"Read a Times article featuring KLW"
“Fred Brown almost went into banking, like his father. At 16 and desperate to leave school, he did not know what to do for a living. He did want to see the world, though, and his father had another idea: “Become an accountant,” he said. “You can take that anywhere.”
It was sound advice. After qualifying with a small West End firm, he took a three-year contract with Deloitte Plender Griffiths (as it was then) in Lima. He ended up staying more than a decade, bar 15 months in Houston, Texas, and then spent most of his career in Ecuador. He opened Deloitte’s Quito office there and during 35 years in the country went on to become the managing partner.
Today he is back in Lima, with his Peruvian wife and two daughters, and is chief financial officer of a tour operator he helped to set up that offers luxury cruises on the Amazon. He cannot imagine going back to the UK. “I won’t say I’m a stranger when I visit, but I’m definitely a tourist,” he says.
And while much has changed in accountancy since Brown started out in the 1960s, the opportunities for travel remain. “We work with a huge number of global clients and they expect people to have international experience and the ability to work in different cultures,” says Keith Dugdale, director of global recruitment at KPMG. “We talk about developing a global mindset.”
Meanwhile, the accountants PKF, who have the widest geographical presence outside the Big Four, have a website for staff seeking opportunities to be posted overseas. UK accountants who want to travel have two big advantages. The first is the language. As Mark Protherough, a director at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), puts it: “English is still the language of accountancy.” It is what international accounting standards are written in.
Second, UK qualifications travel well. The institute has reciprocal agreements with accountancy bodies in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Hong Kong, so its members can be recognised there without taking local exams, but UK qualifications are respected worldwide. The Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA) qualification is the most widely accepted, but you can also travel with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
“Most locations actively want British qualified accountants,” says Karen Lindsay, director of KLW International, a recruiter specialising in overseas appointments. That is particularly true of emerging markets, which can struggle to find enough qualified accountants at home.
These provide a steady stream of jobs for newly qualified accountants, many of them British. At CML, an offshore and temping agency in Grand Cayman, Britons make up about half of those placed. Provided that they are willing to be flexible and patient, it is fairly easy for newly qualified accountants to find work, according to the company’s chief executive, Steve McIntosh.
For an entry-level role, candidates can expect a salary of about £58,000 on a net basis, he reckons. However, the real selling point is one that money cannot buy. “For most young Britons, a better lifestyle is guaranteed,” he says. “I personally guarantee that you will never commute with your face in someone’s armpit.”
It is not for everyone, of course. For a start, some areas, where regulation is still handled at a national level, offer fewer opportunities for travel.
Additionally, having to start from scratch in a different country on a series of temporary appointments, which account for many of the opportunities, has its challenges. Catherine Wiggins at PKF, for instance, spent six months in its Boston office — an incredible experience, she says, but not one that she is likely to repeat. That is partly because she is now specialising in tax but partly because she would be reluctant to uproot every six months or so. However, most people who commit to international placements rarely look back.
In Peru, meanwhile, Brown says it is impossible to know if he would have had the same opportunities had he stayed in the UK — or become a banker. “But I do know one thing,” he says. “I certainly wouldn’t have ended up on the Amazon.”
"We very much appreciate the support you have given throughout the process and hope to work with you again."
“”We very much appreciate the support you have given throughout the process and hope to work with you again.””
Top 10 Firm Caribbean
"I enjoyed a lot working with KLW and especially with Karen because she understood out of our first interview what I was looking for"
“I enjoyed a lot working with KLW and especially with Karen because she understood out of our first interview what I was looking for: a change of life style and proposed me jobs always well orientated which saved to both of us a lot of time.
I already recommended Karen to a lot of friends and colleagues as I appreciated to work with her. “
Big 4, Bermuda
"She was there every step of the way to provide support to me as a candidate, quick to respond and honestly so, not just telling me what I wanted to hear! "
“Karen Lindsay was very helpful in my recent move, which I would regard as the best career move so far! She was there every step of the way to provide support to me as a candidate, specifically providing very useful tips on how to improve my CV, and tips on how to prepare for the interview. Whenever I had any questions, she was quick to respond and honestly so, not just telling me what I wanted to hear! She also provided useful information on the locations I was considering in order to assist me choose the location that was most ideal for my circumstances. When I got the offer, Karen went the extra step to assist my partner identify potential opportunities in the new location. I would highly recommend Karen and KLW International Recruitment.”
Senior Analyst, Major FS Org Bermuda
"Karen Lindsay is streets ahead."
“Careers in Audit ran a confidential survey asking people what they thought of recruitment companies, to which one successful candidate responded: “Karen Lindsay is streets ahead”.”
Careers in Audit
"Karen will definitely be the first consultant who I will contact when I look for new job opportunities in the future."
“I was very lucky to be approached by Karen when I was looking for new professional challenges after my one-year-long maternity leave. At that time I was not certain about the way I wanted my career to further develop and had to make a difficult choice between staying in the financial services industry or returning to professional practice. Karen helped me a lot to make the right decision.
At all stages of my recruitment process Karen was very professional, helpful, friendly, punctual and attentive. Karen took an active role in discussing all my expectations and concerns and provided me with necessary information in order to make an informative decision. I felt that Karen sincerely cared about her clients and my long-term satisfaction from the placement. Karen will definitely be the first consultant who I will contact when I look for new job opportunities in the future.”
Big 4, Russia
"Prompt, professional and very timely in responding back to queries"
“Karen Lindsay has been very good to deal with. Candidates provided have been high quality and a good match for our company. Karen is prompt, professional and is very timely in responding back to queries or follow up questions with candidates.”
Big 4 Human Resources Manager
"Karen was there for me to make sure that no stone was left unturned..."
“Even for seasoned professionals, changing jobs can be challenging. Karen was there for me to make sure that no stone was left unturned and that I was informed about job but also about the country I was moving to. My dream of many years of moving to Caribbean has come true and I have Karen to thank for it.
I would certainly recommend Karen to everyone and will be turning to Karen again if I ever decide to look for something else in the future.
Multinational Financial Services Organisation, Caribbean
"I have no hesitation in recommending Karen Lindsay"
“Karen enabled me to fulfil my dreams of working overseas. She helped me make an informed decision which resulted in my securing an Account Executive position with a Multinational Insurance Organisation in Bermuda. 4 years on I am still working in Insurance in Bermuda!
I have no hesitation in recommending Karen.”
Multinational Financial Services Organisation, Bermuda
"Very happy and I’m looking forward to again exploring new work opportunities in the future with KLW."
Big 4, Caribbean
"Karen was easy to work with and she helped me thought out the process, providing support and advice and staying in touch until I arrived "
“”Karen and I know each other for quite a sometime. Karen helped me find an excellent opportunity within KPMG, Malta, a place I really enjoy. Karen was easy to work with and she helped me thought out the process, providing support and advice and staying in touch until I arrived in Malta which was impressive.
Karen is competent and trustworthy and I certainly do not hesitate to recommend her for anybody who is looking for advice and guidance for new career opportunities. I value her support and looking forward to working with her in the future”
"Karen helped me secure the job I am currently in and I will definitely work with her again."
“Karen (Director) was a big help in my career. She was very positive while the whole application process was going on. She is very supportive in whatever the plans of her candidates are and most importantly she listens.
Karen helped me secure the job I am currently in and I will definitely work with her again.”
Big 4, United Arab Emirates
"I’m very happy with the service of KLW International and impressed with the speed with which they manage to propose me job opportunities"
“I’m very happy with the service of KLW International and impressed with the speed with which they manage to propose me job opportunities in line with what I was looking for. They are very encouraging and follow you during the job search but also after the beginning of the new job.”
Big 4, Canada
"I have the best recruiter on my side"
“After all, I have the best recruiter on my side, and will not seek help and advise from anyone other than you when it comes to finding a job.
All the best for now!”
"Thank you for the most valuable assistance you've given me in my move to NZ"
“Thank you Karen for the most valuable assistance you’ve given me in my move to NZ. Your dedication and advice along the way made everything fall into place perfectly. I’ve experienced the best and wish you and KLW only more of the same.”
Big 4, New Zealand
"Excellent negotiations skills in terms of my relocation and salary package"
“Karen represented excellent negotiations skills in terms of my relocation and salary package, advised me why I should change the country and work in other cultures and of course perfectly matched my expectations with the job.
This results in my good career progression in Ireland, satisfaction and self motivation to stay here for such a long time. After three and a half years I became a manager. “
Big 4, Ireland
"I have had incredible opportunities since joining almost four years ago."
“I approached Karen when I was looking to move from a medium-sized practice to gain further experience in a large firm. Karen put me in touch with the relevant contacts to allow me the opportunity to be put forward for several suitable positions.
Karen continued to keep in contact with me throughout the entire process, providing timely updates on the feedback from each prospective employer and offering valuable advice when it came to me making a decision between the most suitable offers that I received.
I am still with the firm that Karen placed me with and I have had incredible opportunities since joining almost four years ago. Karen continuously demonstrates a positive, enthusiastic and professional approach and I would certainly be keen to request her assistance when I next decide to look for challenges elsewhere.”
Big 4 Firm Manager, Edinburgh
"[KLW's] networking skills have been excellent and very useful in making contacts across various countries and with high profile employers."
“I have known Karen since early 2006. She played a very important role in finding me a suitable opportunity in UK, while I was in Canada. She has been very professional in understanding my career goals/requirements and finding the most appropriate opportunity both in terms of job profile and salary expectations.
Her networking skills have been excellent and very useful in making contacts across various countries and with high profile employers. The move has turned out to be one of the best experiences I have had, both professionally and for personal growth. At all times I found Karen very professional and would have no hesitation in working with her in the future.”
Big 4, London
"At all times I found Karen very professional and would have no hesitation in working with her in the future."
“Karen helped find me a position as financial reporting Supervisor for a multinational investment organisation in Luxembourg. At the time I did not know much about the Luxembourg way of life and Karen helped me research this in order for me to make an informed decision.
The 18 months I spent there turned out to be one of the best experiences I have had, both professionally and for personal growth. At all times I found Karen very professional and would have no hesitation in working with her in the future.”
Much of our business is through referrals from our many satisfied clients and candidates. Recommendations are a good sign that we must be doing something right! Here are just some testimonials for Karen Lindsay, Director of KLW International Recruitment: