The unvarnished truth about the job market for newly qualified accountants right now…

If you want the short answer ….the market is …OK.  If that is enough for you then best leave this article down.  If not then here are a couple of things about the supply/demand dynamics that currently exist out there when it comes to the job market for newly qualified accountants in Ireland:



  • All in all the larger accounting firms are doing reasonably well right now which means they are more likely to try and retain people after their training contract (be it in the same department, a different department or in a hybrid role).  With the level of uncertainty that exists in the external market right now many more newly qualified accountants are opting to stay in practice than typically would….for a while at least.  This is reducing supply.
  • A reasonable percentage of newly qualified accountants each year head overseas straight after their training contract, either to travel or to live abroad.  Not many have that option these days…at least for a while.  This is increasing supply.

….all in all the above two factors are pretty much canceling each other out, leaving the supply of newly qualified accountant talent to the market reasonably unchanged over the last 12 months.



  • While demand dropped significantly in March through to June it has slowly begun to pick up again since July.  Companies have their virtual recruitment and onboarding processes nailed down, hiring managers have, for the most part, reconciled themselves with remote working and virtual interviews, and facilities teams know how to get laptops into the hands of new starters.  Recent restrictions have not had the same catastrophic effect on demand as they did last time around – though it has been slightly dampening.  Year on year demand is likely down 25-30% overall – less so in some sectors and more so in others.  That’s not terrible, all things considered.


Consistent enough supply and reduced demand has had the following effects:

  • A more hiring manager driven market – hiring managers have more choice and hence can be more specific in their requirements (“must-have software company audit experience… must have Plc exposure through corporate finance training contract… etc…”).  It can be harder to get interviews.
  • A more hiring manager driven market – newly qualified accountants will have less choice and might need to broaden their consideration (variables such as type of role, location and salary) a little to be able to access opportunities.  It can be harder to get your ideal job.
  • Slight dampening of base salaries – salary ranges for newly qualified accounts have remained steady year on year with the majority of roles coming in between 53K and €57K.  However, in 2020 less roles have come in over 55K than in 2019.  The range remains the same but the average within that range has dropped to around 54-55K.  Salaries remain strong but expectations should be managed.
  • Increase in the number of contract roles for newly qualified accountants.  If you want to know why check this out >>>  Contacts become very viable options.


As we head into 2021 there are, at the time of writing, a large number of variables that remain unresolved, making predictions impossible.  However, we will check back in with you towards the end of the year to give you an honest appraisal of what to expect from 2021 if you are coming out of training contract/practice in the year ahead.  We’ll keep you posted.

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