International exposure is good for career development

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55% of accountants consider working abroad either “essential” or “extremely useful” for their career development compared to 47% of sales & marketing professionals, 43% of compliance workers, 33% of bankers and 23% of lawyers, a recent survey of US professionals shows. 

The survey, distributed by Robert Walters, asked respondents a series of questions ranging from working practices to career motivation.


The results provide some interesting insight into how accounting and finance professionals approach their careers. Additionally, when asked to identify the main reason they would consider working internationally, the majority (73%) of accountants surveyed chose gaining international exposure over better career opportunities, improved work/life balance, higher salaries, and a lower tax regime.

Associate Director Nick Louca says: "These results suggest that accountants value increasing their skill set and experience in the interest of appearing more competitive in the job market and therefore more attractive to potential employers."

A further indication of this focus on personal development for accounting professionals was their responses when asked to identify which factor would most likely cause them to leave a job. 64% of accountants would most likely leave a role because of lack of career progression over any other factor.

18% of accountants chose a difficult boss, 9% responded with difficult colleagues, 8% chose lack of bonus and 1% said that a disappointing salary review would be their primary motivation for changing positions.

These results reflect an overall shift in priorities that we have seen amongst job seekers. Accounting and finance professionals are focusing on increasing their value as business assets in order to remain competitive in a candidate-saturated job market. These survey results show that not only are finance professionals aware of the importance of remaining competitive in the current job market, but that they also possess the right mindset in order to do so.

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