Thinking about working abroad?

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If you are planning to work abroad, it is helpful to think ahead about the details and logistics that might impact your experience. To help you work abroad successfully, there are a number of tips to bear in mind before you go.

Before choosing a destination for your international career move, carefully research possible locations that you would be happy to move to. Learn about different countries and cultures and determine whether there are opportunities in accountancy in the locations you have in mind.

‘If you are thinking of moving abroad, having a clear plan in place is essential for this to work to its best ability,’ says Luci Parkins, recruitment consultant – public practice audit and accountancy, Morgan McKinley. ‘Where would you want to go and why do you want to move there?

‘Understanding the pros and cons of this is essential as moving is not for the faint hearted. Within the accountancy field it is important to know and understand the difference in exam qualifications, as well as accounting principles within that specific country.’


If possible, seek out other accountants who have worked in the countries you are considering.

Networking with international industry contacts might help you find an international role that suits your preferences and abilities. It might also help you to connect with professionals in your destination location who can help you adjust to your new place and role.

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If you are joining a new company when you work abroad, be sure you have a sense of that company’s culture. If you are working in a different division of your current company, try to find out if that location has any variations in company culture.

Preparing for cultural differences ahead of time can ease your moving experience and help you get settled.

If applicable, try to learn as much of the local language as you can ahead of time. You might choose to focus on practical words and phrases that will help you navigate in your city, access basic utilities and perform effectively at work.

It is also worth considering your likely pay with the cost of living in your chosen destination. The rate of pay in your new role abroad might differ from your rate at home.


Understanding your new rate of pay can prepare you to pay your bills and other expenses, and provide for your expected quality of life.

Also try to make a plan to explore the local culture. Once out there, try to find social and cultural events listings for fun local activities to attend. Pay attention to forums on social media and news articles that mention local cultural events.

Parkins adds: ‘ACCA’s website provides a vast amount of support in terms of where their qualification is recognised and the benefits and challenges of moving to your desired country.’

Author: Alex Miller, writer

More information

This article was first published in Student Accountant in October 2022Get the SA app now

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