Are accountants next?

Tech sector layoffs have been making headlines for months. Will today’s economic conditions affect the accountancy sector, as well?

Ornaith Giblin FCA, Consultant with Barden and expert in senior qualified accounting careers, was delighted to be asked to feature in this piece with Accountancy Ireland, alongside Garrett McCarhty, Partner with Hugh McCarthy & Associates and Neil Hughes, Managing Partner, Baker Tilly, where they discuss their views on what the future holds for professionals in finance.

Here’s what Ornaith had to say…

While it is estimated that there have been 140,000 tech layoffs globally since March 2022, the impact on Ireland has been estimated to be closer to 2,000. Most layoffs to date have been focused on operations with little to no impact on finance teams, and any fallout is likely to have a limited effect on the accountancy profession in Ireland. We have not seen any material risk for accountants across the tech sector from a job security point of view.

As accountants are employed across all industries, we don’t foresee a series of events that would lead to a similar level of uncertainty. Overall, Irish unemployment numbers are at 4.3 percent in December 2022, nearly the lowest for over 20 years.

We have seen the demand for accountants far exceeding the supply in the last 18 months, more than in any other period of time. The tech sector no doubt has contributed to that, and demand will be slightly denuded as a result, but we still expect the current significant imbalance that exists in the Irish market between the supply and demand of accountants to continue.

From an industry perspective, the availability of talent will be a concern in the coming years.

Despite the perception of headwinds, current demand is far outstripping the supply of accountants from the previous peak of Q2 2008.

From an individual accountant’s perspective, the outlook in the short- to medium-term is positive. While the sector is not impervious to macroeconomic factors, we would see the current strong demand for accountants continuing through 2023.

Special thanks to the team at Accountancy Ireland for the opportunity to feature in this piece. To read the entire piece please see here (pages 52-54).

Credit: Accountancy Ireland (Feb/March 2023)

A little bit more about Ornaith…

Ornaith Giblin FCA is a Consultant with Barden and expert in mid-senior accounting careers.

Ornaith is a Chartered Accountant and a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland. Prior to completing her professional qualifications she completed a degree in Accounting and Finance and a Masters in Accounting with DCU. Prior to joining Barden, Ornaith qualified with KPMG in 2006 in the financial services audit department. She moved to Ardagh Group where she worked for 4 years before moving to EY to take up the role of Senior Manager. Following this she returned to the Ardagh Group as Financial Controller moving to the role of Finance Director, before joining Barden.

Ornaith came on board to support Barden on a variety of different initiatives and plays a key role in supporting clients within the Leinster region.

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