10 Indian Chartered Accountants share how they found international opportunities... and how you can too!

Career opportunities abroad for Indian Chartered Accountants

You have just acquired your Chartered Accountancy degree from the prestigious Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. 

Ready to take on the world you try sending your job application to all the top-notch firms in your country or perhaps you want to get into the industry.

But have you ever wondered whether there are opportunities waiting for you abroad? After all, this professional degree is highly recognized not just in India, but in many foreign countries as well. 

In a recent Convocations for New CAs, Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce & Industry also encouraged all freshly minted CAs to ‘Go Global’. 

Here are 10 Indian CAs that have made a successful and deliberate transition across international borders and share what factors they considered before making the big move.

As a CA moving to New Zealand

The banking industry dominates the New Zealand financial system, for the largest share of overall assets.  

Since New Zealand is a very small country the number of skilled professionals is also negligible, making room for immigrants. 

Ponshanker Palanisamy, Chartered Accountant, and IT Auditor saw the untapped opportunity and didn't hesitate to grab it.

“When I started looking for opportunities outside of India, coincidentally one of my friends was working in KPMG New Zealand.

He told me that there was a vacancy coming up.

All rounds of interviews happened via Skype and I got the job offer.

It took me around five or six months from the day of application to the day I finally started my job in New Zealand in June 2019.

I was able to apply for CA ANZ and get the membership. It's been amazing so far.” 

You can read my entire journey of moving to New Zealand here.

As a CA several rejections later...finding an opportunity in London 

London, the capital of the United Kingdom is probably the one city that sits atop all of our bucket lists.

Jashpal Parmar’s story is not so different. 

“After joining my dad’s CA firm, it didn't take me long to figure out that I wasn't meant for it. 

Rather I wished to have a longer journey with the big accounting firms. I realized that to succeed and become a Partner, I need global exposure.   

This belief strengthened further when I moved to EY Delhi in 2015.   

By 2017, I had worked on several large multinational audit projects (some of them were UK groups) and gained extensive experience. 

Given my preference for London, I applied to 3 of the Big 5 accounting firms in different locations there. I didn’t meet the requirements for most of these interviews.  

Several rejections later in 2018, I finally aced the interview at BDO UK

It took me around five to six months to start my new job in the UK, from the day of the application. I joined them as a Manager within the consumer markets audit team. 

A dream come true.” 

You can find my entire journey here

Moving to the Middle East as a CA...Oman to Dubai 

Oman, is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, thanks to the several oil reserves found in the country. 

More and more Indian CAs are gracing the finance sector in Oman, one of them is Harsh Doshi.  

“I was of the opinion that Indian CAs need certain additional degrees, such as an MBA, or CPA of that respective country to work abroad.

I couldn't be more wrong! 

All that is needed (at the very least ) is the right skill sets and the Indian CA qualification. 

At long last, I got an opportunity with the Tax Team at KPMG Oman in 2018. 

I did not know how things would turn out in the Middle East. But stepping out of my comfort zone to live on my own, and grow in my career would make for an exceptional experience.

Oman turned out to be a great decision. 

A few years later I moved to Dubai in the tax Team of a large conglomerate.”

You can read my entire journey here.

As an Indian CA moving to the Netherlands 

For the past few years, the Netherlands has seen an increase in the number of companies established, thereby creating opportunities for Chartered Accountants/ ACCAs/ CPAs.   

How the Chartered Accountancy degree and the knowledge of Data Analytics gave Rishabh Lamba the wings of opportunity. 

“I did not plan on working in the Netherlands. In fact, after working in Sweden for 6 months on secondment, I just wanted to move to a good city in Europe. While still in my home country (India), I started applying for jobs online, especially on LinkedIn.After a while, I finally got a call from the team of KPMG Netherlands to give an online assessment test. (the first interview round). And eventually made it. Some finance-related profiles which are in high demand currently in the Netherlands are Data Analytics, IT audit, Advisory-M&A, SAP Consultants among many others. If you are planning to move, then don't forget to look up the visa restrictions and conditions.”

Read my full journey to the Netherlands. 

Immigrating to Canada as an Indian CA 

From a great work-life balance to having a transparent public finance system, all of it makes Canada feel like home, especially for Indians.

How would you feel if you could immigrate to Canada and find a Job within 45 Days? See how Vishal Thakkar made it possible.

After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 2002, I moved to Dubai for my first job at a mid-size Public Accounting firm. My brother, who lived in Canada, always wanted me to visit the country. I kept putting off the decision.

But once my wife and I finally decided to visit Canada in the summer of 2013, let’s say it was an eye-opener. We decided to make the move. The first few months of moving to Canada were, to say the least, overwhelming. But my top priority was to gather the work experience at the earliest.

And I was fortunate to have my first employment contract within 45 days of landing in Canada, in the internal audit team of a Fortune 100 company.

There are enough opportunities for all who come with a proper conviction, reasonable research, and financial backup.”

See how I made the move.   

As An Indian CA moving to Malaysia?

Malaysia is claimed to be one of the most comfortable Southeast Asian countries to live in, with a low living cost.

Demand for accounting professionals, for the roles of transfer pricing, SAP, Internal Audit, Forensics, Analytics, make it a lovable destination for Indian CA ex-pats.  

But are you willing to go the extra mile, like Bhavesh Lalwani did?

“After just working for about 6 months as a CA fresher in India, I realized that I was not enjoying my work.

I started forwarding my CV to all the companies in my home country (India) whose job profiles matched my taste. 

Got a few responses and one such response was from Alliance IFA (M) Sdn. Bhd., an Investigative and Forensic accounting firm in Malaysia! 

I decided to go ahead with the Skype interview. The interview went well and I was selected.

I did a background check for the company. I even downloaded the financial statements of the company from ROC (SSM in Malaysia) by paying some charges.

October 2014, I moved to Malaysia knowing nothing about the country. It was also my first international travel!” 

Read my full journey to Malaysia here.

Opportunities now for Chartered Accountants in Ireland. 

Offering a high quality of life, Ireland is a popular destination for ex-pats worldwide. There is a huge shortage of talent in the business and finance industry. Ireland was a major beneficiary of the post-Brexit surge. 

How Mohit Sharma, an Indian CA moved to Ireland on a study visa and eventually found a job in an MNC.

“The pathway from qualifying as a CA to getting a job in Ireland was full of twists and turns.

Soon I got to know how Ireland is expected to become Europe’s next financial hub.

I applied to colleges for my Master’s in Finance in Ireland, and surprisingly got shortlisted.

Once I moved to Ireland on a study visa, I found a job as an international student within one month. As a student, you can work for 20 hours a week. 

I would really recommend someone who wants to get a good pay and live in a zero racism, zero pollution country, come to Ireland.”

This is how I made the move to Ireland

It's time for Africa indeed! Should CAs look at Nigeria for job opportunities?

Nigeria’s population currently stands at 200 million people and is expected to become the third most populous country in the next 30 years.

And if you are a finance professional then congratulations! Sectors like consumer sectors and infrastructure are booming in Africa. 

Was it destiny that led CA Ashish Khemka to become the CFO at Lagos Free Zone within less than 5 years of joining?

“As a freshly minted Indian CA, I joined ICICI Bank (one of the largest private sector banks in India) in their corporate office. 

One day out of the blue, a friend of mine suggested I give an interview at Tolaram Group (a company with diversified business interests in consumer goods, and fintech, employing more than 16000 people globally). 

The job was in Nigeria and I was interviewed by the CFO.

My willingness to learn helped me nag this role!

Soon I became a chief financial and operational officer and I am now the CFO of the Lagos Free Zone. 

The speed at which you can grow in Africa, cannot be compared.”

Here's my story

Vietnam helped this CA leapfrog his career 

Back in 2015, the ease of doing business index ranking for Vietnam was relatively poor.

However, this did not deter CA Ashish Verma, from India to take up this role. 

“In 2015 while I was managing the corporate FP&A operations at a large conglomerate in Kuwait, an unexpected job opportunity arrived from Vietnam.

There were still a few points I had to consider before jumping in;

“Can I expect career growth in Vietnam?”

“Is the workplace culture in Vietnam optimistic?”

“What is the economical situation like?”

Over the years, the emergence of countless e-commerce and fintech companies, as well as the adoption of blockchain technology redefined Vietnam’s financial services industry.

My move paid off.”

See why I took the bold move of moving to Vietnam.

Closing…

Due to better career opportunities, salary and lifestyle many CAs have moved overseas, and more continue to do so. 

Roles ranging from accounting, auditing, corporate finance, corporate laws, and taxation, CAs have a wide set of avenues to choose from. 

On top of that ICAI has Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) with various foreign Accounting bodies. This makes it easier for Indian CAs to find career opportunities overseas and pass local exams. 

Apart from all the countries listed above, there are great opportunities for Indian CAs in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Luxembourg, Saudi Arabia, China, Japan, and a lot of others.

Looking for a 1:1 call with a mentor to help you in your career? Fill in this form https://forms.gle/utC4oXyuN9PQfk9z5  

 

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