From Big Four to ifac — my best career move
I think coming from a Big Four firm, some might have the idea that moving to ifac was a step down. It's quite the opposite, to be honest. It was exciting because it really allowed me to get into the personal touch of dealing with clients.
With the big 4, oftentimes you’re working on a small portion of a client’s operation and only seeing a small portion of their figures. With ifac, I can see the whole package and see the whole benefit we bring.
I speak to my clients by phone daily and I know their children's names, they know my children's names. It's a real buzz to help them succeed and develop and move on to the next generation — there's no comparison to the level of reward and satisfaction you get from being able to directly help a client.
Ifac has the best of both worlds: small locally but large nationally
Big firm reach, local presence
It's really important to be local. Our team here are connected to the local community. But we also have the benefit of being a large organisation and being very much supported by teams such as our National Tax Department, our financial planning team, our audit division — I can pick up the phone and have support from within the group on any type of question that comes up.
It’s really important that everyone in ifac knows they’re supported. There could be two hundred graduates starting in a big firm this year. There’s 17 starting in ifac, and each of them will work directly with partners and senior accountants, and they will be very much noticed and very much nurtured. But they also have the same weeks of training that KPMG and EY are doing that a small practice with 11 employees just can’t dream of doing. It's a really good mix for our graduates.
I always feel that we have the best of both worlds, that we're a small firm here in Dungarvan, but we’re a large firm nationally. And I think it's a really good package for our clients and for everyone working here.
What we do matters
Working at ifac, you’re meeting the owner of the firm and you're responsible for all parts of the accounts — and when you meet eyeball to eyeball across the table, if you get it wrong, he’s thinking about his children's college fees. It’s more real.
I’ve heard people in big 4 companies say things like - ‘Ah I was working on the debtors, it didn't really matter if I had lost a zero along the way. Who noticed? Who cares? What am I doing this for?’ But when it’s face to face with the client it’s different.
Ultimately it's rewarding because it always goes back to the client at the center of everything. There is no doubt that every single hour working at ifac, you know what you've done makes a difference, because you're talking directly to the people it makes that difference to.
Recent graduate Doireann Mulhall never saw herself in an office - until an opportunity to join ifac arose.Doireann Mulhall, Trainee Accountant | Farm Support TeamRead Doireann Mulhall's Insight
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