What we do 4
Graduate Training Programme
Early and continual client interaction 4
Wide-ranging cross industry experience 5
Learning from senior managers 5
Enjoyable working atmosphere 6
Professional qualification 7
Choose your department
Career path 14
Locations and application process 15
Graduate Careers 3
BDO Graduate Training Programme Overview
BDO is the world’s largest European-based accountancy network. Its global network of member
firms has over 1,200 offices in more than 130 countries worldwide. Being part of BDO will ensure
that you will have the benefit of world class audit and advisory capabilities and local expertise
supporting your traineeship.
At BDO, we recognise that the choice of firm might be the most important decision you will ever
make. We know that the firm you choose will be the platform upon which your career will be built.
We build a training programme that allows our graduates to become more than qualified
accountants; they also develop all the skills of expert business advisers.
To achieve this BDO’s graduate training programme delivers much more; delivering advisers who
are refined in their interpersonal skills, advisers with a wide-ranging level of business understanding
for a variety of sectors, advisers comfortable with interaction at all levels of management seniority.
This is underpinned by our emphasis on camaraderie in the workplace and a positive attitude
towards working in a team.
There are five key elements integral to BDO’s graduate training programme:
Early and continual client interaction
Wide ranging cross industry experience and a commitment to offer this variety to each trainee
An open door policy allowing on-the-job learning between trainees and senior management
An enjoyable working atmosphere built on camaraderie, trust and friendship
The technical training, experience and support to assist you in becoming a qualified
At BDO we deliver more to our successful graduate trainees.
We deliver a platform for their careers.
What do we do?
Achieving professional and technical
competence is key to a trainee accountant’s
career. BDO understands this. We also
understand that to make the most of your period
as a trainee you should develop sophisticated
advisory skills and a keen business understanding
at the same time. The best way to achieve this is
to have a training programme that facilitates and
supports interaction with clients from the outset.
BDO gives you the opportunity to work with
clients right from the start.
You will experience on-site visits and other
client interactions with the knowledge that
you are being supported, advised, and guided
all the way from more senior members of your
client team. This will be a vital element to your
understanding of how a business really operates.
As you learn new skills with each assignment and
gain from the continuous support and guidance
of senior members in the team you will gradually
build on your expertise.
Early and continual client
Why we are different
In a marketplace that typically provides two
types of accounting firms – the large scale global
provider, and the smaller relationship–driven
local firm, BDO provides a real and sensible
alternative. BDO provides the best of both
worlds with the reach and resources of a global
player and a local relationship that matters.
We are chosen for our client service philosophy
which is focused on personalised service,
attention from Partners and providing a tailored
service approach. In a market where one size
certainly does not fit all, organisations are
increasingly turning to BDO for our:
Personal, responsive service
Streamlined, accessible organisational
Professional, dedicated culture
Attention of highly experienced senior
Open, candid communication philosophy
Varied, focused capabilities
Access to a cohesive and collaborative global
We offer a sophisticated array of services and
access to global capabilities combined with local
presence and the personal attention of senior–
level professionals. This innovative approach
and our unique position in the marketplace
distinguish us in our ability to address clients'
Graduate Careers 5
BDO trainees deal with a
portfolio of clients across
a diverse range of industry
sectors. These clients have
demands of BDO that vary
considerably because of
the unique challenges that
businesses face from sector
to sector. Our graduates
build their own skills as they
deal with different clients
in different sectors and we
ensure that they will not
be limited in the number of
sectors they are exposed to.
Wide Ranging Cross
An Open Door Policy Allowing on-the-job Learning
Between Trainees and Senior Management
At BDO, smaller client service teams and an
excellent partner to staff ratio contributes to an
environment where our graduates’ work is noticed by
peers, partners and clients. Our culture is based upon
open communication, teamwork and camaraderie.
We create an environment where you will have the
opportunity to stand out and make a distinct impact.
Our senior management team are accessible
allowing you to tap into their knowledge. Partners
are accessible, approachable and take a keen interest
in trainee development. We believe this delivers a
better service to our clients and is the best for our
You will have the opportunity to meet and talk to
Partners as part of the interview process.
BDO has dedicated sector teams delivering expert advice across
the range of Irish industry sectors including:
Your exposure to a wide range of sectors and clients will benefit
your technical development, industry knowledge and your client
management skills. This gives you a clear advantage in terms of
career progression. Should you choose that your post qualification
career path is to move out of practice and into industry you will
have an unquantifiable advantage. You will have far more choice in
terms of the industries that you can choose for your next position,
rather than being restricted in your options so early in your career.
Retail Hotel, Leisure tourism
Agri-food Financial Services
Technology, media telecoms Green Energy
Healthcare Sport Advisory
An Enjoyable Working Atmosphere Built
on Camaraderie, Trust and Friendship
We have worked hard to retain the ethos and culture of an intimate local firm and combined this with
all the benefits that our huge global reach and scale can give. With 250 employees in BDO’s Dublin
office and over 100 employees in Limerick, we can offer departments and services in all the audit, tax,
and advisory areas, sector specialism and support expertise. However, you will not be just another
number. You will be significant to your team, department, and the firm as a whole.
Whichever department you choose, your role will involve interacting and developing relationships
with employees across the Firm. Through this interaction and through activities such as our
department hosted lunches, you will become familiar with what each department does. This is crucial
in your development as complete business advisers so that you have the confidence to discuss other
business functions with clients.
We welcome your individuality, your ideas, your passion and your drive. We know you want to
succeed but understand that balance is critical.
Through our active social club, you can get involved in all sorts of activities including tag rugby, indoor
soccer, yoga and triathlons. In addition to being sporty we have regular social gatherings, including
mid-summer events and Christmas parties.
Graduate Careers 7
At BDO, you receive great practical experience to
make the most of your technical training. In addition
to our generous study leave package and paid tuition,
course and exam fees, we also run in-house classes
to support trainees in areas of your professional
studies where you might be experiencing difficulties.
We offer training and development to
enhance your technical abilities and build your
leadership and management skills. We support
you through completing your professional
exams with additional in–house workshop
programmes, coaching and guidance, study
leave and financial support for course fees.
By the end of your traineeship, through on the
job experience and through your studies, you will
become a confident and qualified business adviser.
We provide audit and advisory services to a
broad range of clients operating across many
sectors. Our clients include many of Ireland’s
largest international and indigenous privately
owned companies who are at the forefront of
Our audit department is the largest department
in the firm and comprises four teams each
headed by a Partner. Graduate trainees come
into a dynamic and vibrant environment
and quickly settle in as part of a team of
experienced professionals. We spend time with
our clients getting to know and understand
their business. We get to know the people
behind the business and the challenges they
BDO’s global network of member firms has
over 1,000 offices in more than 100 countries
worldwide. Being part of BDO ensures that we
have world class audit and advisory capabilities
and the local expertise when advising clients
operating outside Ireland.
Over the course of your training, as well
as auditing, you will be reviewing client’s
operations and controls; identifying weaknesses
and making recommendations; and assisting
companies with their financial reporting
obligations and implementing best practice.
Choose your department
Audit Business Advisory Services
You will get a mixture of working on–site out
at clients offices and back in our office on
assignments typically of one to three weeks
During your time training with us you will
become proficient in BDO’s computerized
audit tool “APT”. This is used by our offices
worldwide and forms an integral part of BDO’s
audit methodology. BDO were the first Irish
accountancy firm to qualify for registration
with the Public Company Accounting Oversight
Board (PCAOB), which is now a prerequisite for
any firm that provides, or wishes to provide,
auditing services to US listed companies and
their Irish–based subsidiaries.
By the time you have completed your training
contract you will be working as an Audit
Senior on many of our largest clients. You will
have exposure to dealing with a broad range
of often challenging audit issues and more
complex financial reporting scenarios. Your
development as an expert business adviser
will be well underway, and this leads to a
wealth of opportunities. A significant number
of our management team trained in our audit
department, and many of our past trainees
now hold senior positions in our clients’
organizations and in successful companies in
Ireland and abroad.
Selection of our
Graduate Careers 9
Partners and senior
youwith agreat learning
platform andthe chanceto
performtasksto a high standard;
you learn so much fromtheir
wealthof experience. It’s
certainly something I
since starting my
B.Sc Business Studies
– Dublin City University
BDO’s team of multi–disciplinary tax
professionals has exceptional technical and
industry knowledge and is committed to
working with clients to capture opportunities
and manage risk. Our success comes from
tailoring our services to suit our individual
Our services include corporate and personal
tax compliance and a wide range of tax
planning, both domestic and international,
across all tax heads. We also provide
transaction support, working alongside our
corporate finance and other teams to offer
a complete service in relation to mergers,
acquisitions and other transactions.
As well as specialists who can deal with the
most technically challenging sector–specific
issues, we also employ people who can handle
a wide variety of questions from our varied
client base, from self–employed individuals to
some of the largest multi–nationals operating
Choose your department
in Ireland. We value and encourage both of
these skill sets equally and your training will
give you an insight into all aspects of general
At first, you will largely be dealing with
compliance issues – providing figures for
statutory accounts and preparing corporate
tax returns. As you progress, you’ll be tackling
more complex projects, advising our clients’
senior staff on tax pitfalls and opportunities,
dealing with Revenue and getting to grips with
complicated tax advisory projects.
You may also have the opportunity to spend
time in one of our specialist tax areas such
as transfer pricing, RD tax credits, VAT or
We are interested in people from all academic
backgrounds. If you have an interest in the
law or legal matters a career in tax may be of
interest to you.
Selection of our
Graduate Careers 11
I chose to do my training with BDO as I
knew I would be exposed to more areas
of tax rather than just specialising
in one, which I believe will help
me with my professional exams.
I work mainly in income tax and
corporation tax and, from this,
I have access to a great variety
of clients from different
industries. After just a few
days into the job, I had begun
interacting with clients. This
shows how important client
interaction is to BDO.
– University College Cork
At BDO we understand the needs of our clients in
today’s economic climate.
We are constantly developing and tailoring our
core specialist Advisory units to meet the needs
and demands of today’s market.
Our advisory services encompass:
– Corporate Recovery
– Corporate Finance
– Consulting Services
– EIIS and Business Funding
– Shareholder Services
– Corporate Secretarial.
Opportunities in Corporate Recovery
Business Restructuring is not a job for the faint-
hearted. It incorporates the rescue, rehabilitation
and turnaround of ailing businesses – and also
formal insolvencies. We aim to get businesses
back on their feet as quickly as possible, whether
they are smaller enterprises or large corporates.
This means providing advice on the strategic
options available to the business and its funders,
or on specific operational procedures that will
improve performance and help the business to
Choose your department
During your traineeship you will learn how to:
– Provide advice to businesses on the strategic
options available to the business and its funders
– Provide advice on specific operational
procedures that will improve performance and
help the business recover
– Where a business cannot be salvaged, learn
how to recover as much money as possible
for interested parties such as banks or other
funders, employees and other creditors
– Find yourself in highly pressurised situations
from the start
– Manage the affairs of a company with a view to
selling it or recover monies owed
– Communicate critical news to employees
– From the outset, be given responsibility for
various parts of an assignment, dealing with
a range of people from the shop floor to the
– Work on clients site where necessary.
Selection of our
Graduate Careers 13
I knew BDO would give me great
experience in different industry
sectors. I deal with clients all the
time; it’s tough at the beginning
as you are not used to this kind
of professional interaction
but BDO make sure you
gain experience dealing
with clients from the
outset and offer all the
support you need.
Corporate Recovery Trainee
Business and Management
– Dublin Institute of Technology
My role as a BDO Partner involves
working as a business adviser to
some of Ireland’s fastest growing
companies.The training I
received here at BDO was
invaluable in developing the
expert advisory skills I use
in my job today.
As a qualified employee you’ll have even more
responsibility and the chance to complete a
range of challenging secondments with other
business areas, clients or even one of our
Moving up to manager grade means running
more teams, working with a broader portfolio
of clients and starting to specialise in industry
sectors. You’ll also take on responsibility for
You’ll get involved in internal training
programmes, firm–wide projects and
sector focus groups to re–think our
practice in key business areas. You will also
be playing a growing role in supporting
business development activities.
As a Director, you’ll be expected to start
winning work. At this stage individuals who
have shown the potential to be BDO partners
will be developing their business case for
partnership. We look for true leaders who can
create deeper client relationships and help to
form the strategy that will take our business
Working with a stimulating range of clients you
will have the opportunity to put your study
The combinationof early client interaction,
learning from senior management and
gaining experienceon a large
portfolioof clients in a
diversityof sectors has
been hugely helpful
own advisory skills.
Thisgives me agreat
when advising my
clientson awide range
of business issues.
Graduate Careers 15
Every application however is reviewed on a case
by case basis.
You don’t have to be a final year student. We
also welcome applications from people who
have already graduated, perhaps travelled or
taken a gap year, or those studying a post-
Following your application there are further
stages in our selection process:
– Competency based interview
– Ability tests.
For Dublin we have a “one interview” process
where you will meet directly with the Partner
or a member of senior management for a
competency based interview. You will also have
a verbal and numeric reasoning test on the same
day. The interview and assessment process takes
approximately two hours in total.
For Limerick there will be two interviews.
*We will consider qualifications obtained outside Ireland.
Locations and Application Process
When should I apply by?
Applications for Dublin and Limerick close on
October 25 at 5:30pm.
How do I apply and what do I need to qualify as
You will need to apply online by completing our
online application form at bdo.ie/graduates.
The application form is the first stage of our
selection process and offers you the opportunity
to edit your answers as you go, or to save a
draft application and return to it at any stage.
Questions on the application form are your
first opportunity to demonstrate how your
skills match our key criteria. When answering
these questions, try to use recent examples
and highlight your specific role and the skills
you used and gained in the context you are
In our audit and advisory departments you will
study for the ACA or ACCA qualification, and in
our tax department you will study for the AITI
qualification. These training contracts are either
three or three and a half years in duration.
You will need a minimum of 400 points in your
Leaving Certificate (or equivalent) and a 2:1
honours degree/masters obtained or predicted*.