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As 2020 began, Brexit was the great unknown, the surrounding uncertainty permeating all areas of business – and there’s no doubt that included discussions about remuneration. We take a look at the highs and lows of salaries in the UK accountancy world.

Much of the available salary data and insight on recruitment for accountancy and finance would have been collected in the run-up to the global pandemic and subsequent lockdown. Even so, there was already plenty of uncertainty for companies then: employers have found it difficult to hire qualified staff to fill rising vacancies in key areas, and people were willing to move on in search of higher salaries and better benefits – forcing employers to make counter-offers to keep existing talent. In most areas, there was a salary uplift on the previous year, for general employees as well as FDs and CFOs.

Who knows where COVID-19 will leave the profession at the end of 2021. Demands for flexible working have been met at the sharp end out of necessity. We will have to wait to see if recruitment difficulties remained or improved, or were made worse, or whether rising stars became more or less risk-averse around moving on or demanding higher salaries at a time of uncertainty.

Average salaries in the UK

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Growth areas

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Pay tracker

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Salaries by region

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The job market in numbers

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Related resources

The ICAEW Library & Information Service provides full text access to leading business, finance and management journals. Further reading on accounting salaries is available through the articles and survey links below.
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  • Update History
    14 Oct 2020 (12: 00 AM BST)
    First published
    26 Apr 2023 (12: 00 AM BST)
    Page updated with Related resources section, adding further reading on accounting salary surveys and workplace benefits. These new articles provide fresh data on this topic. Please note that the original article from 2020 has not undergone any review or updates.