Journey of a Trainee to a Qualified Accountant

By: Marie O'Connor | Posted on: 31 Jan 2023

From the get-go, the team were very supportive and willing to offer advice on any queries that I had. Many of my team had gone through the same process that I was about to embark on, so they had many valuable insights to share.  


At Quintas, there is an emphasis put on investing in and supporting trainees as they begin their professional careers. To kick start the process I initially registered with CPA Ireland and identified the exemptions that I already had based on the modules I completed in college. With four exams left to complete before becoming a qualified accountant, I enrolled at Griffith College to begin my first module. 


It was an adjustment getting used to juggling my everyday work, studying for my exams and making time to spend with friends and family. CPA Ireland hold two exam sittings a year so I made the decision that I would sit an exam at each sitting so as to not put myself under a lot of pressure. Choosing to sit my exams at each sitting meant that I would hopefully have the exams passed within three years.  


Like a lot of recent graduates, I wasn’t long after starting my training when the covid pandemic hit. My days that were previously spent working with my team in the office transformed into us all working remotely at home. Luckily, my team's support made it easy to adapt to these changes. In a way, it made studying for exams a little easier as there were fewer distractions. 


No two days are the same at Quintas. Each trainee is given the opportunity to gain experience in all areas of accounting Our work can vary from preparing accounts, corporation tax returns, payroll, vat and income tax returns. The ability to conduct real-life tasks is a great help when it comes to preparing for exams as you have hands-on experience in the information you are studying. 


Quintas have a very positive attitude towards exams and offer many supports to help each trainee achieve their goals. Ahead of sitting exams Quintas organise a coach to come in and hold a workshop that focuses on exam preparation and wellbeing. This session was received well by all trainees as it really put our minds at ease during a stressful period.  


In October 2022 I received the result of my final exam and the relief I felt when I opened them and saw that I had passed was one of the greatest senses of personal accomplishment I have had. Knowing that my team supported me along the way was a great motivation and returning to the office as a qualified accountant made all the hard work worth it.  


For anyone starting out on their trainee journey, while the exams are not easy if you put in the hard work the rewards that come from it will lead to you forgetting the long nights of study very quickly!