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Accountancy: How to gain an international secondment

Given the global reach of the ‘Big 4' and the majority of the top 20 accountancy firms, it has become increasingly common for accountants Newly-Qualified from practice to seek an international placement upon qualification.

The benefits

The benefits of an overseas placement are numerous:
  • the opportunity to travel and develop your career simultaneously
  • an internationally recognised qualification that you have just obtained
  • a fast track to responsibility in some of the world's largest companies
  • flexible contracts with near guaranteed placement on return to the UK

Skills needed

Most secondments will be in External Audit but there are also likely to be opportunities in Corporate Recovery and Corporate Finance. The exact mix of skills needed for an overseas placement will obviously vary from location to location:
  • A high level of academic achievement and interpersonal skills are required to meet global recruitment standards
  • Large financial centres like Hong Kong may require previous banking or financial services audit experience
  • Smaller island locations such as Bermuda or Barbados place a stronger emphasis on the interpersonal skills required to thrive in a close-knit community environment
  • Where English is not the primary business language, applicants should be fluent in the local dialect as well as English

Interview process

The interview process can vary depending on the firm and the location. Some firms conduct telephone interviews, some firms send Partners to the UK to interview candidates at various times during the year, and some firms will ask Recruitment Officers at their nearest office to you to conduct the interviews. On occasion, there may be a requirement to fly the interviewee to their destination office.
In nearly all cases, full relocation and sponsorship costs will be paid for by the employer - you will not need a visa to attend your interview.
As a world leading recruitment consultancy, with 163 offices in 28 countries Michael Page is well-placed to help you realise your overseas ambitions.
View a list of our offices in the UK or call 08456 007007 for your nearest office.