If you like the sound of a well-rewarded, challenging career in business with an internationally recognised, premium qualification, your next question may be: am I able to start? This is one of the most common questions we’re asked, so here are some details.
Q: Who is able to start?
A: People are often surprised to learn that all graduates are eligible to start studying with Chartered Accountants Ireland, not just those with a degree with an accounting slant. All graduates, post-graduates, Accounting Technicians, and members of other accountancy bodies can start on the path to become a Chartered Accountant. The only difference between people who have an accountancy degree and those from other academic backgrounds is the number of exams you’ll be asked to sit. In this regard, the approach of Chartered Accountants Ireland is no different to other professional accountancy bodies.
Graduates and members of bodies from outside Ireland are also welcome to join the programme – once you fulfil the entry requirements. You must be based on the island of Ireland for the duration of the programme.
Q: I’ve never studied accountancy before – ever!
A: That’s ok, you don’t need any previous accountancy knowledge as we’ll start from the beginning with the basics. Each year a significant number of new students join us from a wide range of disciplines (arts, science, IT, law, engineering etc.) and consistently do very well in exams.
From our experience, employers are always keen to interview such candidates as they bring diverse skills and knowledge to their training firms and studies. The starting point for non-business grads is CAP 1 (Chartered Accountants Proficiency 1 – first year exams) which provides the essential building blocks for more advanced study levels.
Q: How do students from non-accounting backgrounds tend to do in Chartered exams?
A: The results of our CAP 1 exams show that trainees from non-accounting backgrounds can achieve very successful results. Over the years students came from non-accounting degrees including engineering, arts and science. So don’t let your degree subject hold you back!
Q: How can I find out if my course is recognised?
A: All holders of degrees from recognised institutions are eligible for entry onto the CAP1 programme. To see if your course is accredited, have a look at the list of degrees here.
Q: What is the deadline for checking if I’m able to start?
A: It’s in your interest to clear the applications process early and we’re advising that people check their status as soon as possible. This year places will be allocated on a first-come, first served basis and places are genuinely limited for this year’s Chartered intake. Courses start early October in study centres around the island or via a distance learning option.
The final date for applying to Chartered Accountants Ireland is 1 September. If you are awaiting exam results or have another reason why your application will take place after this date, please contact us and we will assist you.
Q: What about checking if I can claim exemptions from some Chartered exams?
A: It’s easy to check exemptions with Chartered Accountants Ireland and what’s more, you’re not committing to anything at this stage. No payment is required as it’s a completely free service. You can apply for exemptions online and free of charge here.
A minimum of a 2.ii honours degree is required to claim exemptions. All exemptions granted from CAP1 are offered on the understanding that the students awarded them have taken the relevant options in their degree programme and have, at a minimum, met the requirements as set out on the website. Accounting Technicians Ireland (ATI) students can also claim exemptions.
Degrees awarded over 10 years ago will not qualify for exemptions.
Q: Where do I get proof of my college degree?
A: Contact the records office of your college/university, or Accounting Technicians Ireland directly. We’ll need written and original proof in the post, not a scan or photocopy. Your college should be able to issue this confirmation within a couple of weeks. Then you just need to send this in the post with a completed enrolment form. More information on where to get your college transcripts is available here.
Q: How do I get started?
A: Simply create an account on our website, and you’ll get access to the applications portal.