Organisational Structure

Where you sit in your firm will have a big impact on your future opportunities. Fact.

Organisational structure is a fundamental concept to working in non-practice. This piece, taken from our Newly Qualified Career Guide, is a must for anyone, and in particular new or recently qualified accountants, thinking of a new role and planning their professional future.

Where you sit in the organisational structure of your next employer will have a key impact on the structures you can access in the future. To make this simple, we’ve broken down the market into four key structures:

Group Functions: consolidation environments (HQ) where the Global/Group CFO and CEO sits. Where decisions are made but are often at an arm’s length from actual business activity;

Finance Hubs: these have lots of different names but are fundamentally where accounting functions are centralised for a particular geography (EMEA or APAC). All financial and statutory accounting for different jurisdictions is done here and information is then pushed to HQ for consolidation;

SMEs: the most common type of company ranging from the small local store to very large, privately-owned companies that are not part of a bigger multinational. Over 80% of people in Ireland are employed in SMEs and they come in every shape and form imaginable; and

Strategic Business Units: a trading entity for a multinational that serves Europe or focuses on the Irish (domestic) market. It can look like an SME from the outside but has the structures, systems and politics of a larger organisation.

These structures (or a hybrid thereof) can be used to describe 95% of companies out there. And guess what? If you work in a group function, do you know where you’ll be most likely to get a job in the future? In a group function… the ‘like with like’ concept strikes again!

Also, keep in mind that some structures are further away from each other than others. For example, small SMEs are very far away from Group functions – move to an SME and you reduce your
chances of working in a group structure in the future.

Newly Qualified Career Guide
Navigate the early stages of your professional future with expert advice, by accountants for accountants, in our latest “Newly Qualified Career Guide”.

It’s a product of our years of experience working with recently-qualified accountants.This guide is objective. It contains the information you need to know before looking for a new role – internally or externally. The more you use this guide, the more career informed you will be. Take control, get informed and plan your professional future with Barden.

You can download your copy here.

At Barden we invest our resources to bring you the very best insights on all things to do with your professional future. Got a topic you would like us to research? Got an insight you would like us to share with our audience? Drop us a note to and we will take it from there!

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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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