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I’ve passed my FAE’s, now what?

17 Nov 2015

Anna McCarthy

A new generation of FAE qualified professionals are carefully considering their options as their training contracts come to an end.

With results out barely a week (CONGRATULATIONS!) and the new year looming, a new generation of FAE qualified professionals are carefully considering their options as their training contracts come to an end.

The good news is that there are excellent opportunities out there for accountants across practice, industry and financial services. Here’s an overview of key factors to help you make your decision:

1) Get Clear on Your Goals: As with any major change in life, you need to know what you want in order to execute successfully. Get the edge and use your industry-specific experience to make an immediate impact and add value. As such, in the majority of cases only those candidates with relevant experience from secondments or extensive management accounting experience will progress into these roles.

2) Plan for the Medium Term: If an immediate move to your ideal role isn’t on the horizon, then the smart move is to assess where you want to be in a couple of years’ time, what skills or experience you need to gain in order to get there and finally how you can go about building your body of work. The road ahead isn’t always straight but if you get to your destination all the same, that’s what matters.

3) Scale Up…: Moving to another role or firm within practice can be an excellent way of bridging the gap for a newly qualified FAE. More and more candidates in this situation are moving to roles which they may not have previously considered. Candidates from small to mid-tier firms are looking at opportunities in Big 4 firms where they will get the chance to work on audits or secondments for both local and international companies.

4) ..Or, Find your Niche: Similarly, opportunities within Top 20 or smaller firms shouldn’t be disregarded, as this type of move can provide Big 4 trained accountants with a rounded portfolio of experience including management accounts, tax, audit and business planning and can offer you senior progression opportunities.

5) Be an Early Adaptor: An exciting new option for accountants is the fund administration sector, an area which is currently expanding in Ireland. With a number of fund administration companies establishing bases in theDublin area, this is the ideal time to get on board with these companies.

6) Use the Brightwater Toolbox: Stay clued in on interview techniques, upcoming events in your sector and use our salary survey to make sure you’re being paid what you’re worth! You’ll find all this and more at

Newly qualified accountants are in high demand as they possess the perfect mix of client interaction, technical skills and ability to meet client deadlines.

To discuss your career path, please contact Robert Patterson and Simon Morris on 01 662 1000 or follow Brightwater on LinkedIn