How Do You Become a Global Accountant?

One of the best decisions you can ever make in your entire life as an accounting professional is to choose to become a global accountant. Becoming a global accountant gives you the perfect platform to broaden your horizons and get a better salary. The designation is also well-respected and prestigious. For those who want to become global accountants, here are the steps you should follow.

Get a Bachelor’s Degree

The first step you need take on your way to becoming a global accountant is to enroll in a bachelor’s degree program in a recognized university. You can either choose a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a combination of accounting and finance. It is important to focus on topics that expose you to international finance when choosing your elective modules. It is also advisable you sign up for foreign language classes during your first year in the university. You can learn major languages such as French, Spanish and Chinese. Some universities offer their students with an opportunity to study abroad for a semester or even a whole year. This can be quite beneficial to your job prospects as a global accountant.

Enroll in a Graduate Program

You can enroll for a master’s degree in accounting or international accounting. A graduate program is a stepping stone towards earning relevant certifications and securing better jobs. Many institutions in the US offer master’s degrees in accounting with a concentration in global accounting. On the other hand, many European universities offer international accounting degree programs. Most people choose to study abroad to obtain international exposure.

You will learn about the generally accepted accounting principles, how to interpret foreign financial statements and the international cultural differences in accounting standards. These topics are available in the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) module.

Gain Some Work Experience

You may need to gain some work experience while you study for your master’s degree. It is advisable to acquire as much work experience as possible to increase your career prospects. There is a wide range of options to choose from. You can work as a paid or unpaid intern, part-time assistant or placement worker. It is important you choose a company with a global presence to help you gain some international accounting experience.

Obtain Certification

You need to obtain the relevant certifications in order to become a recognized global accountant. The first certification you should get is the Certified Public Accountant(CPA). You will have to pass the Uniform CPA test to obtain this certification. The exam is provided by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Once you get the CPA designation, you can apply to become a Certified International Financial Accountant (CIFA) or Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA).

To obtain a CIFA designation, you must pass the exam offered by the Institute of Certified Business Consultants (ICBC). You must have at least two years of work experience as an accountant to qualify for the exam. The GCMA credential requires you to pass the CGMA exam. The exam assesses your understanding of the competencies in applying the principles of management accounting in real-world business situations. You must have some work experience as a management accountant to sit for the exam.

Related Resource: 5 Great Books for CPAs

Those who have interest in global finance can find a perfect career as international accountants. This is a career that is in high demand, as more companies begin to explore global markets. You just need to get a good school, gain some work experience and obtain the right certification to become a global accountant.

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