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Career change – becoming a Chartered Accountant without a business degree

Introduced by Ronan O’Loughlin.
It’s possible to do well in Chartered Accountancy exams without a business degree. Very well. In fact this year, the best FAE (final year) exam results were achieved by a student who started off his career as a vet. In this blog post we talk with student Diarmaid Morkan, who made a change in his career, from one type of practice to another.

Diarmuid MorkanShown left, former Chartered Accountants Ireland President Brendan Lenihan presenting FAE prizewinner Diarmaid Morkan.
 

 

 

 

“I loved both Biology and Accounting when I was in school,” says Diarmaid. “When crunch time came to make my CAO choices, I went down the Biology route and studied Veterinary Medicine at UCD. I went on to practice in Waterford and Cavan while also working on a part-time basis with the Department of Agriculture as a temporary veterinary inspector.”

“I love the work, but the lifestyle is very demanding – being on call regularly can be difficult. I also felt that my options were somewhat limited – not a lot of room to progress. I guess in the back of my mind, I knew that there might be more variety within my other area of interest – Accounting. After all, every business, no matter what sector, needs an accountant.”

“So on the advice of a local accountant, I made a change and decided to study online and part-time with Accounting Technicians Ireland, as a way to get back into learning. By the time I had completed my ATI Diploma, the Chartered Business Route had become available, so I moved on to that. The exemptions I got from CAP1 because of ATI were helpful, as it reduced the number of exams in first year and allowed me to manage my studies alongside my part-time veterinary work.”

“While many of my classmates studied and got their experience at the same time, I first completed all the studies, and now that I’ve done that, I am thinking about my next step – acquiring the practical experience.”

“I have already been doing some tax and accountancy work with local businesses in Cavan and I’m hoping to work in a small practice locally. However I may ultimately combine both careers. If I were to open my own veterinary practice, I know that my studies would stand to me in running the business and securing bank credit.”

“In terms of advice for anyone considering changing direction, I’d say that it’s absolutely possible to make the move from another discipline into Accountancy, but you have to be focussed and motivated. You also have to manage your time carefully as there is a lot to do. The other advice I’d have is to make use of all the resources – talk to lecturers, use the online videos to catch up on materials in your own time. It’s all there to be used.”

Interested in making a move? There’s never been a better time to become a Chartered Accountant. Contact us today to find out more.

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