Our 2020 accountancy salary guides indicate that the non-qualified and part-qualified accountancy jobs market remains strong with average salaries increasing across most regions.
We have seen periods of stagnation followed by spans of very strong performance, with these cycles driven by general economic uncertainty. Currently we are seeing strong market performance, which we hope continues throughout 2020. However, given the recent cycles affecting the sector, we would not be surprised to see continuing fluctuations of performance.
A key area of evolution across non-qualified and part-qualified accountancy is the rise of new systems. With accountancy now extending far beyond traditional spreadsheets, the candidates that are most in demand are those who can demonstrate systems skills and knowledge.
This changing technology is also affecting roles in the sector. Payroll is undergoing some interesting changes, with most workers doing far more than simply processing pay. Since the introduction of RTI and auto-enrolment, the payroll function has evolved to suit employees who have greater technical skills and can add value to the business.
The Reed Accountancy and Finance Salary Guide 2020 highlights some of the key trends in the UK accountancy industry over the last 12 months and looks to give insight into emerging patterns for 2021.
Using data gathered from 2.7 million jobs posted last year on reed.co.uk, the guide provides a comprehensive picture for some of the most prominent jobs in the industry.
It looks at the sector across 12 UK regions and contains wage information on roles such as; bookkeeper, assistant accountant, payroll manager, and credit controller.
Assistant accountants in London have seen a wage increase of 6.6%, but a decrease of 3.4% for accounts receivable managers has occurred over the last year in the capital. The North West has seen the greatest growth in salaries overall, with a 5.7% increase, versus 3.2% average UK growth.
In Northern Ireland, payroll managers are up by 3.5%, while accounts payable managers in the South East are being paid, on average, 3.8% less than last year. Yorkshire and Humberside remains strong with a consistent salary increase in almost all roles across the sector. Payroll assistants in the region have increased by 9.8%, and there has been an increase of 5.9% for credit controllers.
Scotland has seen a consistent growth in salaries across most roles. Assistant accountants in Scotland have seen a 9.9% salary increase over the last year, while payroll assistants have gone up by 7.7%.
However, businesses need to focus on an attractive package to attract the best talent. Salary is no longer the sole deciding factor for accountancy professionals. Flexible working has become a key consideration for employees - whether this is remote working or hours which correspond with their lifestyle and values.
Softer benefits are an important consideration. The work environment, company culture, bonuses and equity are all part of an overall package which candidates are seeking. Investing in these, rather than just focusing on salaries, is key to attracting and retaining the best workers.