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  • Writer's pictureLindi Engelbrecht

South African Chartered Accountants Exploring New Horizons: The UK and Netherlands Advantage

In recent years, a noteworthy trend has emerged among South African Chartered Accountants (CA's) who are looking to enhance their career opportunities - they are increasingly relocating to global financial hubs such as the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. This shift is motivated by both the diverse job prospects in these countries and the chance to elevate their skills and marketability for future opportunities.

To illustrate, consider the case of Sarah Mokoena, a talented South African CA. After earning her stripes in one of South Africa's leading audit firms, she relocated to London in 2021. Since then, her career has flourished. Sarah attributes her career growth to the dynamic business environment in the UK that exposed her to diverse industries, innovative financial models, and cutting-edge accounting technologies. This exposure has greatly improved her skills marketability and employability in the global finance industry.

Then, there’s the case of Werner Botha, who moved from Johannesburg to Amsterdam in 2022. In the Netherlands, he found a vibrant fintech sector brimming with innovation. Werner's work with a leading Dutch fintech firm has allowed him to diversify his skills beyond traditional accounting, venturing into areas like blockchain technology and AI-driven financial solutions. This experience has not only expanded his skillset but also put him on the radar of top global companies seeking talent with a blend of traditional and modern financial expertise.

The benefits of such international exposure are multifaceted:

  • First, working in the highly regulated and internationally-focused business environments of the UK and the Netherlands offers South African CAs broader industry knowledge. This helps them understand the global best practices and compliance norms that are vital in an increasingly interconnected global economy.

  • Second, these countries provide South African CAs with opportunities to work with multinational corporations (MNCs). Working with MNCs means exposure to complex, large-scale financial operations, strategic decision-making processes, and opportunities to network with industry-leading professionals.

  • Third, South African CAs can significantly enhance their career trajectory by gaining experience in emerging areas of finance. For instance, the UK and Netherlands are well-known for their fintech innovations. By working in these environments, South African CAs can bolster their traditional financial expertise with knowledge of digital finance, blockchain, data analytics, and AI, all of which are highly sought after in the current job market.

Lastly, relocating to these countries can be a significant advantage in terms of earning potential. The remuneration for CAs in the UK and the Netherlands is generally higher than in South Africa, reflecting the higher living costs but also the increased demand for their skills.

However, relocating for career advancement is not without challenges. CAs must be ready to adapt to new cultural, social, and professional norms. They may also need to pursue further qualifications or certifications to align with the requirements of their new country. Despite these challenges, the long-term benefits in terms of skills enhancement, career advancement, and personal growth make this a compelling option for many South African CAs.

The journeys of Sarah and Werner are prime examples of the myriad opportunities available for South African CA's in the UK and the Netherlands. While relocating can seem daunting, the benefits for career growth, skills enhancement, and increased marketability are significant.

As we move towards an even more globally integrated future, the trend of South African CA's seeking international experience is likely to continue and perhaps even accelerate.

With all these advantages taken into consideration, it’s easy to see why using talent advisories makes good business sense for many companies and Finance Professionals. Interested to learn how working with DIGGER could help your business to grow or expand your career horizons ? Contact us to chat about your plans. Who are we: DIGGER is a Niched Talent marketplace where we connect Audit & CA Professionals to great career opportunities and to each other in a thriving community. Our Vision: To create a scalable solution for connecting highly skilled, diverse talent within high demand Technical careers. Our Ambition: To see an explosion of Talent that will contribute positively, not just to Africa’s digital economy, but to a global society. We are building a community of the most extraordinary doers in the world. To start from Africa and expand globally.

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