Organisational Structure Matters...Here's Why

After 3.5 years of late night studying, long busy seasons and lots and lots of audit files, the lure of ‘industry’ seems all too appealing! 

As a recently qualified accountant, it’s really important that you not only consider the industry and type of business that you work with, but that you  also consider the type of organisational structure you sit in and how it effects your future.

Allow us to explain…

Your dream job might be to work for a major technology company, such as Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft or Facebook. Although all of these businesses are present in Ireland, they all have different types of entities and structures here.  For instance, some technology companies only have shared service functions in Ireland, and as a result, might only be able to offer GL or Statutory Accounting roles. Others might have strategic business units that work more closely with the sales or development teams, meaning access to more commercial roles.  Some might have both.   Looking beyond the company and to the structure can help you understand so much more…..

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:

#1 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;

#2 Shared Services Centres (SSC):

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 are done here and information is then pushed to HQ for consolidation;

#3 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.

#4 Strategic business units (big  and little):

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 why is this stuff important?

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.   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 pretty much eliminate your chances of working in a group structure in the future.  Fact.

Assessing organisational structures and understanding their impact on your future options is not easy – we know because we have spent decades studying it! Get informed about organisational structures and you will make better decisions about your future.


Not only are most of our Recently Qualified Accountant Team in Barden (Meet our teams – DublinCork) qualified accountants just like you, we have all been trained in the Barden Career Model (TM).  This unusual blend of experience, knowledge and training allows us to provide a different type of recruitment service!

Contact OR and our Recently Qualified Accountant Recruitment experts will arrange a time that suits you to start planning your professional future.

(Got another question?  Need a steer to keep you on the right track?  Check out the Barden Newly Qualified  Career Guide right 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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