Businesswoman’s drive for change online leads to new career


A Dublin businesswoman who sought a new career challenge has swopped taxis for clients’ tax matters thanks to an accounting qualification programme.Jo Collins ran a taxi firm for 35 years, but now she is an accounting technician with Clontarf firm Howlin, O’Rourke and Co, where she was once a client. Accounting Technicians Ireland’s Diploma qualification is recognised as the fastest pathway to a fulfilling and rewarding professional accounting career.

“In an ideal world, anyone running a business would do this course. It is suited to anyone who wants to pursue a career in accounting, not only those who are starting out in life,” said Jo, who studied online in her attic.She said online learning was the best option available when she realised it was time to upskill.

“My brain wanted something new, but I was not going to be able to go college three times a week.“I found online learning so convenient, and the student forums, at which we could all swop stories, were wonderful.”Enrolment for the new academic year, starting in September, is now open and the programme is available at over 70 colleges across Ireland.Accounting Technicians Ireland provides a nationally and internationally recognised accounting qualification and graduates are employed in industry, commerce, private practice and the public sector.The highly-regarded professional qualification can be obtained in as little as two years. Study can be full-time, part-time and online.

Accounting Technicians Ireland Diploma courses are open to school and college leavers, mature students and people working in business, industry or small practice but who, as yet, have no formal training.The qualification opens a world of employment opportunities to graduates across a broad range of accounting and finance roles and enables students to further progress to senior financial management posts.Holders of the Diploma are highly-regarded qualified professionals working at all levels of finance throughout the private and public sector, industry and commerce and in accountancy practices.The two-year Diploma for Accounting Technicians programme can also be the first step to a full qualification in accountancy. Many ATI graduates progress on to other professional bodies in order to further enhance their careers as fully-qualified accountants.

“This is a pan-sectoral qualification which meets the needs of industry, practice and the public sector,” said Gillian Doherty, Chief Operations Officer at Accounting Technicians Ireland.“Graduates enjoy exemptions from the full range of professional accountancy bodies including Chartered Accountants Ireland, ACCA, CPA, CIMA as well as Higher Education third-level accounting programmes.

“There is continuing high demand for accounting technician skills and many businesses meet their course fees – recognising the benefits of having a qualified technician to run the financial side while the owner develops the entrepreneurial end.“Each year the core syllabus is reviewed to ensure it is both relevant to the workplace and in tune with the evolution of the accountancy environment.”

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Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at



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