BCAJ February 2022

Indian CAs abroad

Rakesh Basantani - Chartered Accountant

Why can’t Indian Chartered Accountants shine abroad when India continues to emerge globally?

20-30 years back who would have thought that Indian Chartered Accountant will not only grow locally but will have ample of opportunities outside India. There have been multifold opportunities for Indian CAs with the rapid globalization, general awareness and technological advancement. Chartered Accountants have opportunities abroad in the field of Finance, Audit, Accountancy, Taxation, Banking, Financial services, etc. across industry in service as well as in practice too.

Improved Indian education system, facilities and modern day communication & training methods further adds to the communication and collaboration skills of Indian CAs and enhances confidence to do well globally.



Let’s look at what are the different opportunities in brief:

Onshore Opportunities:

1)    Jobs offered in MNCs (Multi-National Companies) :
Now days you also see Indian Chartered Accountants are not just moving abroad with a new role but in many cases they have even recognized with leadership roles too thanks to their hard work, talent, knowledge and skills. Multinational companies do rotate talents geographically worldwide and they also try to ensure diversity of talents abroad with people from different nationalities and regions. Over the last 2 decades participation of Indian CAs in global rotations has increased and they have been contributing effectively.

Indian CAs with strong understanding of fundamental of Finance, accountancy and commercial knowledge are able to adopt well within any finance function worldwide and In India, CAs also study various laws i.e. Corporate, Taxation, Banking, Financial, Labour and so on which helps in developing a compliance mindset and in depth thorough reviews improves interpretation skills of these laws which makes CAs competent for various finance roles.
I have experience of working in MNCs i.e. Pfizer, Siemens and Colgate and from my personal experience I have seen my CA colleagues being moving to different finance roles globally, doing well and growing, some of them are at Finance Manager, Financial controller & Finance Directors positions in USA, Europe and Asia and one of my ex colleague is leading a Regional compliance role in Dubai.

MNCs generally have practice of publishing Internal Job vacancies where employees from any part of the world can apply and where in some of positions global relocation support is also provided.

Even Indian origin MNCs have been placing CAs abroad on leadership roles to manage their global subsidiary operations or Joint Ventures.
Those who are interested can continue to look for such vacancies through job portals and get in touch with experienced recruiting consultants, Recently LinkedIn’s job section also shows good number of such opportunities.

2)    People directly moving out of India, settling and acquiring jobs :
Many younger guys are settling in countries like Australia, Canada, United states, United Kingdom, Singapore, Thailand, UAE, Gulf etc. and have been able to grab the opportunities. CA institute has also entered into Memorandum of Understanding with CA and relevant institutes of various countries enabling better recognition of Indian CA degree and helping creation of more opportunities.
There are opportunities for CAs in Banking and Financial Sector roles especially in countries like Australia and Canada, while. There may be waiting time initially as it depends on people eligible for Work permit and how soon people are able to reach out to recruiters and selection during interviews. There are also consulting firms helping with work permit and initial recruitment process which requires one-time cost from 3 to 4 Lakh Rupees and it also requires person to meet eligibility criteria.
In countries like USA and Canada, additional courses like CPA (Certified Public Accountant), CISA (Certified Information System Audit), CMA (Certified Management Accountant) also helps to expedite the job search process but obtaining Work Visa from USA may not be easy and it depends on prevailing circumstances.
3)    Direct offers from foreign companies for Indian CA citizen:
Many foreign companies are also open to hire experienced Indian CAs directly from India and ready to support their Work permit, Visa and travel cost. Specially there has been continuous interest shown by companies in Gulf, Africa, Asia and Eurasia region. It proves to be cost effective for them and at times it also results into attractive salaries and perks.
Countries like UAE, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Nigeria, Kenya and Saudi Arabia see large number of Indian CAs in various positions and roles ranging from Junior, Mid management to leadership roles. These roles have been offered by Trading companies, Consultancy firm and Large Corporates.

Over the last many years, CA Institute also have been supporting by organizing global Campus recruitment sessions for fresher and experienced CAs.

4)    Consulting and practice:
Chartered Accountants also have been effective in practice and consulting roles too. CA curriculum and mandatory article ship training give good exposure and lays strong foundation for Indian CAs to work effectively in the fields of Finance, Taxation, Audits and various other areas.
Even Indian Accounting Standards i.e. Ind AS are now in line with Global IFRS framework.
So CAs have been practicing in the areas of Accounting, Tax consultancy, Process controls, Internal Audits, SOX Compliance, Tax returns filing, etc.

Offshore opportunities:

From the above section we noted about onsite opportunities but there is also lot of scope offshore too.  Indian CAs have been contributing significantly by exporting their services abroad and help India in earning forex reserves. Examples of these services are Indian CAs filing US Tax returns, Outsourcing of accounting and finance activities by American, Asian and European entities to CA firms in India, Various consulting services, Setting up of shared services by many well-known companies in India whereby CAs play vital role and they help in setting up of processes, accounting set up, internal controls, procedures and oversee operations too and this model has been working effectively.

Some  of the well-known global companies like HSBC, Pfizer, Siemens etc. have also set their global audit department in India where CAs are part of their team and they audit their international locations and are integral part of global finance function.

It is important to continue to build functional and communication skills, strengthen knowledge base and updates yourself with the latest economical, technological and rule changes so you are ready to grab a good opportunity with both hands.


Published on:2022-09-17

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