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Moving from Germany to the USA

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Previously published in March 2019


There are 7,576.55 kilometers between our international headquarters in Nürnberg, Germany and our national headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. That’s a lot of distance, but there are countless reasons to move your career to the USA.

At Rödl & Partner, we’re always searching for international talent who want to start a new adventure and move their career to the USA. For more than 40 years, our core practice has been serving the accounting and tax needs of primarily German speaking and other foreign owned companies operating in the USA. To better serve our clients, we seek German-speaking professionals that have a deep understanding of German accounting and business practices.

Out of our nearly 250 USA employees, 28% are native Germans and 40% speak German. So, we have quite a few people that can relate to the experience.

Whether you’ve already considered moving your career to the USA or the thought has never crossed your mind, here are 5 reasons you should consider working abroad with insights from our German professionals:

1. Learning Opportunities

Immersing yourself in a new culture offers a variety of learning experiences. For our professionals, the biggest initial learning opportunity was developing their English language skills. Of course, you learn English in your day-to-day activities, but what really advances your skills is learning how to effectively communicate to clients, as a leader, and for technical accounting topics. 


Miriam Kroll, Associate, on her most feared concern with working in the USA:

“Communicating in English and switching between both languages. But I now see it as a challenge and just doing it every day helps you develop it quickly. Everyone in the office is just patient and helpful.”




In general, the entire experience offers many learning opportunities—both socially and professionally. You will find yourself developing new skills and enhancing existing skills that will only help your career grow.


Patrick Ihl, Associate, on what he has gained from moving to the USA:
“Personally, the move allowed me to move to a different country, to travel a lot through work, and see a lot of things I never would've thought. Professionally, the experiences and encounters I have had since arriving are invaluable and have for sure changed the way I handle myself professionally.”



2. Global Industry Experience

Moving to the USA means learning the policies and procedures of U.S. GAAP (General Accepted Accounting Principles) in comparison to IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards). For most of our international employees, this leads to getting your license as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). This may seem intimidating, but you’ll get the help you need along the way. Not only will you work with a network of professionals that can guide and assist you, but the firm will help pay for study materials, if you choose to become a licensed CPA.


Frank Breitenfeldt, Partner, on whether or not he would recommend moving to the USA:

“Absolutely. It may be tough in the first couple of years to adapt to U.S. GAAP and learn another set of accounting rules. However, even if you do not stay permanently, the time in the USA is well spent for your personal career.”


At Rödl & Partner, you get to combine your German background with the knowledge you learn in the USA.  Since we serve an foreign-inbound clients, you’ll utilize both skill sets daily—something rewarding for our clients and yourself.
 

Christian Hock, Associate Partner, on how a German background helps your career:
“A lot!! Obviously, being German makes one predestined to become a business developer. But it helps on a daily basis when communicating with clients and building relationships with German management here and in Germany.”


 

 3. Network

Even though connecting with professionals can take just a few clicks of the mouse nowadays, a virtual relationship does not come close to the depth of quality in the connections you can forge in person. Building these connections strengthens and furthers your career as your network grows from regional to international.  
 

Gabriele Soll, Manager, on her most feared concern with working in the USA:
“I feared that it would be hard to feel fully integrated and at home in the USA, but I find it a very open and welcoming culture where everyone can find their place if they are willing to embrace the local way of life.”


At Rödl & Partner USA, we speak a total of 27 languages—we pride ourselves on our vast international network. Joining this network means you have a wide variety of experiences and knowledge available to you. Whether it’s understanding an U.S. GAAP policy or getting a recommendation for a good restaurant, there are people here that can assist you because they’ve been through it too.


Miriam Kroll, Associate, on how working with other Germans helped her transition:
“On the one hand in personal matters, they know about finding a doctor/apartment for the first time. Workwise, they sometimes help translate or explain things from a German standpoint and being able to transition things between the two tax systems.”

 

 

 4. Competition

In the USA, German accounting professionals are scarce, whereas in Germany, there are many. You automatically become more competitive by moving to the USA. By the time you combine the knowledge you gain from the experience, the international industry experience you gain, and the network you grow, you will truly standout.


Frank Breitenfeldt, Partner, on the opportunities he found in the USA vs in Germany:
“Transaction Services is an English dominated exercise, even in the German Mittelstand. My English language skills were not well developed when I came to the USA. As such, I may not have made it to Partner in a German based company without that international background.”





At Rödl & Partner, we want to set you up for success and see you grow your career with us. What you can find here is a pathway and a promise that we’re going to make your move worth it. We value what you’re bringing to the team, and we hope to reward you for it. 


Christian Haverney, Associate Partner, on whether or not he would recommend moving to the USA:
“Yes, Rödl & Partner is a large German firm that allows for an abundance of career developments in a country where professional commitment and performance are highly valued.”
 

 

5. Memories
Although it sounds cheesy, moving to the USA is an irreplaceable experience filled with memory-making moments. It’s not just about your career—it’s also about enjoying the journey and the people you meet along the way. Whether that’s seizing the opportunity to travel the USA or starting a family here, you can feel at home here.


 Jasmin Breuer Griffin, Associate, on what she gained from moving to the USA:
“I have gained a lot of new friends and also met my husband here. With Rödl & Partner, I also have an employer that supports me in any way, personal or work related, so that I can do my job as best as I can.
Living in the U.S. also helps me improve my English every day.”

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Priscilla Dowling

CPA

Partner

+1 404 525 2600

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