What is the Scope of Indian Chartered Accountants Abroad?

  • CA|Exam|
  • 8 Min Read
  • By Taxmann
  • |
  • Last Updated on 9 May, 2024

Scope of Chartered Accountants

What is the Scope of Chartered Accountants Abroad?

The scope of Chartered Accountants (CAs) is vast and diverse, encompassing a range of roles and responsibilities in various sectors. Here are some key areas where Indian CAs can excel:

Auditing and Assurance Services: This is the core function of CAs, involving the examination of financial statements to ensure accuracy and compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
Taxation: CAs are experts in tax planning, filing tax returns, and providing advice on direct and indirect taxes. They play a crucial role in navigating the complexities of tax laws.
Financial Reporting and Analysis: CAs prepare and analyze financial reports to help businesses understand their financial health and make informed decisions.
Management Consulting: Many CAs offer consultancy services, helping businesses improve their efficiency and profitability through strategic planning and financial management.
Corporate Finance: CAs are involved in financial planning, capital structuring, risk management, and investment decisions in corporations.
Forensic Accounting: This involves investigating financial fraud and providing litigation support in cases of financial discrepancies.
Banking and Financial Services: CAs often work in banks and financial institutions, dealing with credit analysis, risk assessment, and investment banking.
Information Systems Auditing: With the growth of digital technologies, CAs also focus on auditing information systems and ensuring the security and efficiency of electronic data processing.
Education and Training: CAs contribute to the profession by teaching and training upcoming accountants and finance professionals.
Entrepreneurship: Many CAs leverage their financial expertise to start their own businesses or become financial advisors to startups.

The global recognition of Indian CAs also allows them to work internationally, further expanding their career opportunities.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Professional Opportunities
  3. Biggest Market for Indian Chartered Accountants
  4. Criteria to Get Jobs Abroad
  5. Identical Qualification
  6. Salary Expectations
  7. Cost of Living
  8. Job Profile
  9. CA Practice Restrictions
  10. Culture, Lifestyle and Safety
  11. Global Opportunities for an Indian CA
  12. Conclusion

1. Introduction

It is a known fact that one must analyse the scope and future prospects before pursuing any career. Chartered Accountancy being one of the most elite professions, not only in India but abroad as well, makes it a favourable career choice for students.

In order to provide an extensive platform to its members, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (hereinafter called ICAI) being the governing body of the said profession, has entered into Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) with various International Accounting Bodies which has helped its members to tap the growing opportunities beyond the national boundaries. To exploit such growth opportunities, one needs to understand the various prospects related to the same.

Taxmann.com | Students

2. Professional Opportunities

The MRA or MOU entered by the ICAI with various countries paves the way for the members of ICAI to connect with the respective countries in accordance with the prescribed terms and conditions. However, this does not conclude that an Indian Chartered Accountant can only associate or work with such recognised countries. It is just that the countries which have not entered into any agreement with ICAI open opportunities for the members of ICAI only after clearing their notified examinations or fulfilling certain prerequisites for the same in their home countries.

As a matter of fact, any country has its own set of laws and regulations which need to be studied beforehand to work in the said country whether or not there exists any agreement. As far as the professional calibre and knowledge of an Indian Chartered Accountant is concerned, it is undoubtedly much wider and multifaceted when compared to other countries. The foreign bodies with which the ICAI has signed MoU/MRA/Joint Declarations are listed below-

Qualification Reciprocity Arrangement: ICAl has signed Qualification Reciprocity Arrangements with the following Institutes to facilitate mutual recognition of each other’s qualifications and admit the members in good standing by prescribing a bridging mechanism between the two institutes:

  • MoU with Chartered Accountants – Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ)
  • MRA with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal (ICAN)
  • MRA with the Malaysian Institute of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA)
  • MoU with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
  • MoU with Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada)
  • MRA with the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland (CPA Ireland)
  • MRA with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA)MRA with CPA Australia

Bilateral Co-operations

  • MoU with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Maldives (CA Maldives), Maldives
  • MoU with Kuwait Accountants and Auditors Association (KAAA), Kuwait
  • MoU with CPA Afghanistan, Afghanistan
  • MoU with VRC, The Netherlands
  • MoU with Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), United Arab Emirates
  • MoU with Certified Practising Accountants – Papua New Guinea (CPA PNG), Papua New Guinea
  • MoU with Polish Chamber of Statutory Auditors (PIBR), Poland
  • MoU with Chamber of Auditors of Azerbaijan Republic (CAAR), Azerbaijan
  • MoU with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Nigeria
  • MoU with the Institute of Professional Accountants of Russia (IPAR)
  • MoU with the Qatar Financial Centre
  • MoU with the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK)
  • MoU with Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF)
  • MoU with the National Board of Accountants and Auditors (NBAA), Tanzania
  • MoU with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal (ICAN)
  • MoU with College of Banking and Financial Studies (CBFS), Oman

Unilateral Agreements/Pilot International Pathway Programme

  • ICAI members can become the members of Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA)
  • ICAI members in Singapore are eligible to become ISCA Associate Member
  • International Pathway Programme of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand
  • International Pathway Programme of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW)
  • License Agreement with ISACA

For more details about the prescribed arrangements, click here.

So one can very well grab the professional opportunities in the aforesaid countries as the ICAI has entered into mutual agreements with the same. Other pathways to explore global dimensions include the following:

  • ICAI Placements
  • Post-qualification job experience in any of the ‘Big Four’ firms provide added advantage in moving outside India.

3. Biggest Market for Indian Chartered Accountants

Middle Eastern Countries viz-

  • Dubai
  • Qatar
  • Kuwait
  • Bahrain
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Abu Dhabi

are the places where Indian Chartered Accountants are valued the most and also as a fresher one gets a handsome salary package ranging from 1.8 Lakhs to 2.25 Lakhs per month approximately. With recent developments in the oil sector particularly, these countries have established a growing demand for Chartered Accountants. Further, there being no personal Income Tax, the amount of savings in these countries also tends to be high.

4. Criteria to Get Jobs Abroad

The most important criteria mentioned in the job description of Middle Eastern Countries is job experience of at least 3-4 years in a Big Four. While working in a Big Four firm, getting into another Big Four in the Middle Eastern Countries becomes very easy if one proves that his/her records in the existing company over a period of time are stress-tested and up to the industry standards.

Also, one can apply in any of the government companies or any of the local companies of the said countries via references of friends, relatives, etc. residing there.

5. Identical Qualification

To get jobs directly in countries like Europe, UK, Australia, USA one needs to crack the prominent accountancy course in the said countries after having certain years of work experience in India. For instance, an Indian CA can complete CPA/CFA in USA, ACCA in UK, Chartered Accountancy in Australia in order to work outside the country.

Also, one may join any MNC in India which has its operations spread across multiple countries; then after gaining work experience for a considerable period of time, one may apply to its management for exposure to any of such countries for a fixed period of time and thereafter move in to that country for further opportunities.

6. Salary Expectations

Indian Chartered Accountants are paid pretty well abroad, especially if one has initiated his/ her career in a Big 4 Firm and has gained an experience of 3-4 years in India. Middle East being the highest payer, even other countries pay a decent salary package. He/she can consider a salary of Rs. 1.5 Lakhs to 3 Lakhs per month in the initial phase of career while working abroad.

7. Cost of Living

Housing expenses in Australia are quite high due to its housing taxes as compared to housing in Canada which is far more affordable. Living expenses are also higher in Australia than in other countries. In terms of Income Tax, Middle East is the most preferred against other countries, as there are no taxes for any amount of income earned.

Although, cost of living in countries other than India is quite high but the quantum of money that one earns and saves is undoubtedly more than that in India.

8. Job Profile

Job profile is generally similar for a CA fresher which includes accounting, financial planning and analysis. Further, niche job profiles like investment analysis, wealth management and transaction advisory may also be offered.

9. CA Practice Restrictions

Not all countries allow Indian CAs to practice in their countries without any additional qualification to be obtained in that country. The countries with which the ICAI has agreements signed are generally liberal in allowing Indian CAs to practice in foreign land. Like for example, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW) have signed an agreement that allows both countries to recognize the qualifications of CAs from other countries. CAs from India will be able to practice in the UK, and British CAs will be able to set up office in India.

10. Culture, Lifestyle and Safety

Middle East is one of the most preferred locations for working as a CA, proximity to India being one of the major reasons. Also, the existence of a huge Indian population in the said countries makes it convenient for one to work in the Middle East.

Middle Eastern Countries are globally known for their free trade ideologies, thus, attracting numerous immigrants and also known to be people friendly in terms of its culture.

On the Global Peace Index, Canada ranks the 7th safest country in the world, Australia being 9th, UK being 39th and UAE being 49th on the said Index.

Further, usually the work-life balance principles are followed in many foreign countries as compared to that in India, specially in Big 4 firms.

11. Global Opportunities for an Indian CA

After having qualified as a CA, one must decide what could give him/her a springboard that would enable one to go abroad. For instance, after the introduction of GST in India, Indian CAs are looked upon as tax experts to tackle the businesses in the Gulf countries. Indian GST being a very complex indirect tax regime, Indian CAs are being regarded as more reliable in the Gulf countries to handle Value Added Tax (VAT) introduced there.

So, one way is that having done Chartered Accountancy course, one must keep looking around for international job opportunities, apply for the same and get the same. Second option is that if one wants to upskill his/her self, one will have to pursue an international course viz. CPA in American context, international tax laws, etc. So, to bridge the gap between where one is and where one wants to reach, one needs to upgrade his/her skills.

Also, there is always an option of a startup, age being no barrier for the same. The most crucial thing for such a path being a clear plan and vision for what and how one wants to proceed. So, a CA’s scope is no longer restricted to jobs and practice, as there are many other examples of CAs choosing versatile careers, one amongst them being the famous Indian filmmaker and actor Shekhar Kapur who has achieved international prominence. Many Chartered Accountants are successful businessmen. So, one must treat the Chartered Accountancy course as a means to his/her passion and not an end to it and must keep learning throughout the journey.

12. Conclusion

The first 3-4 years post qualification as a Chartered Accountant are the base during which one needs to ensure getting a fair experience in any of the renowned firms, getting to work in various industries and then accordingly, one can target a company in any of the foreign countries. Communication skills and technical knowledge are of utmost importance to grab an opportunity in such foreign countries; besides networking can also help gain such opportunities. Indian CAs are highly valued across the globe for their in-depth knowledge and clarity of concepts, reason being the rigorous preparation undergone during the course.

Disclaimer: The content/information published on the website is only for general information of the user and shall not be construed as legal advice. While the Taxmann has exercised reasonable efforts to ensure the veracity of information/content published, Taxmann shall be under no liability in any manner whatsoever for incorrect information, if any.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Everything on Tax and Corporate Laws of India

To subscribe to our weekly newsletter please log in/register on Taxmann.com

Author: Taxmann

Taxmann Publications has a dedicated in-house Research & Editorial Team. This team consists of a team of Chartered Accountants, Company Secretaries, and Lawyers. This team works under the guidance and supervision of editor-in-chief Mr Rakesh Bhargava.

The Research and Editorial Team is responsible for developing reliable and accurate content for the readers. The team follows the six-sigma approach to achieve the benchmark of zero error in its publications and research platforms. The team ensures that the following publication guidelines are thoroughly followed while developing the content:

  • The statutory material is obtained only from the authorized and reliable sources
  • All the latest developments in the judicial and legislative fields are covered
  • Prepare the analytical write-ups on current, controversial, and important issues to help the readers to understand the concept and its implications
  • Every content published by Taxmann is complete, accurate and lucid
  • All evidence-based statements are supported with proper reference to Section, Circular No., Notification No. or citations
  • The golden rules of grammar, style and consistency are thoroughly followed
  • Font and size that's easy to read and remain consistent across all imprint and digital publications are applied