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Accounting Careers Go Global

Accounting Careers Go Global

John Rossheim, Monster Senior Contributing Writer

When corporations expand overseas, they need more than language lessons, plane tickets and a suitcase of foreign currency. These businesses must mind trade regulations, pay taxes in multiple national jurisdictions and carry out fundamental accounting processes like audits and financial reporting that, ideally, should be transparent to the world’s capital markets.

Those needs help explain how globalization is driving current demand for international accountants and creating future career opportunities for students entering the accounting field today.

Building Need for International Accountants

In their current state, some international accounting systems are more reminiscent of the Tower of Babel than the United Nations. But that may change in the foreseeable future. “I believe in perhaps a decade we will have a universal accounting language,” says Rudolph Jacob, chairman of the accounting department at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business in New York City.

Business leaders from many of the world’s nations are working to make this dream come true. The London-based International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) was founded in 2001 to pursue the goal of getting the world’s nations and businesses to settle on a unified system of financial reckoning. “The Board is committed to developing…a single set of high-quality, global accounting standards that require transparent and comparable information in general purpose financial statements,” said David Tweedie, chairman of the IASB, in a statement before the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.

Corporations’ efforts to standardize accounting methods across their global operations are creating a labor market for experts in the complexities of international transactions.

“Among the hottest emerging specialties is international accounting,” says Pam Wright, vice president of product management for Kforce Professional Staffing in Tampa. “Jobs are created simply because of the amount of foreign transactions we have today.”