The Importance of a US CPA for a career in Finance and Accounting

Brendan Walsh 02 Nov 2016

Morgan McKinley Japan will be taking part in a webinar hosted by AICPA and NASBA on Wednesday November 9th starting from 20:00 on this topic. As market leaders in placing bilingual professionals into international companies this is a space within which we have built up a lot of expertise.

Historically in Japan a lot of professionals working in finance may have had either a very basic book-keeping qualification, or perhaps no qualification at all. There was a very strong concept of qualified by experience here. This is now changing dramatically as more and more international companies are keen to see some evidence of a professional certification. The US CPA remains the most sought after qualification in the Japanese market for international companies.

The US CPA remains the most sought after qualification in the Japanese market

It is increasingly seen as essential for a career in Accounting, Financial Planning and Analysis, Tax, Audit and Assurance. Moreover hiring managers are often keen to see professionals with this qualification for careers in corporate finance and even management consulting. It is seen as a qualification which gives the holder more credibility and authority. In fact, it becomes more and more important as an individuals career develops and they are dealing with overseas stakeholders, who typically hold professional certification themselves.

A trend we are seeing now is that Japanese Finance Directors have an expectation that their finance team will be qualified accountants.

Another advantage of the US CPA is that it immerses you in an English language environment. It exposes you to international accounting practices and opens up more international opportunities. 

I think it is important to repeat that there are multiple career paths for US CPA-holders in international companies. The traditional path of starting in accounting and moving eventually into a CFO role is only one of many options. 

Demand for a US CPA qualification remains fairly constant across industries Demand for a US CPA qualification remains fairly constant across industries and this year we have seen particular demand in pharmaceutical, retail, and tech. In addition we are seeing more and more demand from audit and consulting clients, particularly in the Big 4 space and from top tier consulting firms. The same holds true for the banking sector for back office finance roles and areas such as Product Control.

We also work with some high profile Japanese companies, some of whom ask us to help them find bilingual US CPAs who will go on to work at their overseas operations.    

I will be taking part in the webinar in real time so please feel free to chat me any queries on the evening or send me an e-mail any time.

To register and for further details you can access the link here

Brendan Walsh's picture
Associate Director | HR and Finance & Accounting Recruitment
bwalsh@morganmckinley.co.jp

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