How to Research and Apply for Accounting Jobs in a Foreign Country

Are you a qualified accountant and would you like to know how to research and apply for accounting jobs in a foreign country? If so, you will find a wealth of useful information in this guide to get you started on your new adventure. The precise requirements may vary from one country to another, but generally speaking, it should not be difficult for you to embark on a new career overseas if you are currently working as a qualified accountant in a first-world economy.

How to research and apply for accounting jobs in a foreign country: first things first

With several countries enjoying reciprocal agreements to recognise each other’s accountancy qualifications, starting a new career in a different country may not be as far-fetched as it first seems. If you are currently working as a trained and qualified accountant in Australia, the USA, New Zealand or the UK, for example, you may well find that your qualifications and experience can easily be transferred to a new country on the other side of the world.

The first thing you will need to do if you would like to work as an accountant in a foreign country is establish whether your qualifications are directly transferable or whether there is some documentation that you need to complete before your professional status will be accepted in your new destination. To get you started with the planning stage, we recommend that you:

  • Consider potential destinations – Before you start to investigate your career options in detail, we recommend considering some of the countries in which you may be interested in working and doing some preliminary homework on them first. In this way, you can narrow your choice down to a few preferred locations, which will make the main research process a little faster. You don’t want to waste time establishing whether your qualifications are recognised in countries you aren’t interested in visiting.
  • Reach out to professional organisations – Once you have a better idea of the countries you want to work in, you can start your preparations in earnest. As a first concrete step, we suggest reaching out to international organisations like the Global Accounting Alliance (GAA), the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Chartered Accountants Worldwide (CAW). These organisations have reciprocal arrangements with affiliated accountancy institutes across the globe: arrangements that include a number of valuable benefits. They may also be able to give you some useful tips on how to get overseas accounting jobs that offer the most promising career trajectory.
  • Research each country in more detail – Having established which countries might make an interesting new home and confirmed that your existing qualifications are accepted in those countries, it’s time for some more in-depth research. At this stage, you should be exploring the implications of moving to specific countries in more detail and working out how you would acquire accommodation and other essentials in each one. If you notice any red flags at this stage, such as difficulties for foreign nationals renting apartments, you may wish to eliminate the country or countries in question from your shortlist.
  • Discuss your plans with your family (if applicable) – If you are married or living with other family members, now would be an excellent time to discuss your plans, to ensure that everybody who will be affected is fully aware of what is happening. Even if you don’t actually need other people’s agreement before you can move, it is nice to give your loved ones the chance to air any misgivings they may have and to reassure them that you really do know what you’re doing.
  • Trusted Recruitment Agency – Using a trusted recruitment consultancy that specializes in international recruitment for your specialized sector can be immensely helpful in your job search. Not only do they have access to a network of potential employers in your desired country, but they also have extensive knowledge on living and working there. They can provide you with valuable insights on the pros and cons of the location and the type of work available for you and your dependents. By working with a recruitment consultancy, you can save time and effort in your job search while having peace of mind that you are getting reliable and expert advice.
  • Think about what you are leaving behind – The majority of accountants who look into how to research and apply for accounting jobs in a foreign country tend to focus all their attention on what they have to look forward to, which is completely understandable. However, to get the complete picture, you also need to consider what you will be leaving behind. Starting a new accountancy career in a foreign country will necessarily involve giving some things up: things you may be more attached to than you realise. Only by comparing what you stand to gain, to what you stand to lose, can you truly understand the implications of your planned move.

To summarise, accountancy qualifications offer a proven path to overseas career opportunities for those who have obtained them in (primarily) first-world economies. As an accountant, this means you probably have more chance of establishing yourself in another country than most other people. But before you make any binding commitments or take any irreversible actions, we recommend you spend as much time as possible looking into all the ramifications of your proposed move.

If you are keen on learning more about how to get overseas accounting jobs and would appreciate the assistance of a recruitment agency that knows the market inside out, we invite you to call or email us to discuss your options with one of our experts.