Opinion

Why do newly qualified accountants now have more power over their salary?

Our latest salary and recruitment survey has shown that the demand for newly qualified accountants, in both commercial and practice, is escalating across our region. Accountancy and finance recruitment is one of our key specialisms and our associate director David Culley explains the impact this has had on salaries in this sector.

 “Our report shows that newly qualified ACCA/ACA accountants in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire are getting the highest wages in our region, with typical annual salaries amounting to £44,000 and £45,000 respectively. While these are higher than neighbouring Essex and Norfolk, we are starting to see salaries increase across all four counties.

“This is because the demand for newly qualified accountants, in both commercial and practice, is escalating. With a narrower talent pool to choose from, accountancy firms are becoming more concerned about missing out on talented professionals. This has shifted the power to candidates and they feel more able to negotiate better salary and benefit packages. Those with ACCA and ACA qualifications especially have been able to leverage higher starting salaries as they already have a greater understanding of the day-to-day duties and responsibilities within an accounts team.

“The candidate short market has also meant that part-qualified accountants are becoming more attractive to employers. Companies are warming to the idea of hiring candidates that are looking to complete their qualifications and advance within a company.

“While this is encouraging news for the economy as a whole, the demand for highly-skilled accountancy professionals is only going to become more challenging for firms. Accountants do tend to have a lower move rate than professionals in other sectors with study support available. But while many opt to stay within their organisation, the candidate-driven market means they are still well-placed to command better salaries over time.”

The salary report uses data sourced from our CompareMySalary tool. This is a unique online tool for candidates and organisations to benchmark salaries and benefits against like-for-like job roles in the region.