Firm Choice


The choice of which firms to apply for in the milkround is one that will trouble many students. The intense marketing campaigns, endless firm presentations and events will leave many students feeling there is little difference between many of the top firms.Similar to the leaving cert there have been many stories of students choosing a firm solely based on where his/her friends are going. This is a recipe for disaster. Your training contract, like your college course, will be for 3/3.5 years so it’s important you understand what working for the company is like, what the role involves on a day to day basis, what impact the experience will have on your CV once you finish your contract. This can only be done by understanding what areas interest you, where in the country you want to work and most importantly taking the time to research thoroughly each firm yourself and be proactive in asking questions.

The below table summarises the top ten accounting firms in Ireland;

 FirmGrad Rec Link
PWCPwC Grad Recruitment Site
KPMGKPMG Grad Recruitment Site
DeloitteDeloitte Grad Recruitment Site
EYEY Grad Recruitment Site
Grant ThorntonGrant Thornton Grad Recruitment Site
BDOBDO Grad Recruitment Site
RSM FGSRSM FGS Grad Recruitment Site
MazarsMazars Grad Recruitment Site
Baker Tilly Ryan GlennonBTRG Grad Recruitment Site
Moore StephensMoore Stephens Grad Recruitment Site

Key Issues to Consider

  • What kind of study leave do you get for the professional exams? Is it all paid for or is some of it time in lieu?;
  • Have you a choice of audit area or is it just assigned to you (e.g financial services, retail, government, industry, communications etc)?;
  • Is overtime paid or time in lieu? Are you even rewarded for overtime?;
  • What is the sports & social scene like?;
  • How many trainees will be taken on (support for exam time etc)?;
  • What exam supports are available?;
  • Do you want to work in practice or industry?; and
  • Which area would be useful for where I want to be down in ten years time? e.g. if you wish to set up own practice you will most likely need an audit cert.


Outside the Big 10

Graduate recruitment outside the Big 10 firms is typically done on a more ad hoc basis via CV/cover letter application process. It is important to note that you can complete your training contract in an accounting practice or in industry (e.g. bank, finance department of manufacturer). CAI provide a useful list of training firms by county to help you in your search for a training contract and also have a vacancy noticeboard where training firms can post any vacancies they have.

See my post on Ireland’s largest Accountancy firms in 2014

Large vs Small Firm Decision