Ireland's accountancy body reveals rise in percentage of female membership

Ireland's accountancy body reveals rise in percentage of female membership

Chartered Accountants Ireland has revealed the proportion of its members who are female.

The accountancy body says that women make up 41% of its overall membership, a 9% rise on its 2008 figure of 32%.

They also highlighted that almost half, 49%, of its 6,600 student population are female.

It comes as figures from the UK’s Financial Reporting Council (FRC) released recently show that the percentage of female members in the accountancy profession in the UK and Ireland stands at 36%.

The FRC’s annual ‘Key Facts and Trends’ analysis is from the end of December 2017 and reports strong growth in the number of all qualified accountants across the UK and Ireland.

It reveals that membership figures at the main accountancy bodies have reached a five-year high and there are now 360,000 qualified accountants in the UK and Ireland, and almost 164,000 students.

Ireland’s largest accountancy body, Chartered Accountants Ireland has the fastest growth amongst the major accountancy bodies in the UK or Ireland.

Chartered Accountants Ireland’s members based in Ireland and in the UK grew by 5.3% in 2017 and by almost 19% since 2013.

Though overall student numbers have eased back across the UK by 0.4%, Chartered Accountants Ireland’s student numbers have increased by over 5% in 2017. 1,153 students qualified to become full members of Chartered Accountants Ireland during 2017.

Chartered Accountants Ireland Chief Executive, Barry Dempsey, said: “While the FRC report highlights the welcome increase in female membership in the profession and more female graduates are choosing a career in Chartered Accountancy, we would all acknowledge that we have more to do to further grow this number.

"One third of our governing Council is female and 49% of our students are female – we see this as a great indicator for the future.

“Chartered Accountants Ireland has developed its own events to support female members, for example, a bespoke ‘returners’ workshop was held last year and was very well received, and more are planned for later this year.

"The Institute also provides one-to-one coaching and support pre- and post-career break or for maternity leave, as well as CV and interview preparation.

Mr Dempsey said demand for finance professionals is high and Chartered Accountants Ireland is planning for this.

He said: "The Institute has announced a range of enhancements to our education programme, including agreements for the provision of specialisms with the Institute of Banking and with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.

"These enhancements will be available to students from October 2018 and will give employers access to highly qualified specialists in banking, financial services, consulting and public sector financial management.

"It’s a priority for our members that Brexit must not affect their right to work and practice across the island of Ireland and in the UK." - Chartered Accountants Ireland Chief Executive, Barry Dempsey.

"We want to ensure that the Irish Chartered accountant qualification continues to be recognised in the UK post-Brexit and similarly that the UK qualification is recognised in the EU once the UK leaves the bloc.”

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