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What International Accountants Need to Know

Bruce Markey

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In today’s expanding business world, more and more businesses are working overseas, or opening international branch offices, or bringing in employees from other countries. As the business expands internationally so must its finances. This requires international accountants with specialized knowledge of how things operate around the world.

A focused field

International accountants do the same work as other accounting professionals, but in a more focused field. They need to be aware of practices in the United States, as well as practices in the other countries your business will work with, and often, how these practices work together. An international accountant needs to be prepared to work with corporations and laws around the world. In the future, this will become even more necessary as we become increasingly globalized. For accountants entering the field this is a field with a great deal of potential.

Everyone will be doing business internationally

Even if you are not planning to expand your business internationally, there is still the likelihood that you will buy something from a foreign country that requires payment in foreign currency, or sell something and be paid in foreign currency. This will bring a new set of problems that your domestic accounting system may not be set up to deal with. Exchange rates fluctuate and you may gain or lose money when that happens. International accountants deal with this issue.

Things to know

In addition to exchange rates, international accountants also have to deal with wages in different currencies and consumer taxation laws and practices. The tax laws in the countries where you do business are likely to be very different than our own, so this also brings new problems and challenges to your accounting department.

International accountants understand the set of principles set up by the International Reporting Standards Foundation which govern the procedures set by many, but not all countries around the world. These standards are accepted and supported by the United Nations, The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund and work toward consistency within a single set of high-quality international standards. This is helpful when dealing with developing nations who do not have the resources available to set up their own standards.

Assets and Advantages

Speaking one or more foreign languages is an asset to all international accountants. It certainly will help in doing business in another country and in understanding the subtler nuances of working with people from other cultures. Training in cultural sensitivity and understanding is also very helpful in the human relations aspect of international work. Many different cultures react differently to different situations, and finance is often a very touchy area among people, as are rules and practices across the cultural spectrum. One advantage that international accountants have over other accountants is the opportunity to travel, and even work overseas for a period.

Your business may not have room in your accounting department for international accountants unless working internationally is something you will be doing frequently. Even so, it may still be beyond your scope. International accounting can sometimes be best handled by outsourcing to people who are more skilled and experienced in this area. Many accounting firms have international accounting departments just because of the importance of this aspect of business finance.

RBZ, LLP is a savior for those looking for international accountants to look after their accounts department. Apart from assisting businesses based in US, we also assist the non US companies that plan to enter the US market. To know how one can appeal for property taxes, you may also visit Wikihow.


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