Bleak outlook for accountant salaries, research finds

Accounting and finance recruiter Hays has warned accountants not to expect a large pay rise this year.

According to the 2015 Hays Salary Guide, released today, just 22 per cent of accountancy and finance professionals can expect a salary increase of 3 per cent or more in their next review while the vast majority (65 per cent) will receive an increase of less than that.

However, accounting professionals indicated they have much higher hopes for their next salary increase. Less than half of all accountants (47 per cent) said they expect a salary increase of less than 3 per cent, while 25 per cent expect a rise of between 3 and 6 per cent and 8 per cent expect to receive a boost of 6 per cent or more.

The Hays Salary Guide also indicated demand for accounting talent will vary across industries with financial services one sector expected to experience growth, according to Lynne Roeder, regional director of Hays Accountancy and Finance.

“The industries with the most growth in demand for accounting and finance talent have been IT, technology, financial services and banking. The construction and property sectors are booming too and the demand for accountants is definitely strong. We expect demand for talent in all these industries to continue to increase across the country,” she said.

Ms Roeder said some employers will use this year to transition away from higher levels of temporary and contract roles back to more permanent positions and the majority will keep salaries steady.

According to Ms Roeder, 27 per cent of employers also expect an increased staff turnover.

“The willingness of candidates to change jobs and of employers to expand permanent headcount helps to explain why 45 per cent will scale back their use of temporary and contract roles in the year ahead. This is a significant shift from last year (when just 13 per cent said their use of temporary and contract staff would decline) and it reflects employer confidence.

“Salaries will remain stable during this transition period, although long-term we will start to see a broader pick-up in salaries," Ms Roeder said.

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