24 Westmeath people admitted to Chartered Accountants Ireland

(Above) Paul Henry

Twenty four newly qualified chartered accountants from Westmeath are among 1,600 students to be admitted to membership of Chartered Accountants Ireland. The virtual admissions ceremony was the first of its kind in the Institute’s 130-year history. The Institute is the largest professional accounting body on the island of Ireland, with almost 30,000 members, 5,000 of these spread all around the world.

The newly admitted members are the first cohort of students to have sat their Final Admitting Exams (FAEs) entirely online, in a year in which all aspects of life were adapted in response to COVID-19. Chartered Accountants Ireland’s education delivery across its entire 7,000-strong student body at first year (CAP1), second year (CAP2) and final year (FAE) levels was immediately moved online in March 2020.

Commenting, president of Chartered Accountants Ireland Paul Henry said

“I want to congratulate students on their admission to membership. In response to the pandemic, the Institute moved almost overnight to entirely online education delivery last March, building on an already existing hybrid model of in-person and virtual instruction.

“While maintaining continuity in education, we were equally determined from the outset that the challenges of the pandemic were not going to unduly delay examinations and the onward progression of our students, particularly final year students seeking to progress their careers.”

From the early days of the pandemic, Chartered Accountants Ireland worked to expedite the development of an e-assessment platform, with remote invigilation, to ensure that examinations at all levels could go ahead in accordance with public health measures.

The 2020/2021 academic year saw over 15,000 individual exams taken on the Institute’s online assessment platform. The overall grade achievements were similar to previous years and reflect students’ efforts in a very challenging environment.

Mr Henry continued

“It is a testament to students’ own dedication and resilience that they so quickly and competently adapt to an entirely new way of working. Exams are a challenge at the best of times but coupled with the uncertainty and stresses of the pandemic, we are particularly proud of their achievement and admission to the profession.”