It's hard to find qualified accountants in Cork right now; here's why...

2007/8 has nothing on 2018 when it comes to demand for recently qualified accountants (circa 0-5 years PQE) in Cork.  Why?  Because of supply and demand – recruitment economics so to speak.  Let’s look at some of the contributing factors:


  • Reduced intakes into accounting practices during the recession = Reduced numbers of people qualifying as accountants in subsequent years.
  • Larger firms diversifying their services (consulting, risk, business process transformation, analytics, and similar) has created ample internal opportunities for accountants coming out of training contract.  They don’t need to move externally to access different work any more = less people coming out when they qualify.
  • The traditional “gap year” in Sydney has morphed into 2-3 year moves to Australia, Canada, London and similar = less people coming back into the market at the 1-2 years PQE level.


  • Circa 2014 demand for qualified accountants began to pick up driven by some significant new FDI, the evolution of existing EMEA finance teams into global functions and medium to large Irish companies ramping back up.
  • Internal demand within practice firms has increased exponentially.  Firms would rather retain their recently qualified accountants and second them into your team at an hourly rate, than you hire them directly.  Sure, there are benefits to you, the hiring manager, in this model, but ultimately it strangles the supply of talent and increases demand.

Intakes into practice increased around 2014 but  it takes 3-4 years for this to have any real effect on supply.  In theory 2018/19 should see an increase in supply but given the enormous increase in demand, supply is still lagging significantly and will lag over the next 2-3 years at the very least.  Sounds a little like the property market doesn’t it?   We are in, and will continue to be in, the most candidate driven market Cork has ever seen.

Great news if you’re an accountant, not so great news if you’re a hiring manager.

We don’t have all the answers in Barden but we definitely have some suggestions.  If you’re planning your professional future or looking for some expert advice on recruiting finance professionals in Cork, Barden are the only specialist accounting & tax recruitment practice in Munster and we’re here to help you.

Make the right decision for you – experience Barden.  It’s more than just a job – it’s your future.


In Barden we’re experts in accounting, finance and tax recruitment. We’re laser focused on your future. Here to help you achieve your ambitions – whether that’s a new job or building a successful team. Our consultants are ready to advise you and our trademark Barden Career Model will define and guide your future. So get in touch, because the future doesn’t just happen. We make it happen.


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At Barden we invest our resources to bring you the very best insights on all things to do with your professional future.
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