Accountancy Age put a survey out to its audience asking them about their salary and benefits, along with other factors such as the level they are working at, their location, and whether they work in industry or practice in order to compare salaries across the profession.
We found that UK accountants earn a desirable average annual salary of £62,042, but the survey also highlighted several issues regarding pay in the industry.
1. The gender pay gap
The overall gender pay gap in accountancy is 21.5%, which is 3.1% higher than the national average gender pay gap of 18.4%.
However, the gender pay gap in industry is much higher, at 24.4%. The average annual salary for male industry accountants is £73,957 compared with £57,893 for women. The gap is slightly less in practice, at 19.2%, but this still leaves women £10,236 worse off a year than men.
2. Industry earns more than practice
Industry accountants earn an average of £68,004 a year while accountants in practice, including the Big Four, earn £55,030.
Equally, accountants working in industry earn the value of £13,499 in other financial benefits compared with £4,094 a year for practice accountants. These benefits include things like pension, cash bonus, health care, and car allowance.
3. Regional difference is high
There is a huge 63.3% difference between the highest and lowest paid UK region.
London accounting jobs pay an average of £79,207 base salary while accountants working in Wales earn £41,129, which is a considerable difference even taking into account the costs of living in both areas.
4. The pay gap widens with progression
Women earn more than men at part-qualified level, with the former being paid £28,901 and the latter £28,525.
However, the pay gap swings in favour of men from qualified level and upwards. Newly qualified male accountants earn £39,790 while women at this level earn £36,019. At senior level, in roles like partner, women get paid an average of £14,214 less than men a year.
5. Most people believe their salaries are below average
The majority of people believed their current salaries we below average. When looking at the gender split, however, the majority of men thought their salaries were in line with the average, whereas almost half of the women believed theirs to be below average.
This said, 59% of respondents believed their salaries to be fair. A large majority believed their company operates an equal pay policy, with only 21% saying theirs didn’t.
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