5 benefits to taking your accountancy career overseas

Lynsey Salim, Managing Consultant at Eden Scott By Lynsey Salim, Managing Consultant at Eden Scott

7 March 2016

Should I stay or should I go? Lynsey Salim, Managing Consultant at Eden Scott, highlights five benefits for international careerists.

So you’ve passed your exams and are looking for your position as a qualified accountant. Or perhaps you’ve been working for a while and beginning to notice that your career isn’t progressing as quickly as you had hoped. Whilst Scotland and the UK offer an abundance of varied opportunities for tax, audit and advisory accountancy professionals, have you ever considered a career abroad? Whether it’s for a year or two or for the long haul, an international move could be valuable for your career. Here are our top five perks to working abroad for accountancy professionals.

Fast Track Career Move

An international move can help accelerate your promotion prospects in the long term.

According to Gary Baker, US Mobility Leader for PWC, international market experience “gives you a greater respect for other cultures and you will learn to be better at managing diverse teams”. International experience allows you to:

  • Gain experience of operating in a foreign culture.
  • Work in accordance with new accounting standards and methodologies.
  • Gain exposure to new client sectors.

At Eden Scott, our international finance team has witnessed 86% of expat candidates progress from consultant and associate level to management within half the time it would usually take in the domestic market.

Grow Your Professional Network

Networking can be very helpful to your career.

You will work in culturally diverse teams and meet people of various nationalities at different levels of seniority.

Building an international network is important as you create a community of like-minded professionals. Your network is valuable to identify opportunities for professional advancement, provide connection to potential employees, and learn of new developments.

To demonstrate the importance of growing your network, LinkedIn’s popularity among accountants continues to grow. A recent study by Wolters Kluwer highlighted that 62% of accountants are interested in expanding their network and use the platform to connect with professionals across the globe.

Financial Gain

Emerging international locations can be extremely lucrative for accountants.

In the emerging market of Papua New Guinea, many companies are offering a highly competitive basic salary, housing and car allowance, extensive benefits package and a lucrative bonus structure to attract top tier talent. This has resulted not only in gaining international experience in one of the world’s fastest growing economies but many have seen substantial financial gains with some even utilising the money to buy property upon return to the UK. To give you an indication of the salary uplift that you can achieve, we recently negotiated a salary increase of 44% for a candidate relocating to Papua New Guinea.

Enjoy your surroundings

In many locations internationally they have a refreshing approach to a work/life balance.

Although you will be required to work hard during peak season in many locations, you will be able to take advantage of finishing early in quiet periods and making your weekend your own, which can be a massive change from the demands of the UK working week.

For example, in Malta many candidates are able to take advantage of the country with the highest number of sunny days in Europe and head to the beach in the afternoons. Another great location is Jersey in the Channel Islands where commuting times are much less than those in UK cities and a trip to France or central Europe is only one hour away.

Opportunity to learn a new language

In recent years our consultants have witnessed firms in countries, such as Germany or Switzerland, drop the prerequisite for international candidates to have fluent German or French. The reason? Your ICAS qualification is highly sought-after by employers across the globe. Whilst English is not the native language, it has become the adopted business language.

A move abroad is a fantastic opportunity to learn a new language. Employers are offering language courses and training for those with a passion to learn. A study led by James Foreman-Peck of Cardiff Business School, estimates that the lack of foreign language proficiency in Britain costs the economy £48 billion (or 3.5% of GDP) each year. Therefore, learning a second language while working overseas will enhance your profile and boost your employability.

Ready to move?

Let's talk

The International Finance team at Eden Scott can support you with your international move. They work on opportunities across the globe for accountancy professionals looking to relocate to benefit their career.


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