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Accountants’ Pay Bolstered by 53% Rise in Bonuses


The latest data from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and recruitment specialist, Global Accounting Network, has found that growth in bonuses is outstripping average salary increases as organisations prioritise retaining top accounting talent.

While average salaries increased by 1.9% this year – rising from £62,791 in 2015 to £63,991 – average bonuses increased from 8% of annual salary to 12% over the same period. This represents an average increase from £5,023 in 2015 to £7,679 in 2016, or 52.9%. The proportion of professionals who receive a bonus on top of their annual salary remains largely stable at 68%.

While average annual salaries for CIMA members increased nationally, there are notable variations in terms of region. Unsurprisingly, the highest annual salaries in the UK remain in London, where a year-on-year increase of 3.5% means that accounting professionals now take home an average of £77,174. However, Wales enjoyed the largest increase in percentage points, with average salaries increasing by 8.7% to £52,572.

In the Republic of Ireland average salaries increased by 26% to reach €102,243. The fall in the value of Stirling means that, in November 2016, this is equivalent to £88,663. In January 2016 this figure would have equated to £78,048.

Average salaries also fluctuated significantly between professional sectors. CIMA members working within banking enjoyed the highest average salary at £85,553. Other sectors which offer salaries above the mean average include construction & property (£74,573), media & marketing (£67,162) and technology (£66,873). CIMA Members working within the accountancy sector reported the lowest average salary at £50,877.

Commenting on the findings, Adrian O’ Connor, Founding Partner at the Global Accounting Network, said:

“A national shortage of outstanding qualified management accountants means that the retention of talent is becoming increasingly important for organisations. This data confirms that employers are incentivising great performers with larger bonuses to ensure that they stick around.”

“The value of annual salaries across various sectors and regions is largely unsurprising. In-house roles typically offer more attractive remuneration packages than public practice firms and the concentration of global organisations in the capital means that salaries in London are generally higher.”

“What is perhaps more unexpected is the significant increase in average pay in the Republic of Ireland. The Irish government’s Industrial Development Authority (IDA) is actively promoting Dublin as an attractive hub for UK and US based companies who want a presence within the EU. It seems that this increase in business activity has created a spike in demand in 2016 which has subsequently driven up wages. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues if and when there is more certainty in global markets.”