Life is tough on the front line of accountancy. For more than five years, our intrepid correspondent has been bringing us news and views from a typical West Country practice.
Staff, who'd have them?
Up until now the team in my office have been looking fairly content. After all, in these difficult economic times they all still have jobs, and the trainees have had a small pay rise.
At least, until now. Unfortunately I can't block access to AccountingWEB and sooner or later someone is going to quote this latest article to me. Apparently "most" accountants had hoped for a 13.5% pay increase! Not down here in the West Country they didn't. And "basic pay" is now £59,900 on average, with bonuses of 17% of basic pay in 2011! I guess if you base a survey on the London staff of the Big Four firms you'd get something like this. Down here things are VERY different.
I remember settling down in this part of the country for the same reasons many of my team are still here - quality of life, lifestyle, environment, etc. Yes, they and I could go and seek better pay (and worse conditions) in Exeter, Bristol or even London - but we chose not to, and our incomes reflect that decision.
But at least my team enjoy job security, rewarding and very varied work, and potential to advance and expand their careers.
So I hope they stay, because if need to replace anyone and candidates and recruiters are expecting the sort of salary levels mentioned in this article, we're all in big trouble!