Scope for Chartered Certified Accountants in Belgium
In spite of Brussels being the self-styled capital of Europe, one could be deluded into thinking that the jobs' market is openly accessible for accountants. While it is true that the Belgian government has offered tax incentives to foreign multinationals to set up their EU co-ordination centres in Belgium, many of whom seek Anglo-Saxon qualified accountants, a knowledge of one of the official languages is still a must. As an accountant working in the private sector, there is a requirement to be registered with the Institut des Experts-Comptables (this applies to public practice accountants as well). The title 'accountant" is a protected entity in Belgium.
Access to public practice audit work is subject to membership of the Institut des Réviseurs d'Entreprises. This requires applying to undertake the IRE's aptitude test, in conformity with the EC Mutual Recognition Directive of 1988 [89/48/EEC]. The aptitude test is an examination consisting of a written and oral part, aimed at testing the candidates knowledge as to his/her ability to exercise the profession of réviseur d'entreprise in the following subjects: commercial law, tax law and ethical practices governing the audit profession. For more details, you are advised to contact the Institut des Réviseurs d'Entreprises.
Potential job seekers are advised to monitor such weekly newsmagazines as Focus for job advertisements and the monthly IEC newsletter, which provides a regular list of accountancy openings. The Friday (European) edition of the Financial Times also frequently features accountancy/financial controller vacancies within Belgian-based multinational corporations.
The ACCA has appointed two executive search firms in Brussels to assist qualified members to seek career opportunities - Robert Half and Financial Search & Selection - the contact details of which are provided below.