If this year has taught us anything so far, it’s that the ability to work from home is more important than ever. And it appears that a majority of accountancy professionals agree. Hays talk us through some of the salary and benefit trends that we may see in the coming months.

Employers facing hiring challenges

Four out of five (83%) accountancy and finance employers say they have experienced some form of skills shortage last year. Over two thirds (67%) found it hard to recruit permanent staff last year and 44% have struggled to hire temporary staff.

Almost two thirds (60%) are anticipating a shortage of suitable applicants to be a top hiring challenge this year.

Skills shortages dampen productivity

Almost a quarter (23%) of employers do not think their organisation has the talent needed to achieve current business objectives, and negative impacts from a lack of skills are being felt on productivity (46%), employee morale (42%) and the ability to deliver projects (40%).

Soft skills in demand amongst employers include communication and interpersonal skills (65%), problem-solving (57%) and flexibility and adaptability (46%).

Salary rises aren’t enough to retain staff

Almost two thirds (65%) of professionals say they are satisfied with their salary, but this is not necessarily enough to retain staff. Over the last year, 36% moved jobs, and a further 41% considered doing so. Whereas last year salary was the main driver for employee movement, a lack of career progression is now the main reason professionals left their last job (27%).

Flexible working is a key differentiator

Aside from salary, work-life balance (including flexible working) is the most important factor for over a third (34%) of professionals when considering a new role. Home or remote working is the most sought-after flexible working option (61%), which is particularly high compared to the UK average of 50%.

In line with this, the most popular benefit jobseekers look for is having over 28 days’ paid annual leave (57%). Offering a mix of generous holiday allowance with options to work remotely could therefore act as a strong differentiator for employers facing hiring challenges.

2020 UK Salaries for Accounting and Finance

Roles Salary Range
Accounts Assistant £18,500-25,000
Junior Auditor £31,000-40,000
Auditor (Newly Qualified) £27,500-52,000
Financial Accountant £38,500-58,000
Financial Director £85,000-155,000

Data from the Hays salary survey

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