The Hays Salary & Recruiting Trends 2023 guide surveyed over 2,000 employers and professionals across accountancy and finance sector; the results depicted a positive outlook for professionals in 2023, with 94% of employers stating that their organisation’s performance is set to increase or stay the same within the year.

Moreover, 62% of accountancy and finance employers plan to hire new staff in 2023, a slight increase on last year’s figures (60%) and the year before that (54%).

Competition for skills persists

Many industries are currently facing skill shortages and the accountancy and finance sector is no exception. Majority (90%) of employers faced skill shortages in 2022, which is up 10% from the year before that.

Therefore, the competition for skills is considerable with 63% of employers expecting to face competition from other employers; a slight increase from last year (60%). Hiring challenges are believed to be here to stay, with four in five respondents (81%) anticipating a shortage for suitable applicants over the coming year, a significant increase from 67% who said the same last year.

Soft skills, which are transferable across a range of roles, are arguably more important than ever. Employers cite the most sought-after soft skills as:

  • Communication and interpersonal skills (needed by 63% of employers)
  • The ability to adopt change (52%)
  • The ability to learn (47%)
  • Flexibility and adaptability (47%)

Salaries continue to rise

As a result of the on-going cost of living due to inflation, many professionals are unsurprisingly concerned about their salary covering the extra costs. Our research shows that 89% of accountancy and finance employers raised pay in the last year, increasing from 64% the year before.

On a positive note for accountancy and finance professionals, 86% of employers are expecting to increase their salaries over the coming year, which is considerably higher than the UK average (61%).

Our research found that salaries have increased by an average of 6.5% over the last year. In terms of specific roles, qualified accountants and in-house tax experts within SME organisations saw significant increases to their salary (9% and 8.5% respectively).

However, the top reason accountancy and finance professionals left their last job was cited as a too low salary (32%) and half of respondents (50%) said they would be tempted to move jobs for a better salary and benefits package.

Flexible working crucial for attracting talent

Our guide highlighted that aside from salary, work-life balance is a top priority for accountancy and finance professionals today, as 41% cited it as the most important factor after salary. Nearly two-thirds of employees (61%) see their work-life balance as above average, which is an improvement on last year (57%).

Almost three-quarters (74%) of employers now offer hybrid working and it continues to be the most sought-after working pattern. Our research revealed that 59% of employees plan to find a role that is more of a mix of hybrid working and 63% of those surveyed would be tempted to change employer if they were offered the freedom to choose how many days they were in the office.

Professionals also want to work for organisations with a strong sense of purpose, as 83% say this is important to them when considering a new role.

2023 UK Salaries for Accounting and Finance*
Roles Average Salary
Accounts Assistant £26,270
Junior Auditor £40,082
Auditor (Newly Qualified) £53,008
Financial Accountant £53,716
Financial Director £134,234

*Salaries based on jobs in London. Source: Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2023 Guide.

About the Author

  • Name: Lorraine Twist, Director at Hays

Lorraine Twist, National Director of Professional Services at Hays specialising in Accountancy and Finance, has over 20 years of experience in recruitment, and a wealth of knowledge, expertise and market insights when it comes to the accountancy sector. Lorraine leads the specialist business areas of professional services for accounting firms audit, advisory, business outsourcing, general practice, and tax. She is also responsible for Internal Audit, Risk & Compliance, Tax and Treasury across all sectors in the UK and Ireland.

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