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International accounting: How to build a global accounting team

Managing finances for business clients that operate in multiple countries requires accuracy when calculating and paying taxes, and analysing financial reports to ensure their international growth. Poor preparation with outdated accounting systems might harm your reputation as an accounting professional in the long term and put your clients at risk. Due to these challenges, many accountants are setting up a global accounting team with international accounting software.

What are the benefits of international accounting

There are several advantages of international accounting for accountants. We’ll focus on three very important benefits below.

Grow your accounting practice and income

The goal of any small business is arguably to run as smoothly as possible and increase revenue, one way to do this is by operating in global markets. Offering international accounting services to clients that operate their small business in multiple countries will also help your accounting practice increase in revenue. This entails using cost-effective cloud-based software for accountants, such as QuickBooks Online Accountant, to run your accounting practice and offer your services to small business clients who deal with international customers.

Reduce accounting errors with accurate and reliable data

In accounting, there is no room for error. Using spreadsheets and manual data entry for complex accounting matters involving international customers and sales could lead to a lot of errors. One method to avoid this is to make use of international accounting software such as QuickBooks Online Accountant to help your clients manage their books and ensure data accuracy

It is reported that 67% of accountants prefer cloud accounting software solutions which increase accuracy by reducing the need for manual data entry and eliminating human error. Tackling accounting can be stressful, complicated and time-consuming for small businesses, so it’s no surprise that 58% of enterprises and 82% of small businesses already use cloud accounting services.

Track and calculate international sales tax in seconds

When your small business clients do business worldwide, they open themselves up to international taxation. Knowing everything there is to know about tax audits and general tax preparation is crucial when dealing with accounting matters. If you don't know what you're doing, your clients could lose a lot of money. 

Providing a competent international tax service requires knowing your clients specific business demands so that you can tailor an effective tax plan for them. To help your clients reduce their global tax liability, QuickBooks international accounting software allows accountants to offer international tax services with features that track and calculate sales tax in a number of countries.

QuickBooks Online makes it easy to track and calculate sales tax in seconds. You can use the standard tax rates loaded into QuickBooks — such as VAT, GST, GCT, IVA, ITBIS, and TOT — or enter your own custom tax rates. QuickBooks already has local tax rates for a variety of countries. This includes Argentina, Colombia, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, Nigeria, Thailand, and Costa Rica, to name a few. 

Once you set up QuickBooks on your device, it will automatically track sales tax. In addition, QuickBooks automatically calculates tax when you create an invoice or an expense. Upon completing your financial reporting period, when your clients are ready to file a tax return, QuickBooks will generate an accurate activity statement for you to use. 

Sign up to QuickBooks Online Accountant for free and see why over 600,000 accountants love QuickBooks

How to build an international accounting team 

In today's global economy, if you want to do business, you need business advisors who know both the difficulties and advantages of an international location and company. 

There are many ways to connect with key business people abroad. You need to look at market conditions and make a strategic decision about where to put your efforts. Here are five things you should consider when building an international team of accountants. 

1. Expertise in international accounting

Look for international accountants who have experience handling tasks like expense tracking and managing cash flow and sales tax. But it would be best if you also looked for a professional who has worked with businesses about the same size and generated the same amount of revenue as yours. 

2. Accounting qualifications 

Having the right capabilities are just as essential. For example, in the UK, an accountant should have at least an Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) qualification, but a chartered accountant with more experience should have an Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA), or Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) qualification. 

You can also earn certification with QuickBooks to improve your accounting practice. You or your accounting firm staff can access the training program anytime and anywhere, making it ideal for an international company. Industry support and training like this will allow you to gain new customers and solidify your existing ties with them. 

3. Do your research

Lastly, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is not researching an area before hiring in a foreign country. Every country has its issues — corruption, regular natural disasters, planned power outages, wars, bad internet connections, and strikes. All of these could easily affect your business plans, so it’s always good to hire a partner familiar with navigating the local business infrastructure. 

4. Consider time zones

An international team will likely have a different time zone than yours. So it’s important to consider whether you prefer them to work during business hours. If so, it’s probably best to hire in countries closer to your time zone. 

Either way, international accounting software like QuickBooks Online Accountant provides you with access to client’s data in real-time, at any time and in any location, regardless of time zone differences. The software also allows you to schedule reports and invoices, making it easy to overcome time zone barriers. 

5. Consider communication 

A critical aspect of any business is communicating with employees, partners, and clients. Ask yourself whether excellent written or verbal English is crucial. Your team's fluency in speaking to and comprehending your customers' language will determine how successfully they can assist you. 

With QuickBooks Online Accountant, you’ll have 11 language options including English, Chinese, French, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Thai, Portuguese, German, Japanese, and Korean, allowing you to easily manage and communicate with clients and their customers in their native tongue. It also supports multi-currency payments and provides language preference settings.

Managing your global accounting team with international accounting software 

Regardless of your team's setup; everyone must access the data they need when they need it, no matter where they happen to be working. QuickBooks Online Accountant is an excellent global accounting software to achieve that. 

While accounting firms of all sizes can use this software, it’s also helpful for self-employed accountants who can use it to support their global clients or help them support their international customers’ needs. Allowing your clients to focus on the growth of their businesses while you take on the financial side of things. 

QuickBooks Online Accountant is an accounting solution that offers a variety of valuable features to help with expense management, project management, inventory management, time tracking, and bank reconciliation. Accountants and their small business clients can benefit from over 500 app integrations, a mobile accounting app and helpful customer support.

Not only does QuickBooks provide borderless accounting software for international businesses, QuickBooks Online Accountant also provides training and certification to ensure accountants use the software well. Sign up to QuickBooks Online Accountant free for accountants.

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