The Great Escape

The Great Escape

About to finish your training contract and considering your options overseas? Here Siobhán Sexton ACA, Business Lead and expert in recently qualified accounting careers and recruitment, gives a market update about the current landscape and opportunities for those about to come out of training contract.


We all know that 2020 and 2021 were strange years for everyone. When newly qualified accountants came out of training contracts prior to the pandemic, they had lots of options – moving to a new role in industry or practice, moving to a different city in Ireland or of course, moving abroad – whether it was Sydney, Dubai, London, Vancouver, New York or beyond, there was always plenty of options.

And then it all changed. March 2020 arrived, and newly qualified accountants could (in general) only look at options here in Ireland, be it remote or otherwise. For the intakes coming out of contract in 2020 and 2021, travelling and moving abroad was an unlikely option. And this was a huge adjustment for people. Companies had an over-supply of newly qualified accountants and there was stiff competition for roles among this level.

A Changing Landscape

Over the last 6 months of 2022, borders reopened around the world and people are well and truly on the move again. A huge number of recently qualified accountants have made the move to pastures new. We are lucky enough to speak to recently qualified accountants on a daily basis and our conversations on opportunities abroad are becoming more and more frequent as the weeks go on and we inch ever closer to the 30th April contract end date. There is a huge pent-up desire to make the move abroad for accountants who qualified through 2020, 2021 and 2022, which is very exciting!

So, What Does That Mean for You as a Newly Qualified Accountant?

With this exit of strong talent at the recently qualified accountant level, supply and demand issues may arise again.

We expected that this increase in people making the move abroad may have impacted the market in terms of supply for the end of 2023 and into early 2024, notwithstanding the number of people coming out of contract in April 2023 and October 2023. But this should level off as people, who may have lived abroad for the last number of years, also return to Ireland over the coming months.

It also means that companies may experience a temporary shortage of talent at this level in the short to medium-term, so potentially more opportunities for those who decided to stay here locally!

If you are considering making a move abroad over the next few months, grab it with both hands and enjoy every second! And if you need some guidance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our recently qualified accounting teams in Leinster and Munster. Not only do we have a trusted list of specialist recruiters across the world who we partner with to help people moving abroad and returning to Ireland, many of our team have spent time living and working in Australia, Canada, London, Cayman…to name just a few exotic spots!

We also have a dedicated International Appointments Partner, Sarah Barry ACA, who would be delighted to help you secure that next international role.

Sound good? Get in touch by dropping us an email at, and we’ll take it from there. Or get in touch with Siobhán Sexton ACA at

Coming out of your training contract in 2024? Do you want to make sure you make the very best first step after qualifying? Do you want a coffee meeting with an expert recruitment consultant; someone who is a qualified accountant, just like you (meet some of our team here >>>)? Do you want a little help to create your very own best financial future? No problem. Just drop us a line today on and we will take it from there. Simple.

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