The accounting profession in Ireland – facts not opinions.

How many qualified accountants are there in Ireland? What is the most popular accountancy qualification in Ireland? Where do students typically train for different qualifications? What is the gender and age profile for the accountancy profession?

These are some of the most common questions students will ponder (some more than others!) when deciding on a career path in accountancy. The answers to these questions will inform you of trends in the profession, the profile of the accountancy profession, and help you understand the suitability of different qualifications to your career plan.

What are the common training routes for different qualifications (e.g. industry/practice)? What is the size of the member network for each professional body? How many students are in each body?

Thankfully all of these questions, and more, are answered annually by the Irish Auditing & Accounting Supervisory Authority’s (IAASA) Profile of the Profession report. The most recent report for 2015 is available online, but we have summarised the key points and insights below to make your life that bit easier.

Profile of the Profession 2015 – Key Facts:

FACT 1: there are 34,777 accountants in Ireland (42% female, 58% male).

Split by Qualification;

Members In Ireland


(Hint:  ICAI = Chartered Accountants Ireland and ICPAI = CPA Ireland)

FACT 2: there are 16,604 professional accounting students in Ireland (51% female, 49% male).

Split by Qualification;

Students in Ireland


FACT 3: the percentage of members working in practice is:

  • 20% ACCA;
  • 28% Chartered Accountants Ireland;
  • 34% CPA; and
  • 1% CIMA.


FACT 4: the percentage of students training in practice is:

  • 15% ACCA;
  • 79% Chartered Accountants Ireland;
  • 19% CPA; and
  • 0% CIMA.

Facts about the accounting profession can be hard to come by. We hope these help paint at least a bit of the picture you!





John Nolan

John is a qualified chartered accountant (ACA) having trained with KPMG. John lectures in accounting in DCU and in finance in Chartered Accountants Ireland.

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