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Emergence of a truly global work force
 

Emergence of a truly global work force

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As employers around the world face a talent crunch for accounting and finance professionals, the time is ripe for the emergence of a truly global work force—people who are talented and can ...

As employers around the world face a talent crunch for accounting and finance professionals, the time is ripe for the emergence of a truly global work force—people who are talented and can accomplish anything, anywhere. We are talking about economies with massive accounting needs and tax and compliance regulations Byzantine enough to challenge the Rubik’s cube. As a finance professional, it is time to start thinking about your opportunities globally.

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    Emergence of a truly global work force Emergence of a truly global work force Document Transcript

    • _______________________________________________________________ Copyright © 2008 by the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP). All Rights Reserved. This electronic document is designed to provide authoritative information inregard to the subject matter covered. It is not intended to offer accounting, legalor other professional advice. If accounting, legal, or other professional advice is required, or if expert assistance is needed, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. Reprinted from AFP Exchange, 2008. All inquiries should be addressed to: Communications Department Association for Financial Professionals 4520 East-West Highway, Suite 750 Bethesda, MD 20814 301.907.2862 Fax: 301.907.2864 E-mail: AFP@AFPonline.org Web: www.AFPonline.org © 2008 by Association for Financial Professionals (AFP). All rights reserved.
    • Professional Development Where are the World’sCFO JObs? Start thinking about Europe, Asia and the Middle East Dr. Shan Nair, president and co-founder of Nair & Co, Inc.64 I AFP Exchange September 2008 Copyright ©2008 by the Association for Financial Professionals. All rights reserved in all countries.
    • T he 21st century is redefining how the world’s work is done. Nothing is truer than the emergence of powerful markets outside the United States and the fiercely stringent and demanding regulatory environments that come with them. Corporate governance has crept into Middle Eastern boardrooms as a critical enterprise, and compliance experts are suddenly the new poster boys of recruiters and hiring managers in Europe. As employers around the world face a talent crunch for accounting and finance professionals, the time is ripe for the emergence of a truly global work force—people who are talented and can accomplish anything, anywhere. We are talking about economies with massive accounting needs and tax and compliance regulations Byzantine enough to challenge the Rubik’s cube. As a finance professional, it is time to start thinking about your opportunities globally. www.AFPonline.org AFP Exchange I 65Copyright ©2008 by the Association for Financial Professionals. All rights reserved in all countries.
    • Professional Development accountants also need to have quality experience is in a relevant financial services area that is particularly sought after (e.g., funds or underwriting). According to Nielsen, the UAE’s Increased emphasis by regulatory authorities on effective risk management has generated significant demand for strong economy and booming specialist risk resources with strong mathematical or audit employment prospects won it competencies that are capable of identifying and managing credit and market risks. 111 points in a 2008 study. The As the emphasis placed on good corporate governance, and the penalties imposed for non-compliance, have United States lags far behind increased, so have the expected skills and qualifications at 83 points. So, prospects required for fulfilling senior compliance roles. Creating a stable and experienced layer of middle abroad are booming compared to management with approximately five to seven years of relevant financial services experience is one of the biggest opportunities at home. challenges for top executives today. In some financial services sectors, particularly funds servicing, factors such as fewer managers with previous funds experience, high A global view attrition levels, and the explosive growth in a relatively new A significant impact of J-SOX, the Japanese corporate sector have made this more difficult to achieve. Local staff governance reform similar to Sarbanes-Oxley in the United are being promoted into people- and process-management States, has created a significant requirement for internal roles, without necessarily having received the appropriate audit professionals in Japan. Shortages across the spectrum training or experience of the “softer management skills” of financial professionals exist throughout the Middle East needed to operate effectively. There is an increased need for and Europe especially in Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, and the operationally experienced middle management. Czech Republic, where internationally experienced financial The skill set for project/change management is emerging professionals are a precious commodity. as an increasingly vital competency in ensuring efficient The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is among the top five management of resources. The international financial nations for consumer confidence, according to research services industry is very dynamic and is constantly adapting firm The Nielsen Company. The UAE’s strong economy to customer/market demands, regulatory provisions, and and booming employment prospects won it 111 points in technological developments. This constant pace of change a 2008 study. The United States (US) lags far behind at 83 is resulting in a stream of discrete implementation projects. points. One of the UAE’s most popular cities, Dubai, is one Managers now require skills that combine knowledge of of the fastest-growing, flashiest, and most cosmopolitan project-management principles with detailed product and cities in the world. process understanding. Wall Street might be slumping, but U.S. companies are establishing sophisticated manufacturing and What do headhunters look for? service operations in the developing world. They need Who You Know 60% skilled finance professionals. The greater the extent of Your Reputation 30% international knowledge and experience, the greater the Actual Performance 10% value a candidate has for them. The average American often doesn’t realize that by 10% simply making oneself fully conversant with international standards and practices and compliance requirements, candidates can demand high-paying jobs and advance their careers in virtually any market. 30% The market needs you 60% There are accountants, and there are “good accountants.” Accountancy qualifications are viewed very favorably by various industry sectors as accountants offer a high degree of flexibility in the roles they can perform across banking, investment management, and insurance. Where66 I AFP Exchange September 2008 Copyright ©2008 by the Association for Financial Professionals. All rights reserved in all countries.
    • The demand for knowledge of Enterprise Resource for someone, they are likely to recommend a friendlyPlanning (ERP) systems is notable across the countries individual whom they are willing to work with.surveyed, especially in the Netherlands, indicating the need Court your clients. Headhunters might or might notfor strong information technology skills among accounting speak to clients when trying to compile a generic shortlistand finance executives. of candidates. However, they are almost certain to talk to them when recommending a particular candidate, asBrand yourself will a prospective employer if they are close to hiring you. There are a host of international Web sites providing Clients’ recommendations are likely to count for a lot.a continuous source of available opportunities. A simple A statistic I once heard in a training session horrified mesearch will reveal a myriad of positions. But there is, of so much that it’s stuck with me for years—that achievementcourse, also the traditional networking, which remains the is 60% who you know, 30% what those who know youmost effective technique to apply. think of you, and only 10% your actual performance. If you want to get yourself known to the right If there is a grain of truth at all in this, it highlights theheadhunters, you’ll need to ensure that you’re a well importance of networking and self-marketing if you wantknown name in your sector. There are a few shortcuts your career.to achieving this. Know the limitations The biggest limitations for international assignments are the immigration requirements of the specific country. For example, in the UK, professionals will be required to meet We are talking about economies the criteria of the newly established points system, which requires the attaining of a minimum points rating based with massive accounting on criteria like being under the age of 32, educational qualifications, a UK degree-level or professional-level needs and tax and compliance qualification, previous earnings, and UK work experience. regulations Byzantine enough [www.workpermit.com/uk/highly_skilled_migrant_ program.htm]. Alternatively, professionals may gain entry to challenge the Rubik’s cube. through the route of work permits acquired by prospective employers. This is a rigorous and lengthy process that can As a finance professional, it is take over 16 weeks. Other European countries such as Spain, Germany, and time to start thinking about your the Netherlands have equally rigorous processes. Japan, opportunities globally. however, is pleasantly less painstaking as the demand for skills far outstrips supply. Lastly, do not assume that the submission of a resume implies that a recruiter is automatically viewing you as Get on the conference circuit. When you attend a a good prospect. Foreign passports and immigrationconference, talk to as many people as possible. Networking requirements are hard work. Persevere to make personalat the coffee break can be more important than actually contact with the employer to make your case.listening to the speeches. Chat with the organizers, and letthem know who you are and what you do—there might be Information on the author:an opportunity for you to be a speaker at their next event. http://www.nair-co.com/presspage.htm Get involved in industry-award or best-practice events.Frankly, it doesn’t matter whether you win or not. Yes, Want to qualify to work in the UK?winning will raise your profile, but the simple fact of your Visit this site for more information: www.workpermit.com/involvement will get your name out into the marketplace. uk/highly_skilled_migrant_program.htm Volunteer to help journalists with surveys andinformation—they’ll come back to you for quotations. Get NOTE:interviewed for articles. As long as you don’t make a fool of Nair & Co. is currently hiring financial professionals inyourself, any publicity is good publicity. UK. We are increasing our staff by 50% over the next 12 Get to know your competitors—this is easy to do months, so we are doing a lot of recruiting. If you are inter-at client or industry events. Without revealing too ested in a position, forward a resume to us at:many secrets, be nice to them. If their firm is looking careers@nair-co.com. www.AFPonline.org AFP Exchange I 67 Copyright ©2008 by the Association for Financial Professionals. All rights reserved in all countries.