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UK Accountant seeks Job in Singapore

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sash100
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UK Accountant seeks Job in Singapore

Postby sash100 » Sat, 10 Mar 2012 6:24 am

I am qualified accountant in the UK with 10 years experience in large multinational IT companies as a Finance Controller.

It used to be quite easy for an UK qualified accountant to find a position overseas but seems the competition is fierce from many nationalities and the preference is understandably for those with local knowledge

I am willing to come over to Singapore and stay for a month to look for a finance position. Would be hoping for a salary of 10K SGD.

Three questions:

1) Would I be wasting my time coming over to Singapore to find a suitable position.
2) Is the Salary expectation unrealistic ?
3) Are there any companies in Singapore that prefer expats ?

Thanks Sash

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Re: UK Accountant seeks Job in Singapore

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 10 Mar 2012 7:08 am

sash100 wrote:I am qualified accountant in the UK with 10 years experience in large multinational IT companies as a Finance Controller.

It used to be quite easy for an UK qualified accountant to find a position overseas but seems the competition is fierce from many nationalities and the preference is understandably for those with local knowledge

I am willing to come over to Singapore and stay for a month to look for a finance position. Would be hoping for a salary of 10K SGD.

Three questions:

1) Would I be wasting my time coming over to Singapore to find a suitable position. Probably
2) Is the Salary expectation unrealistic ? Yes
3) Are there any companies in Singapore that prefer expats ? All of them. The problem is the Ministry of Manpower doesn't. They are the one's who have to issue an Employment Pass through the sponsoring company for you. However, you could, if current salary meets the criteria, apply for a PEP. (Minimum salary of 8K/mo SGD). No guarantee that you can get one, but you can always apply. A trip to MOM.gov.sg and do a search for PEP will get you started in that direction.

Thanks Sash

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Re: UK Accountant seeks Job in Singapore

Postby sash100 » Sat, 10 Mar 2012 8:41 am

Thanks for the response.

I am in a quandry rather to go down to Singapore for a month and hunt for a job. If my chances were decent then would be off next week. If I am going to struggle to find anything then might as well give up on the dream.

I did read somewhere there is a shortage of accountants as the universities do not supply enough accountants - not sure if that is true.

I saw the market rates and the salary range for my skills were 8-12K SGD per month.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 10 Mar 2012 9:07 am

If anything, accountants are a dime a dozen here. Not sure what you were reading, but that's not the case on the ground. Of course, getting them to stay on the job is another story.

Of course, if you can find something in the CFO area (if so equipped) then you could probably see 8~12k/mo but those positions will be few and far between and most would be headhunted rather than advertised. Of course, if you have the time and wherewithal, I suppose you could always try. Stranger things have happened here.

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Postby kevin_al » Sat, 10 Mar 2012 4:23 pm

The issue is, you are not familar with local regulations. You need think about it.

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Postby sash100 » Sat, 10 Mar 2012 7:51 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:If anything, accountants are a dime a dozen here. Not sure what you were reading, but that's not the case on the ground. Of course, getting them to stay on the job is another story.

Of course, if you can find something in the CFO area (if so equipped) then you could probably see 8~12k/mo but those positions will be few and far between and most would be headhunted rather than advertised. Of course, if you have the time and wherewithal, I suppose you could always try. Stranger things have happened here.


If you see the surveys at the financial controller level. Salaries are in the range of 8-12k. CFO would surely earn double the amount. Actually just want to earn an amount that will pay the Rent and pays for the kids schooling in an International School. I am more interested in the change in lifestyle than saving money. Obviously, I do not want to be out of pocket if I broke even I would be happy. See below and salaries would have increased.

http://sg.jobsdb.com/SG/JA/Resources/Jo ... tch?ID=387

Can I ask you are you an accountant in Singapore ?

Its really a tough one whether my skills would be suitable for Singapore and whether employers would want me - I can understand the fact they would want someone with local knowledge. You maybe right that there are too many accountants (like in most countries now). Would be interested what other people have to say.

Thanks for your help

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 10 Mar 2012 9:04 pm

I'm the HR & Finance Manager for a 200+ man SME here. I also spent 14 years as a headhunter here as well (but not in the Financial/accounting arena).

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Postby sunil816 » Fri, 16 Mar 2012 1:01 pm

I don't think you'd be wasting your time, but you should definitely try to look at job sites, speak with headhunters before coming over.

One thing to bear in mind is that you wouldn't get expat status (& associated benefits), you'd be hired as a local.

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Postby the lynx » Fri, 16 Mar 2012 5:09 pm

...and that is on local package, not expat package...

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Postby sash100 » Fri, 16 Mar 2012 5:41 pm

the lynx wrote:...and that is on local package, not expat package...


Thanks

The problem is I have applied for numerous jobs and send CV to agencies in Singapore but no one has replied even though I have been told by UK agencies experience and skills are very good.

Really just want an honest assessment from an agency - Yes you are marketable or no that you are wasting time.

As for remuneration, I just want to breakeven and have enough to pay for Rent in a reasonable apartment and put my kids through to a good International School.

Would like to hear from people how they found a job in Singapore from abroad.

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Postby zzm9980 » Fri, 16 Mar 2012 7:13 pm

sash100 wrote:As for remuneration, I just want to breakeven and have enough to pay for Rent in a reasonable apartment and put my kids through to a good International School.


Those would be your two largest expenses. International Schooling is *not* cheap here. Price them out, most of them post their prices, but maybe 2-3k per month per kid? Then, depends on your definition of "reasonable". Are you willing to rent an HDB (public housing) and live with the locals? You're looking at 2700+ for a 3 bedroom. "Private condo"? (more akin to Western style apartments), then you're just starting at 4-5k+ for a 3bedroom in a very average building in a not quite convenient location.

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Postby sash100 » Fri, 16 Mar 2012 8:02 pm

zzm9980 wrote:
sash100 wrote:As for remuneration, I just want to breakeven and have enough to pay for Rent in a reasonable apartment and put my kids through to a good International School.


Those would be your two largest expenses. International Schooling is *not* cheap here. Price them out, most of them post their prices, but maybe 2-3k per month per kid? Then, depends on your definition of "reasonable". Are you willing to rent an HDB (public housing) and live with the locals? You're looking at 2700+ for a 3 bedroom. "Private condo"? (more akin to Western style apartments), then you're just starting at 4-5k+ for a 3bedroom in a very average building in a not quite convenient location.


Whoops that means I have to earn around 10K SGD month Net to break even. Seems a tall order :( . I have two kids.

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Postby beppi » Fri, 16 Mar 2012 10:30 pm

Yes, if you want to live like the stereotypical Expat, you need to earn like the stereotypical Expat.
But if you live in an HDB and send your kids to local schools, like thousands of locals (and a good number of foreigners) do, then you'll be fine with half of that: Average household income in Singapore is S$5400.

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Postby JR8 » Fri, 16 Mar 2012 10:52 pm

beppi wrote:Yes, if you want to live like the stereotypical Expat, you need to earn like the stereotypical Expat.
But if you live in an HDB and send your kids to local schools, like thousands of locals (and a good number of foreigners) do, then you'll be fine with half of that: Average household income in Singapore is S$5400.


I believe the figure is closer to $7k nowadays.

Edit: to add... 'Key Household Characteristics and Household Income Trends, 2011'
http://www.singstat.gov.sg/pubn/catalog ... hhldincome

Page 7, according to the numbers that appear on the PDF (not the the PDF-reader document count)

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Postby zzm9980 » Sat, 17 Mar 2012 9:38 am

And to be fair, quite a few of the locals have a significant portion of their housing payment subsidized between CPF, grants, and/or new flats.


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