CA pay falls relative to cost of living

Chartered accountants say their overall pay package has not kept pace with the cost of living in the past five years, research by ICAS shows

A survey of more than 1500 accountants in Scotland, England and Wales – conducted by the institute in conjunction with recruitment consultants Wilkinson & Associates – revealed that only half believed that their overall pay package had kept up with living costs over the past year, and just under half said it had remained competitive over the past five years.

However the poll found signs that firms are relaxing their austerity measures as the economic outlook brightens, as three-quarters of respondents reported receiving a pay increase and a fall in pay freezes over the year. This compared with a third (34%) who reported a pay freeze in last year’s survey.

Of those who did see an increase in basic pay, the median increase was in the range 2.1%-3%. Around 10% of respondents described themselves as ‘very satisfied’ with their remuneration and 65% as ‘satisfied’, very similar results to the previous year. While 9% were ‘actively seeking’ a new job, 40% said they would pursue a new job ‘if the right opportunity came up’.

The median salary for a manager in an accountancy firm ranged from just over £40,000 to £60,000, depending on the size of the practice, while as a manager in industry, an accountant could command anywhere between £41,000 in a small business up to £70,000 in a publicly listed company.

Median salary for a financial controller varied from £41,000-£50,000 in a small business up to £71,000-£80,000 in a publicly listed company, and £61,000-£70,000 in the public sector. Meanwhile, for a financial director the median salary was £101,000-£150,000 in a business with fewer than 50 employees, up to £201,000-£299,000 in a publicly listed company.

Ian Wilkinson, director at Wilkinson & Associates, said: ‘The jobs market for accountants is presenting a mixed but improving picture, and a sustained recovery is far from certain, but there are signs now that employers are realising they have to take the right steps to attract and retain staff.’

Pat Sweet |Reporter, Accountancy Daily [2010-2021]

Pat Sweet was the former online reporter at Accountancy Daily and contributor to the monthly Accountancy magazine, pub...

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