Big Four’s average bonus pay gap hits 51%

Recently published gender pay gap data shows Big Four firm, PwC, as the worst performer while smaller firm, Bishop Fleming, comes out on top with the lowest mean pay gap out of the top 25 accounting firms although average bonus data shows a large disparity across the profession, reports Amy Austin

PwC has the worst median and mean gender pay gap out of the top 25 accounting firms who are required to submit data by law at 34.4% and 33.1% respectively, with the Big Four’s mean bonus pay gap standing at 51.4%, according to government data.

Out of the Big Four, PwC and KPMG have the widest mean and median gender pay gap. KPMG has a median gap of 22.1% and its mean gap is 22.3%. However it is the Big Four’s bonus payments that show the largest disparity, with an overall median bonus gap of 42.7% and a mean bonus gap of 51.4%.

PwC again leads with the largest mean bonus gap of 58.6% followed by Deloitte (52.2%), KPMG (51.3%) and EY (43.5%).

The firms have previously stated that the discrepancy is pay is due to there being more men in senior roles than women.  Government data shows that men account for 63.3% of the top roles at PwC, this compare to 64% at Deloitte, 64.5% at EY and 66.8% at KPMG.

The Big Four have also voluntarily reported their partner pay gaps. Deloitte’s mean partner pay gap stands at 13.8%, EY’s is 14.6%, KPMG’s figures show a 12% gap at partner level and PwC reports 17.1%.

Big Four mean and median gender pay gaps are as follows:

Firm

Mean hourly (%)

Median hourly (%)

Mean bonus (%)

Median bonus (%)

PwC

33.1

34.4

58.6%

67.1

Deloitte

17

12.1

52.2

41.2

EY

19.7

14.8

43.5

35.25

KPMG

22.3

22.1

51.3

27.6

Average

23

20.8

51.4

42.7

Out of the top 25 accounting firms who have reported, Bishop Fleming has the smallest mean gap at 7% and Menzies has the smallest median gap at 0%. Bishop Fleming, MacIntyre Hudson, Saffery Champness and RSM all have median bonus pay gaps of 0%.

The worst performers among the firms outside the Big Four are Begbies Traynor with a mean pay gap of 30.3% and Grant Thornton whose gap is 26.5%.

The overall average mean bonus gap drops to 43.1% when comparing the top 25 firms and the median also drops to 28.1%.

On 4 April, 10,019 companies with more than 250 employees reported their gender pay gap data as required by law, with 1,000 reporting on the last day, however 1,500 failed to report by the deadline.

The average pay gap across the UK stands at 9.1% but this varies across sectors. Sales and customer services occupations had equal pay in 2017 with the gender gap standing at 3.6%, while in the construction and building trades the gender pay gap is 45.4% in favour of men. For women in the financial sector, expect 36.5% less than males, especially in a financial manager or directorial role, while women in journalism are paid 7.2% less than men.

The sectors with the largest gender pay gaps are construction, finance and insurance, and education. The government results also revealed that almost eight in ten companies (78%) pay men more than women.

The construction sectors’ average median gender pay gap was 25%, followed by finance and insurance at 22%.

Rebecca Hilsenrath, chief executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), said: ‘We're obviously pleased with the rate of reporting, but it is the law, it's not an option. It is the right thing to do, and we will be enforcing against all those organisations which failed to meet the deadline.’

The EHRC will be sending letters to all organisations who failed to report by the deadline on 9 April. These companies will then have 28 days to respond. If they fail to meet the extended deadline then they will face an investigation and possible legal action.

Top 25 accounting firm mean and median gender pay gaps:

Firm

Mean hourly (%)

Median hourly (%)

Mean bonus (%)

Median bonus (%)

PwC

33.1

34.4

58.6

67.1

Deloitte

17

12.1

52.2

41.2

EY

19.7

14.8

43.5

35.2

KPMG

22.3

22.1

51.3

27.6

Grant Thornton

26.5

24.3

51.7

54.5

BDO

18.3

21.2

45.1

25

RSM

16.2

16.7

27.7

0

Smith & Williamson

12.9

15.3

21.4

28.8

Moore Stephens

19.4

19.3

32.4

57.5

Mazars

11.5

2.9

11.6

15.8

PKF Cooper Parry

7.6

3.5

41.7

52.9

Saffery Champness

9.6

3.6

19.8

0

Crowe Clark Whitehill

15.8

10.2

55.1

50

Macintyre Hudson

14.3

12.4

33.6

0

Begbies Traynor

30.3

26.4

88.8

56.7

Wilkins Kennedy

20.7

26.2

73.2

6.2

Kingston Smith

7.3

0

50

50

Menzies

16.4

27.5

8.5

-33

Buzzacott

10.3

20.5

26.2

24.8

Kreston Reeves

16.5

17.6

32.2

4.7

Price Bailey

15.8

18.2

45.5

22.9

Hazlewoods

8.2

10.6

87.5

87.5

Bishop Fleming

7

14

0

0

Duncan & Toplis

19

21.1

77.2

0

Average

16.4

16.4

43.1

28.1

Report by Amy Austin

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