I wanted to write an article on this about a fortnight ago when Miss Manju's query in experts section went unanswered. Today Mr.Ankit too has asked about how to bag a job abroad. So I have decided to enlighten you folks with whatever I could.
Yes, you all read the subject right. It's a whole mystery about how our country's CAs fare in foreign shores.Time and again I keep stumbling upon queries posted on CCI regarding how to go about securing jobs beyond the frontiers.What are the job prospects? Should I do any other professional course to make myself stand out? And all that jazz. This article is an attempt to allay your concerns.This is going to be a long piece which is why I wasn't writing this piece in the first place. I don't differentiate between relevant and irrelevant so I'm going to tell you all.
1) Is Indian CA qualification attached value abroad?
Ans: Yes and No depending on the country you are in. Yes only in the Gulf region and African countries wherein Accounting body is either absent or fledgling.
This explains why Former President CA K.Raghu launched e-kits to the Gulf and Tanzania (near South Africa). In Gulf I'll recommend only UAE, Qatar and Kuwait. Do Bear one thing in mind that Gulf employers prefers Arabic speaking persons more and you will never be a person in top brass. I mean to say you will always be accountable to your superior.In other words, you will always be below top authority in the hierarchy. No where Accounting body is well-established like the USA,the UK,Canada,Singapore, Down Under,South Africa and Ireland.
Probable Reason: Every country promotes their own qualification. I don't blame them actually because Company law and tax acts differ according to jurisdictions. A business entity (say in Canada) would assume that their accountants are well versed with the compliance aspects,GAAP, financial markets and securities laws. Hence, it becomes sine qua non to get enrolled for that specific country's Accounting qualification in wherein you want to work in.
2. Miss Manju in experts: I'm moving to Australia with my folks.Which course should be appropriate CPA or CA?
Ans:I'll answer in three parts-
a) First things First,CPA Aus is for industry which CA Aus is for practicing. For more details: Contact ICAI chapter in Australia.
b) Which paper will I have to appear for in accordance with ICAI MoU with that institute?
I would suggest to appear for all the papers from scratch. The Reason is when will call yourself an Australian CPA ,the company screening you for job would assume you are fully fledged CPA with proper training and knowledge. Moreover, you should be at least on an equal footing with your competitor in their country. To be on the safer side, do please contact ICAI Chapter in Australia and seek counsel on whether it's crucial to appear for all papers or will passing two papers as per MoU will suffice.
If my thinking is wrong,please point me out because I have read CAs not getting jobs even after passing as per MoU. I don't know the reason behind it. Please everyone do contact ICAI Chapter in abroad. They are going to help you draft your CV.
Case in point: Don't draft CV like this CA in Ireland- Go to CPA Ireland's website, in career section go to jobseeker subsection. The first CV is of Indian CA.
c) The statement is in itself reckless and unfounded to say the least. Moving to Australia "for good". You're visiting that specific country for the first time and making your home as well by applying for Permanent Residentship (PR) beforehand.
Well, that's will be problematic in my view. Look in my eye's, You should first gauge the level of water before taking the plunge.What I mean to say,first get to know their climate patterns, cost of living, transportation system,tax rate,multiculturalism or xenophobia,lifestyle,safety,education and others like judiciary, healthcare. How are you going to do this?
I don't know may be work in that country for six months to a year or visit the country or research on the net or meet the people who have lived or been living in that country.
Note: In a Research article,Australia came first in promoting multiculturalism. On the net, I came to know Canada's Cost of living is lower than Australia but more extreme weather.
3) How to land a job after touching down the target country?
Ans: Don't know much about it. First, do visit to the ICAI Chapters over there. Do networking. There you will get to know about the labour market conditions and how to circulate a CV through your CA fraternity.
4) Should I be enrolling for other courses in advance while pursuing CA? I'm also pursuing CS,CMA and wanna sign up for CFA after passing CA Final?
Ans: First things First,CA,CS,CMA are statutory courses enacted by Parliament Acts.Apart from CA,others don't have much recognition abroad. Secondly, there is a proverb- Cross that bridge when one comes to it.It means to deal with a problem or situation only when it arises. Here, I mean to say clear CA Final as soon as possible. Then decide which course would be more appropriate in your job.For instance, if you end up in Internal Audit-go for CIA, in Risk management-FRM,if IT-then CISA. There is a blog named "Canada Calling" by an Indian CA based in Canda.Go through the survey listed in that blog. Out of 135 Indian CAs queried, 8 were CPAs, 2 CFA, 1 CIMA UK, 6 CIA, CISA etc. before they landed in Canada. I'm mentioning this because I wonder if their CPA,CFA qualifications helped them in bagging a job or proved useful while doing it.
Harsh Reality: Indian CAs credentials and qualifications and experience are discounted where Accounting body is well-established. I've already dealt with credentials part.Yes, the more devastating part-experience.
I've read innumerable times here and there asking I'm a CA in practice for 12 yrs, Banking industry for 4 yrs, firm for 2yrs,Will I be able to bag a job abroad?
Ans: Unfortunately No.Irrespective of the no. of yrs, it will be valued NIL.The thing is Indian experience is gained in India not in that target country wherein you want to work and live.
Note: This stumbling block is ubiquitous regardless from which country you hail. Suppose, you've USA experience of 2 yrs want to shift to Canada.
Will you bag a job on that USA experience basis?
Yeah,you are right. You won't get a job whether you have worked in a developed or under-developed country. Of course, International experience is valued under different circumstances.
I too understand this is a big dampener.But this is ubiquitous in. Even if you are a doctor, experience clause is universal. No Regulated Profession is exempted from this experience discount. So finish CA early and start working abroad to gain experience.
Exception: Experience gained in International firms like BIG 4 are counted.
1) Build a network of CAs abroad and those whose who want to move there by building an exclusive FB page titled "Experience of Indian CAs abroad" to stay current with labour conditions and Govt policy over there. And other aspects aforementioned like Cost of living,multiculturalism etc
2) Start with working in the Gulf region or Africa to get a know-how of challenges in working abroad.
3) Areas of work abroad: In Auditing, only Internal Audit especially in Gulf. Financial services, I don't know much.Please add me too if any one create such FB group.ICAI chapters in foreign countries may help you in this regard.
4) Do learn a foreign language.
Order of importance: French, Spanish. When you learn a language, you must be fluent in speaking and listening as well.
If you want to add something or dispute any of the above, go right ahead.