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With the job market displaying encouraging signs for this years’ graduates, this article is designed to enable you to take a look at what you could earn in the early stages of your accountancy career. Read on for analysis of accountancy recruitment activity and an outline of the standard trainee benefits package.

Graduate accountancy vacancies were up a whopping 12.3% last year and accountancy is expected to remain one of the largest sectors of graduate recruitment in 2016. Although this figure comes along with a noticeable rise in the number of graduates turning down or reneging on job offers that they had previously accepted, meaning that over 1,000 graduate positions were left unfilled last year, reducing the graduate intake at almost a third of the UK’s leading employers.
Vacancies for newly qualified accountants are in the most abundance, with practices looking to cement head count in a healthier economy. The average starting salary for graduates in accounting remains high and has risen to £30,300 this year.
Benefits vary greatly across firms. Larger accounting firms offer a flexible package, which can be adjusted to suit the needs of the individual. These policies usually take the form of a ‘benefits fund’, which is either paid in cash on top of salary or can be used to purchase additional benefits. Benefits include extra holiday, private healthcare, retail vouchers, dental care, childcare vouchers, differing levels of life insurance and travel insurance.
The mid-tier firms tend to offer similar packages of flexible benefits, but this will vary.
Below manager grade, the typical benefits for those who are studying or have studied one of the main accounting qualifications are:

  • 20-25 days’ holiday
  • Pension
  • Life assurance
  • Private healthcare
  • Death in service
  • Study support (for part qualified staff)
  • No overtime.



NQ*-3 Years’ PQE**

4-7 Years’ PQE


Technical Accounting £55,000-£76,000 £71,750-£97,750


Financial Accounting £45,500-£63,500 £63,500-£78,750


Regulatory Accounting £55,250-£78,500 £65,500-£93,500


Management Accounting/
Financial Planning & Analysis
£47,750-£72,250 £63,250-£84,250


Internal Audit £52,750-£69,250 £65,500-£83,500


Fund Accounting £49,750-£60,750 £65,250-£83,750


*NQ: Newly Qualified. **PQE: Post Qualified Experience
Source: Robert Half, 2016 Salary Guide. Based on London salaries.

About the Author

  • Name: Abigail Page

Abigail made partner at Gibbons Mannington & Phipps at 26 and is now a general practice partner in a three office Chartered Accountancy Practice based in the South East. A qualified Chartered Accountant with the ICAEW (ACA) and Chartered Tax Advisor (CTA), Abigail provides technical advice to clients on Income Tax, CGT, IHT and Corporate Tax as well as providing accounting services to individuals, trusts and businesses.

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