Audit careers in the Caribbean
With the disappointing unemployment rate and waning economic condition in the UK, more and more professional auditors are now considering working for other nations, like the Caribbean. In April 2013, the International Monetary Fund or IMF confirmed that the Caribbean is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. In this time, when developed countries were still struggling to shake off the recession, the Caribbean thrived because it worked to develop institutional capacity and used fiscal buffers during the crisis.
Thanks to its growing economy, the Caribbean is always in need of skilled workforce. Every year, there are numerous opportunities for qualified accountants to join some of the biggest companies in the world. Some of the sectors where auditors are always needed are trusts, banking, funds, captive insurance, and structured finance.
By working for some of organisations in Caribbean, auditors are expected to gain excellent exposure as they work closely with senior management teams and valuable clients. Most of the companies here offer fantastic opportunities for progression through to management to show employees that their work is valued.
While the Caribbean is made up of more than 7,000 islands, those that offer the majority of opportunities are British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Barbados, Bahamas, and Turks & Caicos.
One of the best benefits in working for these small islands is the work-life balance. Commuting is never a problem. In fact, professionals usually take a stroll along the beach or use mopeds to get around.
One of the things that people from developed countries are looking for is the opportunity to strike a fine balance between work and play. This is something that the Caribbean can offer to professional auditors. The rat race doesn’t exist on these islands; they offer a relaxing outdoor lifestyle and climate that you’ll surely fall in love with. The islands are where you can find some of the world’s best crystal clear waters and pristine beaches, allowing people to concentrate on life’s finer things.
To qualify for any auditing careers in Caribbean, you’ll need the following qualifications:
- Educational background: Most firms in the Caribbean prefer candidates with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting or any related field. Candidates who are applying for higher positions may be required to have an MBA.
- Certification: The basic certifications that will be required by potential employers are ACA, CPA, ACCA, and CIA.
- Relevant experience: Employers prefer candidates with at least three years’ minimum experience in the field of auditing, with a minimum of six months’ experience as a senior on engagements.
The process of applying for an auditing job in the Caribbean typically starts online and interviews usually take place via video call or over the phone. Qualified candidates are advised to send their resume and other credentials via email.
Most firms in the Caribbean recruit only once a year, between August and October. Successful candidates will receive offers of employment and relocation packages that usually include the cost of flights and work permits. Most firms will also provide free accommodation for 2-4 weeks and assist employees in finding a property.
Benefits of relocating in the Caribbean
There are many things to look forward to when relocating to Caribbean, including:
- High standard of living and a work-life balance
- Very low tax
- High salaries and attractive employment benefits
- A short daily commute that translates to more time for yourself and family
- Pristine beaches with crystal clear waters
- Great opportunities to advance with fast track promotions
- Opportunity to work with some of the world’s largest financial services
- Opportunity to build and expand an international network of professional contacts
- A cosmopolitan population
Are the contracts permanent?
The majority of the positions are considered permanent. This means that they are salaried, come with vacation time, full benefits, etc. However, in order to qualify for the position, candidates must be issued a two or three year work permit by the local government, which is typically the length of commitment employers require. The work permit can be often renewed if both employer and employees are happy with the job.
Can my spouse and my children relocate with me?
Yes, although this is not without challenges. Typically, work permit applications have a section to include dependents, including children. As many of the islands in the Caribbean do not legally recognise de-facto relationships, it is much easier to bring your partner if you’re married.
How much tax do I need to pay?
One of the benefits of working in Caribbean is that taxes are very low. In Bermuda, the payroll tax deduction is 5.25%. In Cayman Islands, employees are not required to pay any personal income tax.
With sunny climes, a growing economy, the promise of international networking, and a work-to-live culture, could a sea-change to the Caribbean be your next audit career move?