Since 2011, the number of UK accountants seeking work abroad has dropped from 66.3% to 52.2% in 2014, according to research by CareersinAudit.com.
In recent years the UK has become a competitive market place once again for professionals looking to make their next move
The trend has been continuing steadily for the last four years. In 2012, the initial figure fell to 59.4% and fell further still in 2013 to 55.9%.
Simon Wright, operations director at CareersinAudit.com, said that with many more available jobs in the UK, more and more accountants were choosing to stay at home.
Wright said, “In the past couple of years there has been a decrease in accountants choosing to move abroad. This is largely down to the number of available jobs in the UK once again being on the increase after the 2008-2013 hiring freezes, which finally thawed and mobility between jobs in the industry gained momentum once again.
“Whereas in previous years their financial packages may have looked more attractive overseas, in recent years the UK has become a competitive market place once again for professionals looking to make their next move.”
As well as the number of accountants looking to work abroad, there has also been a shift around which locations are the best to work in.
Where the Middle East used to enjoy the top spot of most popular places to relocate in 2011, it has now moved down the rankings to fourth place, behind north America, Australia and New Zealand, and western Europe.
“Pre-global financial crisis, the Middle East and UAE/Dubai in particular were growing and developing at a significant rate,” Wright said. “The effects of the global slowdown were felt strongly in the region and development slowed to such an extent as to almost come to a standstill.
“While in 2015 the region is experiencing positive growth once again, so are other regions of the world such as Asia Pacific and China, which are now providing competition by offering more jobs to the accountancy professional looking to move abroad.”
He added that, with increased development in China, particularly in cities like Shanghai, where the average expat wage has significantly risen in the last 10 years, the country was becoming an increasingly attractive choice for relocation.
“In the past decade, the average wage for expats working in Shanghai has almost doubled,” Wright explained.
“So, combined with the current level of development across the region and salaries now competing with those in the Middle East, China is a true contender for a lot of the accountants who may previously have moved to the Middle East.”