Salary Survey 2015 shows improving picture for CAs

By Robert Outram, The CA magazine

11 June 2015

Growth and increased confidence in the economy is leading to better prospects for the accountancy profession, according to a survey of CAs.

More than one in five (21.9%) of CAs polled in The CA magazine's salary survey expects to change jobs within the next 12 months.

The annual survey, based on responses from more than 1,100 ICAS members, also found that 37.9% had received an above-inflation pay rise in the past 12 months (25.4% had seen pay rise in line with inflation, while 23.5% saw no increase).

Pay rise

Easing of "austerity measures" in the profession appears to be continuing as economic conditions improve for many ICAS members. Only 20% reported a pay freeze in their organisation (2014: 26%) and 24% said reduced bonuses were in effect (2014: 33%).

Of those surveyed, 15.1% said they were 'very happy' with their current remuneration and 67.9% were 'happy'.

ICAS has a growing international membership and this year's survey has been widened to reflect this.

Internationally based members were more likely to have received an above-inflation pay rise over the past year (35% did so) and they were marginally more likely to be "very satisfied" with their remuneration (18%, compared with 15%).

International Members 

On the other hand, 18% of international members described their work/life balance as "poor" (UK: 13%), perhaps reflecting a different approach to holidays and working hours in some overseas environments.

Salary survey: work life balance 

In the UK, the highest salaries were, not surprisingly, to be found in London and the south east of England (averaging £140,718), while Lothian, Borders, Central & Tayside (Scotland) averaged £72,294 and the west of Scotland averaged £68,746.

Salaries for CAs in the EU (other than the UK) kept pace with London (£140,979) and North America (£205,904) while the highest average salaries were to be found in Asia (with the majority of CAs being based in Hong Kong).

The CA's editor, Robert Outram, commented: "With growing confidence in the economy, CAs are becoming increasingly aware of their value in the jobs market and this is likely to create more movement over the next 12 months."

Wish list

The survey also asked CAs to place the benefits in their 'wish list' in order of preference. The top five were:

  1. Pension: Defined benefit
  2. Pension: Defined contribution
  3. More paid leave
  4. Private healthcare
  5. Health insurance

The CA Salary Survey was carried out in association with Wilkinson & Associates, a key recruitment partner of, the official online recruitment platform of ICAS.

Job change

Reasons for changing job

X Factor

Austerity chart

Salary Averages Table


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