Accountancy salaries 'to rise' next year as demand for business skills grows

Salary survey
By Isabelle Bell, CA Today

15 October 2015

Starting salaries for accountancy roles are predicted to rise by an average of 2.2 per cent next year, amidst a growing demand for accountants with commercial skills, according to new research.

The Robert Half 2016 Salary Guide found that senior-level accountancy and specialist accountancy roles will see the biggest overall wage increases.

The findings correspond with the recent ICAS 2015 Salary Survey, which reported that 37.9 per cent of CAs had received an above-inflation pay rise in the past 12 months.

Financial analysts will see the highest average rise in wages (4 per cent) in 2016, researchers said. Chief financial officers (3.9 per cent) and finance directors (3.8 per cent) are also predicted to see high salary rises.

Highest wage rises in accountancy and finance


2015 UK average

2016 UK average

% change

Financial analyst

£37,250 - £44,500

£37,500 - £47,500


Chief financial officer

£85,500 - £105,250

£85,750 - £112,500


Finance director

£62,250 - £102,250

£63,250 - £107,500


Source: Robert Half UK

Accountants as business partners

The study found that there is an increasing demand for accounting and finance professionals who can act as "business partners" to drive growth and productivity.

Positions in demand include:

  • Management accountants
  • Financial analysts
  • Fund accountants
  • CFOs and FDs with strategic and commercial skill sets
  • Financial controllers/business partners

Commercial skills required

There is also a clear trend for financial services companies to seek accountants with skills beyond the ability to 'process the numbers', such as business acumen and commercial skills, the study said.

About 92 per cent of CFOs surveyed said they were finding it challenging to source skilled finance professionals.

Accountancy skills in demand:

  • Advanced technology and software skills in Excel/SAP/Sage
  • Commercial abilities/business acumen
  • Business partnering and communication skills
  • Financial modelling
  • Regulatory compliance experience

Phil Sheridan, Senior Managing Director of Robert Half UK, said: "Businesses are actively seeking the skilled professionals they need to achieve their growth goals. With the growing supply and demand imbalance, salaries for specialised roles are expected to rise. Hard-to-fill roles are experiencing higher than average pay rises due to the increased competition for these candidates."

The Robert Half 2016 Salary Guide provides information on starting salaries and recruitment trends in finance and accounting, financial services, information technology and administration.


  • Business
  • Accountancy

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