Dublin looks abroad for accountants

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Demand is outstripping supply for accountants in Dublin's booming financial services industry. As a result, many companies are casting their nets wider than the country's borders and looking to the UK, New Zealand and Australia for experienced recruits.

Carole Brown, director of CareerWise Recruitment in Dublin, says the rise of Dublin as a prominent offshore centre combined with the introduction of a more stringent regulatory environment and international accounting standards has fuelled demand for internal auditors and financial accountants.

"We have a small population and there is a shortage of people which has meant that companies are having to look outside of Ireland to recruit," Brown says.

According to Nicola Flavin, manager of recruitment firm Accreate's banking and financial services division, there is strong demand across the industry spectrum for qualified accountants with two to three years of specific financial services experience.

"Banks are looking for people who have knowledge of Sarbanes-Oxley and Basle II capital requirement standards as well as the international accounting standards," Flavin says. "There are also opportunities for people with experience in accounting for derivative products."

Staff shortage = pay rise

The shortage has also meant that companies are willing to dig deeper into their pockets for potential recruits. Financial accountants with three years plus experience can expect to command €50,000 while internal auditors are looking at €40,000, jumping to €60,000 or more with five years plus experience.

According to Flavin, base salaries at all levels have risen by as much as 10% while bonuses can now account for between 10% to 15% of annual salary, rising in some cases at senior levels to 25%.

"Candidates are paying much more attention to bonuses and as a result, they are becoming a more important part of the package," she says. "It is another way that companies can recruit the best and the brightest."

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