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Do accountants really earn 64K with a 11K bonus

Do accountants really earn 64K with a 11K bonus

I saw a recent salary stating an average accountants salary was 64K with a 11K bonus. 

Most Accountants Salary seem to be around the 45K mark and no bonus.  I know it depends on where you live and there would be some regional variation but perhaps no more than 10K between London and other parts of the country ?

There seems a widespread perception that accountants earn a lot of money some do but most don't even when qualified with several years experience behind them.  There was quite a lot of media coverage on accountants salary and was even mentioned in some national newspapers. 

Would be interested in your views


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By blok
08th Feb 2013 15:52


the definition of "accountant" is just too wide for the figure to have any great significance.

is it -

accountant in practice (tax or audit or general practice) , industry (family business, ftse 100 company) , qualified, unqualified?

more generally though - i would have thought that if it was an employee aged 40 in GP  , the figure seems a little high.

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08th Feb 2013 15:59

accountancy age jobs

The accountancy age job sites stratifies positions advertised in £10K increments. Yo can see the spread of jobs advertised in each band.

I think you are correct, and would place £64K as well above average in terms of advertised postitions.

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08th Feb 2013 16:56


I was 'promised' a starting salary of £16,000 on graduation; it actually took me 4 years to get to that salary (by which time I should add I was ACCA qualified).

Ok, so I'm a tad of a pushover, but I'm far from alone (I've worked at places where the top managers were on £30k and the bottom rung (ranging from school leavers to AAT/part qualifieds) earned minimum wage to £12k.


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By sash100
08th Feb 2013 17:15

Average Salary

The only accountants I know that would get a package of anything approaching 75K-80K would be either a financial controller in a large organisation or a finance director perhaps in a medium size organisation.  

Sure, there are other accountants earning 64K + but i assume they would have been in the same company for years and have become somewhat indispensable.

In practice the salaries are even lower than industry accountants.  I just cannot see how this average has been arrived.  Though I see salary surveys by numerous employment agencies and yet they quote salaries of 60K.  I just cannot work this out.






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By Flash Gordon
08th Feb 2013 17:22


Well I only get £7.5k salary and no bonus so I feel really underpaid now!

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08th Feb 2013 17:29

Lucky you!

Flash Gordon wrote:

Well I only get £7.5k salary and no bonus so I feel really underpaid now!

£12 more than me!

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08th Feb 2013 18:41

Kent and Flash

Give yourselves a payrise.  I earn c £633 per month, ie £7600.  Yes my employer will have to pay a small amount of ers NIC but no ees nic, so it is still worthwhile.  (sad to say I have done the sums).

And no, I don't do this for most of my clients because telling them all to pay a few £ of ers NIC in March would be too tedious, so unless they have other staff who have paye and nic deductions, I put them on £7488.

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08th Feb 2013 18:54

Leave no stone unturned...

taxhound wrote:

Give yourselves a payrise.  I earn c £633 per month, ie £7600.  Yes my employer will have to pay a small amount of ers NIC but no ees nic, so it is still worthwhile.  (sad to say I have done the sums).

Well done TH!

I'm ok, manage to boost my income with rental income from renting part of my home to the business and having a generous employer who pays 45p for ALL business mileage.

I also get a decent subsistence allowance when visiting clients :)

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09th Feb 2013 16:51

I started on £3,250 ....

28 years ago so I thing I've done well to more than double that now! I can still remember the day I got a £11,500 pay increase in my industry job ...1999 .. the bubble would surely never burst ... doh!!!!

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10th Feb 2013 17:45

Well I started on ...

... £260 pa.

Mind you, I was straight from school and it was quite some time ago.

And I had to pay 9/- per week (45p to you youngsters) for National Insurance.

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10th Feb 2013 19:19

Getting back to the OP

@sash100 - if you are a qualified accountant running your own practice as a sole practitioner with either no staff, 1/2 staff and a full workload, then a remuneration package equivalent to the net pay you would receive with a £75k salary is very achievable.

Even if you only receive a £7,488 salary :)


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By sash100
10th Feb 2013 23:17

75K would be a dream

Actually, I have set up my own practice recently and I am probably only 70K away from that figure at the moment :-)

Still, what is really annoying when employment agencies quote average salaries that give an impression to the public that accountants are overpaid when most only earn much less with absolutely zero bonus and often work long hours.  I bet such publicity will mean an influx of more wannabe accountants in an already saturated market resulting in many people being disappointed when such salary expectations are not met

Not many management / financial accountants reach a salary of 50K let alone having a package of 75K plus.

Would be interested in others views.





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11th Feb 2013 08:13

My wife has been recruiting accountants recently ...

for an international financial accounting role based down here on the isle of wight. I have helped review CV's and I would say that most were in the £60 - £80k band.

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11th Feb 2013 10:07

Realistic in some situations ....


Don't know about the bonus but £60K + is not unreasonable for someone (accountant) working in London for one of the big 5

Was getting £65K + car etc. in 1998 when working for one of these firms years ago - so what would that be if you bring it up to date for 2013?

World of difference between own practice, industry & the big 5 - also massive differential in charge out rates - don't forget partners in these firms are £4/500K +

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By sash100
11th Feb 2013 12:08

Talking about averages

JC - Yes agreed such salaries are paid especially in London but these surveys state "average salaries"

If you go to the any of the accountancy recruitment websites. Outside London, there would be hardly any salaries around 60K mark. 


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By redman7
11th Feb 2013 13:13


well I seem to be moving backwards!

I hit a peak in 2008 when I was FD for a small listed media group and I was on more than the discussed figure of £75k then (at the age of 28!), but then in my next role I had to take a step backwards and dropped my salary by 20% to get a decent role (essentially I was overpaid in the previous role). And now I am running my own practice I can't imagine getting back up to these figures for many years, if at all!

to be fair if I was staying in industry, once you have 5+ years experience in FC / FD roles you should be going for £75k + if not more and once you get to that level it's all up for negotiation really...



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By sash100
11th Feb 2013 23:53

Too many accountants

The fact of the matter is there are also too many qualified accountants which has additional pressure on earnings.  Most companies seem to be paying 10-15% less compared to the period before the financial crisis.

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