CPA Member: Elaine Curtis Hughes

Title: Finance Manager
Company: Shine
Qualifications: ATI, CPA Qualification.


Route to CPA Qualification

On completion of my leaving Cert, I did the accounting technician course full time as I did not have enough points to do a degree in accounting and finance. I chose this route to ensure that this was the direction I wanted to go in.  It gave me a professional qualification within two years which allowed me to work in the accountancy environment.  After two years of full time working in the industry, I decided that this was for me and wanted to gain more qualifications and become a qualified accountant. I registered with CPA as a student, I went to college in the evening and work fulltime during the day.  After four years, I proudly qualified as a Certified Public Accountant.


A day in the life 

  • I usually start work around 9am.  The first task is to review emails and then prioritise the tasks for the day.
  • Meetings with other managers takes place to discuss budgets, cashflow and what tasks need to be completed within the week. 
  • Supervision of the finance staff, providing support with their tasks and projects.
  • Monitor and update the company’s budget ensuring that expenses are in line with projections.
  • In some cases, there may be financial planning events with other senior managers and team leaders; this usually relates to long term planning.
  • Keep up to date with all colleagues, stakeholders and industry trends, regulations and best practise for an NGO (non-governmental organisation).
  • At the end of the day, I would usually review the tasks set at the start of the day and prepare a to do list for the next day.

Each day may vary depending on the company’s specific needs which means I need to be adaptable and flexible at all times.

Fun fact 

I am a member of the Waterstown Warriors running club in Palmerstown and currently a member of the committee.  In 2019, I completed the Dublin City Marathon which involved a lot of hard work and commitment. I enjoy going on holidays – seeing new places and you would often hear me say “I work for my holidays”.

Advice for someone considering the CPA Qualification

If you are looking for a qualification that can give you a variety of job opportunities then the CPA qualification is for you.  You do not need to just work in a practice, you can work in varied roles such as NGO’s, Head offices in the retail trade, banking etc. 

It is a worldwide qualification and is one that I am proud to hold.