Accountancy Salaries: Are You Paid Below Market Rate?

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Currently, the demand for professional accountants is increasing at a phenomenal rate. The Great Resignation in the last couple of years and massive skill shortages have created a competitive landscape for employers. Accountancy professionals now have more opportunities available to them from a huge range of different companies and clients.

Yet, many accountancy professionals are still underpaid even in the current market.

According to the Labour Market Outlook Report for 2022, though pay expectations have begun increasing in the accountancy landscape, companies are still struggling to deliver fair salaries to their accountancy employees.

Some are attempting to fill the gaps with additional perks and benefits, while others simply hold onto the hope that their team members might not know what their skills are worth. While there’s certainly more to finding the perfect job than choosing a role with the right remuneration package, accountants without a clear understanding of fair market rates could miss out on opportunities to increase their earnings.

The Problems with Low Accountancy Salaries

Every employee deserves a salary that represents their worth and value. Naturally, as demand for accountancy professionals has increased, the money they can expect to earn should also grow. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

Employers from all sectors strive to keep costs low as they deal with the impact of recessions, inflation, and supply chain issues. However, this leads to problematic remuneration options for accountancy employees, who also need to ensure their salaries are enough to help them withstand evolving challenges with the cost of living.

While the current recession may not have been as impactful as expected, the cost of living still rises. Around two million homeowners in the UK are expected to see an instant rise in their monthly repayment due to increasing mortgage interest costs. Renters aren’t immune to the issues either, as landlords begin to charge higher prices to retain their profits.

While salaries have grown in many sectors since the pandemic, including in the accountancy landscape, numerous professionals are still underpaid and unaware of how unfair their remuneration packages might be.

The Signs You May be Underpaid in Your Accountancy Role

While some companies hiring accountants are taking steps to better compensate their staff members, many are reliant on the fact that employees who aren’t looking around for other jobs and opportunities may not know what they are now worth on the open market.

There are even companies out there that attempt to prevent their employees from discussing their compensation with other team members; it’s little wonder Harvard Business Review found that most employees don’t know whether they’re paid fairly or not.

Here are some signs you may be underpaid in your accountancy role:

  • Your responsibilities have increased, but your salary has stayed the same.
  • You haven’t had any discussions about salary increases with managers in some time.
  • Your salary doesn’t reflect any specialist training or education.
  • Your manager hasn’t adjusted your salary based on inflation or cost of living changes.
  • You’re noticing that more recent accountancy hires are earning more money.
  • Your company is growing, but you haven’t seen any benefits personally.

In some cases, you might discover your colleagues are being paid more or that they’re being offered additional benefits and perks to make up for a lower base salary.

The Importance of Salary Benchmarking

One of the main reasons accountancy professionals struggle with salaries that don’t represent their skillset for so long is that they don’t do their research.

If you’ve been happy in your role for some time, you may not have considered looking into other opportunities that are available, which could mean you don’t have a clear view of the salaries now being offered in the accountancy sector.

However, even if you’re not planning on changing roles soon, it’s worth ensuring you have a good understanding of what people in your position command regarding remuneration.

Salary benchmarking involves gathering information about the common payment options and benefits available to individuals in your industry.

Logically your finance recruiter will be able to give you more detail than anyone else. Plus, using Google, you can get a good idea of the average salary offered to accountants in your position and geography.

Here are some quick tips to make sure you’re generating an accurate benchmark:

  • Leverage various resources: Take advantage of different resources, such as job postings on accountancy forums, market data, and industry reports to get a clear view of the salaries being offered. Create an “average” number based on the information you find.
  • Remember the value of experience: Keep in mind entry-level roles and positions for more experienced accounting professionals generally have different salaries. You may deserve greater remuneration if you have more field experience or responsibilities.
  • Consider benefits outside of salary: It’s also worth looking at the other factors which make up a fair remuneration package for an accountancy professional. Ensuring you’re being offered the right perks and benefits and potentially flexible working is crucial when determining whether you’re underpaid.

Earn the Salary You Deserve

At a time when demand for skilled accountancy pros is greater than ever, no one should have to accept a salary that’s lower than what they are worth. Although it can be tempting to stick with the same employer if you’re comfortable in your role, it’s worth thinking about alternative opportunities if your salary and benefits don’t match what’s available elsewhere.

Speaking to a recruitment professional in the accountancy landscape can give you an excellent way to pinpoint the average salary for someone with your specific skills and experience. Using this information, you can decide whether you want to approach your boss and discuss opportunities to raise your income or start searching for a new job.



About Rebus Financial Recruitment

Rebus Financial Recruitment provides a specialist and focused recruitment service to its customers, which historically range from various organisations, including SMEs, to large PLCs.

We strive to offer both the client and candidate a seamless recruitment experience. Using our expertise, we get to the heart of employer and employee needs, and, in doing so, we match the two perfectly. To find out more, get in contact with one of our team today, or you can call us on 01282 930930.

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