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Salaries and rewards increase in NI accountancy sector

May 25, 2018
With strong FDI investment and expanding home-grown businesses in competition for top accountancy talent, new research shows that Northern Ireland companies are delivering increasingly competitive workplace packages including salary increases, flexible working, bonuses and professional membership.

A Northern Ireland regional salary survey report published by Abacus Professional Recruitment revealed that the accountancy sector saw the highest occurrence of salary increases in 2017, with two thirds of those in accountancy-related roles receiving a pay rise.

Of those working in the sector, practice professionals acquired the highest rate of salary increment with 74% of employees in the category securing a pay raise. Tax professionals followed closely behind, with almost 70% receiving a pay increase last year.

The Abacus Salary Survey assessed data from 200 accountancy professionals, indicating that salary expectations in the sector are also high. Over three quarters of respondents are expecting a basic pay increase in the year ahead of £2,185 on average.

With Northern Ireland's unemployment rates close to a record low, those in high demand areas are benefiting from increasingly attractive benefit packages offered by businesses to attract and retain recruits.

Approximately 43% of professionals now avail of flexible working in Northern Ireland with almost two fifths of the accountancy sector working flexibly. Flexible working includes working from home, receiving time in lieu for working overtime and flexible working around contracted hours. Additionally, over half of those surveyed in the accountancy industry received a bonus last year and over half of newly or part-qualified recruits were provided with study support.

All newly qualified commercial tax professionals surveyed expect a raise in the next year, with current average salaries in the group broadly ranging from £19,000 to £30,000. Financial controllers are the highest earning professionals in the accountancy sector with an average wage of £56,600, almost 180% more than tax technicians.

Justin Rush, Director at Abacus Professional Recruitment, said: "Demand is peaking for professionals across the accountancy sector and the benefits they are receiving have risen in tandem. There is an increasingly rich diversity of professional job roles in Northern Ireland. These offer not only competitive salaries, but highly rewarding career paths with companies also investing significantly in skills development. Benefits in Northern Ireland are moving towards cities like London or Dublin, emphasising how the local employment market is progressing at a fast pace, despite current political concerns, including Brexit and a lack of Executive."
To view the full salary results, click here

Source: Abacus Professional Recruitment.