THE SMOKE DETECTOR: Globalization, What It Means for CPAs

By Christopher Doemland posted 07-21-2014 10:40

  

Globalization could be defined by some as a worldwide movement toward economic, financial, trade, and communications integration (Businessdictionary.com).  In other words, business is expanding and the world is shrinking, relatively speaking. That definition should seem straight-forward to us as CPAs in the United States where we should start looking beyond our country’s borders for business development and business commerce. It also means that because of this, financial information should be consistent across the globe.  This is easier said than done as we all know.

GlobalSo, what does this mean for CPAs? It is a great opportunity for several reasons. First, as the trend toward globalization is increasing rapidly, naturally there will be a great demand for accountants and auditors to comply with new standards, new regulations and reporting structures in order to satisfy business policy. This can be good for seasoned CPAs or young CPAs (or even candidates) who want to move into some specialization in international business.  There are plenty of companies doing business in or located in different countries that will need more CPAs on their team.  If they are in public accounting, many clients have at least some exposure to international commerce where it would be beneficial for auditing staff to learn more.  This is a great business development opportunity or niche for staff that may want to move their career into a different path.

Second, globalization will force colleges and universities to begin recruiting heavily for students to enter the accounting field (not to mention professors to teach). Students will be more exposed to international commerce through case studies and real life current events.  So, if your company has international transactions or your firm has clients with an international presence, students may be more prepared than ever for globalization in the near future. Also, if there is a large concentration in one country or two, foreign accounting students in American universities may have an opportunity to market themselves as ideal candidates. The students may have multilingual experience or even the possibility of living in a different country would assist the accounting team in those businesses.

Finally, for those CPAs that either dabble or specialize in technology, globalization will require business systems and networking improvements in countries that may not have what the United States and other developed countries have as far as infrastructure. It’s not only an opportunity but a necessity. By doing this, these countries would be able to advance and increase their business reach throughout the world. CPAs who also work with accounting software and computer networks can take the lead role in helping these countries. It is another way globalization can enhance the value of a CPA.

Globalization will continue to grow with an increasing need for CPAs in different aspects of doing business worldwide. These are just a few examples of how CPAs can grow in another field of accounting/technology that would set them apart and move forward with the trend of globalization. The global credential CGMA is one way that CPAs and their counterparts in other nations can identify themselves in the global marketplace.



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08-07-2014 10:52

Chris, I found the second point you made about globalization very interesting. I think this provides another opportunity to attract students to major in accounting and continue to fill the pipeline of students going into the accounting profession. As you mentioned, this creates a need for professors with this knowledge. It will be interesting to see how this develops in the college environment over the next several years.

08-07-2014 10:52

Chris, I agree that globalization is definitely getting closer to being the norm for many. I currently have one client that is in a partnership down in Mexico, one client that looked at opportunities in Saudi Arabia, and use to have a client that had an international presence. Globalization brings with it some challenges and opportunities but I think as globalization becomes the norm, businesses will grow and diversify and those businesses that don’t are going to be left behind. It is one area where the accounting profession can grow its business and assist our clients with the intricacies that globalization entails.

07-28-2014 10:48

Chris, thanks for the article. As an accounting professor with a background in both accounting software and public accounting, I read your thoughts with great excitement! The CPA designation certainly provides ample opportunities. I will request that our accounting students read your blog in the fall. This helps paint a picture of career options!