19 answers
Updated Viewed 260 times Translate

What are some international business positions available to an accounting major?

I think it would be fun and interesting to work in an international setting as an accountant. I am just wondering what opportunities are out there.
#international #accounting #givingiscaring


+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you
20
100% of 20 Pros

19 answers


Updated Translate

Frank’s Answer

Internal Audit at a global company could provide international business opportunities. My experience has been that Internal Audit reviews operations and processes in every part of the company. Often, you need to travel to the locations to verify procedures and processes are being followed. At a global company, this will mean travelling around the U.S. and to the countries in which that company operates to conduct thorough audits. Another benefit of Internal Audit is that you are able to learn a great deal more about the company than many others because it is your job to review processes in different departments, as opposed to only learning about your own department.

Hello Frank, Thank you for this insight. I have also heard auditing allows for travel opportunities. I do have an audit internship this coming spring so hopefully, that will help me decide if I could be an auditor or not. If I think I could, then I might pursue companies that have an international presence. Once again, thank you for your recommendation. Elizabeth H.

3
100% of 3 Pros
Updated Translate

Carrie’s Answer

Below are a few positions I can think of.

International Treasury Manager - In this position, you could be managing debt, investments, foreign exchange, and cash. You would work closely with Tax, Legal, Financial Reporting, and local finance operation teams.
Financial Reporting at an international firm - You would primarily be reviewing and consolidating the financial information for various subsidiaries. You would learn how to prepare financial statements using the accounting rules of multiple jurisdictions.
Mergers and Acquisitions - This group handles financial projections, negotiations, country risk evaluations, and business reviews for potential acquisitions. You would deal heavily with Legal in this role.
International Tax - This position requires you to understand how tax policies work within particular countries and how other countries' tax policies can affect legal entity set-ups, ownership of intellectual property, debt/investment structure, and workforce allocation.

Hi Carrie! Thank you so much for these insights I'll have to look into more positions like this. Elizabeth H.

2
100% of 2 Pros
Updated Translate

Patrick’s Answer

International Opportunities (public accounting) - I'm a partner in a large public accounting firm. I've had the opportunity to live and work overseas at various points in my career. First, when I was 25, the market for initial public offerings (IPOs) was hot and there were opportunities overseas for relatively younger staff members that had US accounting experience and could advise foreign companies that were coming into the US markets. The foundations learned at University coupled with a few years of work experience, enabled me to do move to the UK (London) for a few years to help companies that were interested in entering the US capital markets. Second, later in my career, I moved to Germany to serve on a large multinational company, that I had several years experience working on in the US. The lesson here is that the opportunities exist - but they often are combined with a) a market need, b) a personal desire to commit to going global and c) experiences that benefit the business (and one's s own career development). Look for opportunities that check those boxes and provide a benefit to you, customers and your company/employer.

International opportunities (private) - similar to public accounting there are numerous opportunities outside of the US - whether it is in an international conglomerate (most companies move executives / internal auditors / accountants) around the globe and those opportunities are typically available in the accounting / finance function. Also, there are middle market companies looking to expand internationally and ask for "volunteers" to help to do that - having an accounting or finance background provides a useful base to be that volunteer. There are numerous opportunities for accountants to go abroad - e.g., treasury, tax, internal audit, management accounting, financial planning and analysis, Mergers/acquisitions / business development. Figure out your "niche" and similar to the advice above - check the boxes - what is good for customers? what is good for my employer? and what is good for me? If the answer to all of those questions is doing an international rotation - then go for it! The opportunities certainly exist.

1
100% of 1 Pros
Updated Translate

Jonathan’s Answer

There is a lot out there for international opportunities. For instance, if you are an accountant at a global company, there could be international opportunities available. Another great international career path is at most of the big 4 public accounting firms. I work at PwC and our firm offers a two-year rotation to an international location of your choice. This is a great way to get exposure to international business and experience without moving international permanently.

1
100% of 1 Pros
Updated Translate

Elizabeth’s Answer

Hi Elizabeth!

There are definitely lots of international opportunities out there for accounting majors. A few areas I can think of are accounting firms and banks. Take advantage of career fairs and guest speakers to network, and while networking, be sure to mention that you are interested in international opportunities. Sometimes there are international opportunities available right out of college, and other times you will have to put in a little work before making the move to an international opportunity. A lot of the time, you might be able to begin a career in the United States, and then get an internal transfer to an international office of the company. In addition to Milan's comment, you will need to have a good reasoning as to why you are interested in international opportunities. It will be helpful to have a minor related to international business or be able to speak another language other than English, as well. I wish you the best of luck!

Hi Elizabeth, Thank you for these insights. I have been trying to network I just forget to ask about international opportunities. Do you have any recommendations for international business classes I could take outside of my college? It is not an option for me based on my schedule. Also, do you have any recommendations as to where I could find language classes online? That's also not an option in the schedule right now. Thank you, Elizabeth H. Elizabeth H.

1
100% of 1 Pros
Updated Translate

Sunny’s Answer

Hi Elizabeth,

I think there are some international positions available for an accounting major. First you can become an international tax accountant. International tax teams are often found in big 4 accounting firms. They are focused on preparing complex tax returns for the local company and its foreign subsidiaries and also monitoring foreign tax codes to stay compliant. So this option is actually related to learning international tax laws, but it might not guarantee you an international transfer. Also, you can go abroad to work as an accountant. Some accounting firms do have opportunities to transfer employees to foreign countries to have more international experiences. So I think it would be a good question for a recruiter to check if they offer transfer opportunities to their employees. Usually internal auditors do more travel, including some international trips.

Good luck!

Hello, Sunny, Thank you so much for these insights. I did think I could find an international career through that path I just haven't discussed it much with recruiters. It seems to slip my mind when interviewing. Once again, thank you for your recommendations! Elizabeth H.

I agree with Sunny. Professional Services (PwC !) is a good option. Not only in assurance teams, but also check out Deals (transaction services, M&A). Jill DeMello

1
100% of 1 Pros
Updated Translate

Robert’s Answer

Hi Elizabeth,

Many large global corporations have in-house tax departments (based on my experiences). And within those tax departments there are often international tax and planning teams who manage the international piece for the corporation. These people typically are not just accountants, they have backgrounds in finance, business, law, and managing large international transactions. This could be an area to consider, depending on what you are looking to do exactly. Hope this was helpful!

0
Updated Translate

Samantha’s Answer

If you're interested in traveling and international exposure, I'd also recommend looking into consulting. While many consulting jobs are limited to U.S. travel initially, there are also consulting roles that involve international travel. In particular, I'd recommend looking into forensic consulting, which is a common career path for accounting majors. Forensic consulting generally seems to have more opportunities for international travel, due to the nature of the work. Beyond consulting, many of the Big 4 accounting firms have international placement programs, so I'd recommend looking into those.

0
Updated Translate

Krishna’s Answer

Hi Elizabeth,

This is a great questions! There are many opportunities to interact with international clients, especially at the Big 4. Clients range from various industries both domestic and internationally. Roles in M&A and international tax will give you plenty of exposure to international clients and businesses. I suggest you find an area of accounting that you find interesting first!

Hope this helps.

0
Updated Translate

Alexandra’s Answer

Hi! There are so many opportunities within accounting to work internationally. Many of the accounting firms have large international segments, offices all over the world, and opportunities to travel. I think that most companies have these opportunities to travel, but specifically I have heard and seen these opportunities in the accounting industry. If you prioritize international opportunities, you will find the right place to accommodate you! Best of luck!

0
Updated Translate

Jennifer’s Answer

I currently work as an international tax accountant in public accounting. In this role, I help corporations navigate the international tax world and help them comply with tax laws in different countries. While I am currently based out of Chicago, there are opportunities as you advance in the company to work abroad for various lengths of time within our network of firms. This role also allows me to interact with people all around the world on a daily basis through both emails and phone calls.


I would begin researching accounting firms and find which ones have opportunities similar to this. A great place to start will be the Big 4! Many firms also have internships that have an international component based in a different country. These programs are selective, but are great opportunities to gain valuable experience.

0
Updated Translate

Catherine’s Answer

Hi Elizabeth, I work in Transfer Pricing at PwC! We help multinational companies develop tax strategies for their global network. I work with colleagues all over the world, depending on where my clients have affiliates. It's very international and exciting work! There's a lot of other opportunities at PwC to work in an international setting. That is one of the benefits of working at such a large firm - we have offices all over the world! Most of the Big 4 have international tax practices, so I would recommend looking into these!

0
Updated Translate

Simeon’s Answer

One of the sure-fire ways I know to get into traveling abroad is to make it into a large company with international reach. The ones I am most familiar with are the big 4 accounting firms: KMPG, Deloitte, EY, and PwC. These are large auditing firms with international reach. If you can get an internship with one of these companies, do so. If you are able to land a job with one of them someday, you can work with your career team to work towards getting transferred into another country. Just know that the busy seasons can be long, with many people work 70+ hours a week during busy season, so make sure you know the cost of the opportunity up front.

0
Updated Translate

Liana’s Answer

Hi Elizabeth! I think there are a great deal of opportunities to engage in accounting in an international setting. I think a great place to start would be to look on a website called Linkedin and search "international accounting" and see what comes up. From there you may be able to message professionals who are actually in the industry and see what potential opportunities there might be!

Hello Liana, I didn't even think to use my LinkedIn account to find professionals in the field. Thank you for that recommendation! Elizabeth H.

0
Updated Translate

Kelly’s Answer

Hi Elizabeth,

The Big 4 is a great place to start! The firms are large and all over the world (hence the 'big'). I personally work in Audit at PwC in the US and I had the opportunity to live abroad for 2 years at our PwC Slovakia office. I was in the same role that I had in the US, but I was serving different clients in a different office. So I was fortunate that the nature of my work actually didn't change that much. When I started looking at living abroad it really came down to where I wanted to live and what I was comfortable with. As I'm sure you know, cultures and ways of life differ vastly across the globe. So figuring out what you are comfortable with and open to should be a consideration when you start to look at jobs. Given the nature of most finance and accounting jobs, the jobs themselves really won't differ too much from location to location. If you are looking at the big 4, there are also so many lines of service (audit, tax, internal services, etc.) and each has opportunities worldwide. I would suggest using research tools (LinkedIn, glassdoor, company websites) to get a sense for what is out there. Take advantage of networking opportunities - there are many online communities for expats and many people willing and eager to give advice to people just like yourself!

Kelly recommends the following next steps:

Research accounting firms & potential roles you are interested in
Saved!
Research where you would be interested in living - local culture (potential language barriers, laws, customs, cost of living, etc.) distance from home, etc.
Saved!
Expand your network
Saved!

Hi Kelly. Thank you for responding to my post. I have interviewed with a couple of the Big 4 Firms to try to get an internship with them. What made you choose PwC and Slovakia? I'll keep looking into these opportunities and see if I can find something I like. Elizabeth H.

0
Updated Translate

Ramzi’s Answer

Audit firms and particularly the Big 4+2 audit firms such as PwC, EY, Deloitte, KPMG, Grant Thornton can offer a job in audit in an associate position.

0
Updated Translate

Chad’s Answer

I work for a large public accounting firm and spent 10 years living in London (I'm from the US) and working throughout Europe. Our firm has lots of opportunities to work internationally. Generally this is either client driven (travel specific to an audit or other project) or tour based where you move abroad for a period of time. Normally you have to have a few years under your belt to be ready for those opportunities. In our firm these opportunities exist all over the world and normally you want to be a strong performer. Language skills may help depending on where you hope to work.

My best advice is to seek out a company with a large global footprint and ask about opportunities when you interview. When you're hired make sure your coach or mentor is aware of your interest and try to understand the profile of people they send. Don't assume it will be immediate but keep that long term goal in mind and work to acquire the needed skills to make it happen.

0
Updated Translate

Guilaine’s Answer

Hi. There are a lot of international opportunities in the accounting field. I work with international companies listing in the US and spend my day discussing international issues and matters and working with teams and clients from oversees. I worked in more than one country as well. In addition more and more companies are very global. As an external auditor, you will have to work with different countries. So you could work in the US and on international cross border issues or you could work in other countries as well. Two different paths and roles. I am happy to discuss more this is a topic I enjoyed and environment I love.

0
Updated Translate

Milan’s Answer

PWC Dubai is a popular one. Accounting firms in London would also be a good place. That said, you'll have to work extra to explain your story if you want to go abroad considering visa expenses.

Hello Milan, Thank you for this insight. I have been pursuing Big 4 Accounting firms since I know they have an international presence. I'm trying to figure out how I want to start my career and where I want to go. Once again, thank you for your recommendation. Elizabeth H.

0