During my leaving cert I avoided accounting.
In college I avoided accounting.
I qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2016 and it’s been one of the most rewarding and life changing experiences.
Now I’ve just launched my own business and I can call myself an entrepreneur. I’ve worked with the most hard working and nicest people I know, who I now call friends. I’ve travelled and worked in the US and I have an accreditation and working history that makes me (and my parents) proud.
Having opted out of any non-compulsory accounting modules in college it seemed crazy that I was sitting in the offices of some of the Big 4 interviewing for a place on their Graduate Programmes. Luckily, I managed to bag a place and started the journey to becoming an accountant in the Autumn of 2012. Having little to no accounting experience it was a steep learning curve, but it was aided by the soundest bunch of people I know. Over the next three and a half years we worked hard as individuals but also hard for each other. We supported each other whether it be at exam time, in work or in preparing for presentations. We also had some fun along the way. It was all worth it when each of us passed the final exam hurdle in November 2015 and qualified as Chartered Accountants in 2016. Three years on, we’re spread across the world each on a different path, but all supported by the accounting qualification that we gained through hard work and a bit of fun.
Last year I was made redundant from my role as Senior Accountant in a renewable energy company after their unexpected closure. It was a stressful time, but I knew I had a great qualification to fall back on and that my time in KPMG and working in industry would stand to me. When I finished work in June 2018, I took off travelling and visited 10 countries in 5 months, half of those as a solo traveller. I stopped off both in Australia and in Hong Kong and visited my friends who I trained with at KPMG. It was great to be so far across the world and yet have friends there. Some work in industry and some still work in practice but none of us would be where we are without that little piece of paper and those three initials ACA.
I returned from travelling late in 2018, unemployed. There was a huge amount of uncertainty. My boyfriend of 9 years was happy in his role as a primary school teacher in Kildare and even happier he was no longer commuting from Dublin. The decision was made that we would not go back to Dublin and that we would live in Kildare. Of course, there was plenty of commutable companies and roles for me nearby, but I wanted something different. I wanted flexibility and I had a drive to do something for the environment. Having visited first-hand some of the places so badly impacted by climate change I knew I had to do something. The disappearing San Blas Islands, the melting glaciers in New Zealand or the dying coral off the coast of Australia.
Early 2019 was spent plotting and scheming and in March 2019 I registered as a sole trader. I established Green Outlook Ireland which provides a fantastic range of plastic free and 100% natural products to the Irish market. I cater to those who are trying to become more sustainable or are no stranger to zero waste. I work with Irish and European suppliers to source the best quality products available. I launched the online shop in May and you can find out more at www.greenoutlook.ie
In May I was featured in a media article that received over 750 shares. Since then I’ve had radio researchers reach out to me and I’m also booked to do a number of talks in my local community and in Dublin over the coming months. I have over 1000 followers on social media and every day I share what I’m doing to live more sustainably and care for the planet we live whether it be changing to eco friendly cleaning products or reducing the use of single use plastic. I hope that with Ireland’s declaration of a climate emergency on the 10th of May that many more people will look to make changes towards sustainable living, and I hope that through Green Outlook I will be able to support them.
As a sole trader I manage all aspects of my business, from sourcing suppliers, marketing, sales, packing orders and luckily, I’m able to do all my own finances too. The Chartered Accountant training programme and qualification has given me a platform to learn, grow and succeed.
With climate issues ranking highest in likelihood and impact in the 2019 World Economic Forum – Global Risks Report I know that my fellow accountants will be the leaders in guiding a whole range of organisations towards sustainable changes for the future.
Feel the fear and do it anyways.