.4% of total economic activity.
The Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies – Ireland (CCAB–I) is the representative committee for Chartered Accountants Ireland, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland (CPA Ireland) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).
Congratulating Leaving Cert accountancy students, the CCAB-I stressed that Ireland needs greater ‘bench-strength’ to meet demand from employers across the Irish economy, so that the profession can continue to fulfil its role as key frontline business advisors to small and medium enterprises. SMEs account for 99.8% of enterprises and 1 million employees in Ireland.
Commenting Brian Feighan, CCAB-I Working Group Chair said;
“In addition to supporting SMEs, in a recent study we noted that 38% of our respondents worked in Irish subsidiaries of foreign companies, demonstrating the importance of the accounting profession to Foreign Direct Investment in Ireland also. Leaving Certificate Accounting has been increasing in popularity. 10 years ago, approximately one in nine opted to study Accounting in senior cycle but this has since risen to approximately one in seven students. This pipeline of financial literacy is critical, and it is playing a central role in Ireland’s economic growth.
“Accountants are on the Department of Enterprise’s Critical Skills Occupations List, professions in which there is a shortage of qualifications, experience or skills required for the proper functioning of the economy. Traditionally, demand for accountants has come from professional and financial services and industry, but we now see increased demand in business process transformation, data analytics, RegTech, Fintech, compliance and risk management.”
The CCAB-I conducted a comprehensive review of the Leaving Certificate accounting syllabus and the examination papers and solutions published by the State Examinations Commission, which informed a recent submission to the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA). It identifies the importance of maintaining close alignment between classroom learning and real-world trends to ensure the education system continues to produce the high calibre of graduate that the market requires.
“The current Leaving Certificate accounting syllabus was introduced 25 years ago, and we have seen significant changes in the profession in the intervening period. Take for example the impact of technology on the profession. Advances in Artificial Intelligence, robotic process automation and data analytics have transformed the role of accountants, enabling them to focus on their role as key advisors on major business decisions.
“Skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving and communication are now more central than ever to accountants’ work. In our submission, we outline how the syllabus can be reinvigorated to give senior cycle accounting students greater insight into these trends. We have seen encouraging work undertaken in this vein with the new Junior Cycle Business specification, and this more rounded approach will attract even greater numbers towards the accountancy discipline from an early age.”
CCAB–I is offering its expertise and resources to assist the NCCA with the design of a new Leaving Certificate Accounting specification.
About the CCAB-I
The Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies – Ireland (CCAB–I) is the representative committee for the main accountancy bodies in Ireland: Chartered Accountants Ireland, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland (CPA Ireland) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). CCAB–I’s purpose is to coordinate representation on behalf of these bodies in areas of common interest to the accountancy profession.