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How to Become an International Accountant: Complete Guide


The job of an International accountant often view to one which demands high respect, but can also very monotonous and mundane.

While some people would shudder at the thought of crunching numbers for a living, there are a set of people out there who derive great satisfaction out of the very same work.

The gratification which you will feel when you see both columns of your accounting book matching is one which cannot compare to anything else.

International Accountant

If you look for the job of an International Accountant and wants to know what does an international account do, there are a few more factors which come into play.

These points will elaborate on the following pointers. Read on to find out how you can pave your way into the world of International Accounting.

What is an International Accountant?

An organization will hire you to be their International Accountant for the following accountant requirements:

  • International organizations that do business with other countries often have to deal with currency exchange issues. An international accountant’s job is to be proficient in both country’s business laws, and be able to analyze the currency exchange rates and alterations between both companies involved in the business.
  • An international accountant must be familiar with the various attributes of the countries with which his accounting firm is doing business. This includes knowing the other countries (as well as your own country’s) wage rate, resource availability, GDP, and other factors which may affect business with these countries.
  • As an international accountant, you must also have complete knowledge of tax laws of your own as well as the other countries. This will come to use when your organization is looking to establish subsidiaries with other countries. An international accountant’s knowledge and accounting skills are essential for this step in business with other countries, as you will be able to guide the organization on various tax laws and regulations when dealing with other countries.
  • Your job is not only limited to knowing the tax laws of countries as an international accountant. You must also know the various labor laws, and be aware of the ongoing economic and political conditions of the countries, your organization is involved with. You can use this knowledge to help determine which countries would be more profitable to conduct business with. And you will have a huge helping hand in guiding your organization and estimating profits as well as avoiding losses, by using this knowledge efficiently.
  • It is also an added point if you know the language of the other country with which your organization is conducting their business. Some of the most successful international accounts are bilingual. This is because knowing the other country’s language will aid you in communication with the other country as well as give you a better understanding of the laws and cultural nuances of the country.

International Accounting Career Path:

Earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting:

The first important step you will need to take to pursue a career as an International Accountant is to go to a renowned university and earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance.

This will be your first crucial stepping stone into the world on international accounting. You must also make sure you choose your elective on international finance.

You will need to well verse with international accounting laws to pursue a successful career in this path.

Complete a master’s degree:

The second step in paving your way to becoming an international accountant is, to get a further master’s degree in accounting.

This degree will help educate you on all the important aspects of international accounting- GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles)

  • IFRS standards
  • Foreign tax laws
  • Labor laws
  • Accounting principles
  • Basic important cultural differences in accounting standards of different countries.

Apply for an internship:

One of the most crucial steps now for you to make a kick start in your international accounting career is to take part in an internship (paid or even unpaid).

This will help you gain the most valuable work experience, and will give you an added advantage over freshers applying for jobs, right after gaining their degrees.

An internship will not only help you earn a little bit of money with gaining work experience, but it will also give you a private tour on the ins and outs of both national as well as international accounting.

Become a CPA:

Study well, and take a professional accounting exam to become a CPA (Certified Public Accountant). This certificate is valid over many states and will help you get a good standing as an accountant.

Know your specialty:

International accounting branches out into many fields, just like any other line of study. You have many options to choose from, such as

Find out your specialty, and expand your knowledge by continuing your further studies in any specialty of your choice. This will make it easier for you to streamline your job search and apply in organizations under your specific job profile.

Even though all these fields interrelate, each is slightly different from the other. For example, in Financial Accounting, you require to analyze and record transactions, as well as prepare periodic statements.

Tax Accounting, on the other hand, requires you to know the tax laws of your country as well as the country you are in business. Tax laws of each country are different, and as an international accountant, you must understand these differences while preparing tax returns for your domestic company as well as your foreign company.

Thus, even though as an intern ational accountant you require general knowledge on tax laws and know about the political and economic environment of foreign countries when you decide to specialize in a certain field of international accounting, you will have to further expand your existing set of skills and knowledge to help deal with other countries.

You will be working with numbers:

Working in the field of accountancy, you will constantly have to deal with numbers. You must be very good at maths, what they call a ‘math whiz’.

To top it off, as you are choosing a career in international accounting, you will require to have a good knowledge regarding the currencies and various currency exchange rates of foreign countries.

You have to keep abreast with the constant changes in currency rates, as any minor fluctuations might account for large profit or losses in your organizations business.

You might have to move:

International accountants are in high demand nowadays. Many organizations have decided to go international and get into business with foreign countries as they may find the high potential of growth there.

If you are looking to move from your current city or even go abroad, an international accountant job will allow you to do so.

Potential for growth:

International accounting is slowly turning into a highly demanded job. It not only pays well but has immense potential for growth. If you can overcome the initial inertia and monotony of the job, you will find yourself shooting up the ladder very soon.

Progression is fast in international accounting. With sincerity and perseverance, you might soon have the opportunity to work abroad and work in managerial positions in your international organizations.

Overall education:

If you look for a career as an international accountant, you will soon come to realize that your educational qualifications do not simply restrict to studying maths and accounts, as would be the case for national accounting jobs.

As an international accountant, you must well verse with foreign country laws, tax, labor laws, as well as have a chance to study the economic conditions of the foreign countries.

This is important as the economic conditions of the country, your organization is planning on doing business with will directly affect how much profit or loss you might face in your business.

If the economic conditions of the foreign country are good, it can easily assume that venturing into business with that country might yield in high profits, and have a high potential for growth of your organization’s business.

Studying the political conditions of the foreign country is also necessary, as that will reveal to you the various rules and regulations of that particular country.

Since each country has different government rules and regulations, any mistakes on your part might cost you heavily. This is where your organization will count on your knowledge and skills in dealing with foreign countries.


International accounting can a fast paced and very interesting job. It is a high paying job as if an organization wants to hire the best person for this very crucial job, then they will be ready to pay well for that person.

If you are looking for a respectable, prestigious job and are ready to put in the hours and effort to be the best at what you do, international accounting is the way for you.

So go ahead and get that degree, and enjoy a luxurious life which you can fuel with your international accounting job!