Financial controller Catriona Fitzgerald

Crowe Ireland financial controller Catriona Fitzgerald

A coffee with Crowe’s financial controller Catriona Fitzgerald

In a new series celebrating our employees and the careers they are building with Crowe, we talk to staff about what it is like to work with our firm. They outline the career opportunities that Crowe offers, our unique firm culture and the CSR and social programmes that staff run.

What was your primary degree?
Chemistry, but I only did 3 years. I took a year out and then went back to do IATI and CPA part-time over 5 years.

Before working at Crowe, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
The most interesting job for me was working with the Credit Union Restructuring Board managing credit union merger projects.

The role involved dealing with credit unions the length and breadth of the country and meeting a wide variety of credit union management teams and volunteers. The work provided a unique insight into the credit union movement in Ireland which has a very strong tradition and has undergone significant change in recent years in the face of increased regulation and expectation from younger members of greater electronic products and services.

What is it about a career in accountancy that appealed to you?
I initially studied Chemistry in UL post school, so accountancy was not the career that initially appealed to me. However, when reassessing what career path I wished to take the business world, and more specifically the professional services space, attracted me and as a methodical thinker I felt accountancy would be a good fit for me.

What does your job entail?
As financial controller for the firm, I work with a team of two others in the managing finance function. We interact with all staff and partners in our role so it is nice to have the variety of dealing with many different departments and levels in the firm.

The day-to-day of the role can vary from month-end and year-end financial reporting, monitoring and reporting on working capital management, working with other support functions such as IT and HR on specific projects, dealing with the firm’s bankers, etc.

What three words would you use to describe your role?
Varied, purpose-driven, evolving

What is the most challenging thing about your job?
As the firm has grown, maintaining consistency can be challenging. However, the introduction of policies and procedures where required has helped us ensure we remain consistent in finance function activities.

What do you like most about your job?
Working with the vast array of talented professionals in the firm.

What is different about working at Crowe?
Crowe is ambitious and forward-thinking, looking to adapt to the changing environment whilst staying true to the long-standing values and tradition of the firm.

How has Crowe helped you in your career development?
We are encouraged to develop our skillsets and partake in further training if needed.

What are 3 words to describe Crowe?
Reliable, ambitious, friendly

Crowe’s values are Agility, Curiosity, Affinity and Clarity.
What personal values define you?
Perseverance, loyalty, respect

What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from?
Communicate, communicate, communicate!

The importance of communication has been drilled into me from many previous colleagues and managers. Lack of or poor communication within an organisation can cause unnecessary ambiguity and unrest. The ability to effectively communicate up, down and across in organisations is key.

What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
Running, squash, watching any sport. In recent years high altitude mountaineering has become a passion and has used up most of my annual leave! It combines my love of the outdoors and travel.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Haagen-Dazs salted caramel ice cream and power ballads!

Are you an early bird or a night owl?
An early bird these days, I like to get up early to run or go to the gym. It’s a great way to start the day.