My CoE Journey

Megan Holohan

My CoE Journey

I joined EY in 2014 after studying Human Health & Disease (BSc) in Trinity College, Dublin. Beginning a graduate programme with a professional service firm was an unconventional choice after the completion of my degree but looking back now it has proved to have been a great career decision. EY aims to recruit graduates from all backgrounds, not only finance and accountancy degrees, and has demonstrated to me the transferable skills from each degree, which in turn leads to a diverse and innovative work force.

When looking for my first post college career move I was drawn to EY due to its global footprint and its interest in innovation. The ability to gain a qualification as a chartered accountant with a large support network, including my peers, was also a huge attraction to me along with the possibility to do something different with my degree. As a science graduate, I knew very little as to what to expect over the coming three years but following 3 weeks of graduate induction training I knew that I had joined a firm which I was happy to begin my career path with.

I joined the Global Reporting Center of Excellence (COE) department, which was just in its infancy having been started in July 2014 (Only 4 months previous!). To be able to see and be part of the COE’s journey to become a fully fledged service offering for EY globally has been fascinating. It is now one of EY Ireland’s growth platforms with a tenfold increase in clients expected by 2020.

In short, the COE was set up to transform the delivery of statutory audits for EY’s largest global clients. We are focused in driving a data and technology led statutory audit for global companies who have 100s of statutory entities around the world. With our data analytics colleagues, we provide not only oversight and insights on all the statutory audits but technology/data solutions to our clients which can be delivered at scale globally and assist their business in a tangible way.

My typical day would include prepping and hosting meetings with both the EY Primary Teams (the main audit team that sits in the USA mostly) as well as the client themselves. During these meetings I am required to present the most recent status updates as well as to discuss the major issues that are preventing the completion of the global statutory audits. As a large part of my work is client facing, my presentation skills have been enhanced greatly. I am lucky to have had the opportunity to present our work to some major COE clients both within EY and externally. I have also had the opportunity to be part of the sales process, and to assist senior management in preparing to show our clients what EY has to offer.

My work in the COE has great enhanced my people management skills also, on a daily basis I work with a team of 6-8 people based in our GDS hub in India who work closely with the Local EY Teams globally and report to me in Dublin. Over the course of the past three years, I have progressed in my role resulting in having sole oversight/responsibility of a major Financial Services client within the COE which has been a learning curve to say the least!

One of my favourite parts of the COE is I have first-hand been able to witness the innovation that EY Ireland is doing as a firm, both through the COE’s own Digital Platform and through Data Analytics. I work closely with our data analytics colleagues to ensure that all deliverables required by the EY local teams are progressing as planned and with our in house technology team to tailor the COE’s digital offerings to our client’s needs.

Those who are interested in non-traditional audit graduate contract should apply to the COE. We are looking for graduates who are interested in working closely with both the client and EY Primary Teams and capitalising on their presentation, people management and organization skills.

Attention to detail is the key!

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