By Mark Rowland Career 5 surprising places that are great for accountancy 22 Nov 2015 As the world recovers from the aftermath of the financial crisis, new financial centres have sprung up across the globe. As a result, demand for accountants in these regions is rapidly increasing. Here are some of the areas around the world that have become accountancy superhubs: Mauritius Mauritius has more accountants per capita than anywhere else on the African continent – not bad for a tiny island near Madagascar. Its financial sector includes offices for such institutions as HSBC, Standard Chartered and Deutsche Bank. Not only that, it’s also multi-lingual – among the languages spoken are English, French, Hindi, Tamil and Bhojpuri. Add to this the beautiful surrounds, warm climate and abundance of leisure activities (it is also a tourism hotspot), and you end up with an idyllic accountancy lifestyle. “Mauritius will certainly prove to be a land of opportunity for qualified professionals, says Sham Mathura, CEO of accounting firm and training provider BSP ltd. “Together with the beautiful working environment, one will enjoy better quality of life here.” Johannesburg, South Africa Johannesburg is home to the highest number of millionaires in the whole of Africa. It is known as the city of gold, it is home to 23,400 millionaires. “I have seen for myself in places like Soweto when the new black bourgeoisie flaunt their wealth on Vilakazi Street, where Nelson Mandela once lived, over the weekend,” wrote BBC South Africa correspondent Milton Nkosi. “But I have also seen the vast properties in Cape Town owned by white families.” Ronald Chibvongodze, AAT member in Johannesburg and Project Manager at TMDG Consulting, says: “Johannesburg has become a hotspot for a number of very large finance deals in recent years, so brokerages are thriving here. The retail sector is also taking off, as the web has exposed the city’s energetic youth to the Western way of life and its big brands.” Bahrain Although it was one of the first states in the gulf to discover oil, Bahrain is less dependent on it than other gulf countries, with a thriving banking and financial services sector. It also has a rich cultural history, with architecture and artifacts dating back 5,000 years to the Dilmun civilization, the Assyrians and Babylonians. It also boasts the Bahrain International F1 Circuit, which is a major draw for international tourism. “Bahrain’s economy is improving year by year, with real GDP moving from 3.4% in 2013 to 5.4% in 2014, says Abdulla Marzooq, managing director of training company Pyramids Consulting Centre. “Draft reports for this year indicate that it is still stable at that level. There has also been a rise in tourist numbers, which will lead to improvements of hotels and other leisure facilities – further fuelling Bahrain’s economy and performance.” Sydney, Australia The A$7bn (US$5.4bn) Bangaroo project in Sydney aims to create a financial district to rival the biggest hubs in Asia, creating an estimated 24,000 jobs by 2023. HSBC, PwC, Westpac and KPMG have already signed up to have offices in the project. Sydney is also great for start-ups, and was ranked the 16th best market for start-ups in the Compass Global Start-up Ecosystem Report. Almost two-thirds of Australia’s start-up activity takes place in Sydney and around half of the workforce in the city have experience working in a Start-up. “The Sydney ecosystem is now vast. There are thousands of people making great startups with evidence that we can make global businesses,” says Phil Morle, CEO at start-up support company Pollenizer. Dublin, Ireland Dublin has centuries of cultural and literary history behind it, but it also has a 12.5% corporation tax rate, making it an attractive proposition for businesses – Google, Amazon, Facebook, PayPal and Pfizer have all based their European headquarters and operational bases in the city. Dublin’s metropolitan GDP has grown by 6.5% year-on-year and the city has risen 18 places up the Global Financial Centres Index. Says Cormac Mohan, Managing Partner for FM Accountants: “Big firms will tend to support working trainees by allowing them time for study leave and exam leave, and will contribute to their education materially and financially.” This is an excerpt from the upcoming November/December issue of Accounting Technician magazine which will land on your doorsteps next week and is available to download on the app from 4th November 2015. Mark Rowland is a journalist and former editor of Accounting Technician and 20 magazine.