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CA pay situation improving

06/03/14

Chartered accountants (CAs) have seen their pay situation improve in recent months as UK businesses respond to the improved economic situation across the country by reducing their austerity measures.

However, many have still seen rates of inflation outflank their salary increases, according to a new report published by CA Magazine.

The news provider surveyed some 1,500 professionals in England, Wales and Scotland, with four in ten admitting that their overall pay package has not kept up with the pace of inflation and the jump in living costs over the last five years.

On the bright side, three-quarters of respondents recorded either a pay increase or an end to pay freezes recently.

Of those who did enjoy a boost in salary over the last 12 months, the median increase was between 2.1 per cent and 3.1 per cent, while 26 per cent saw their income remain stable throughout the year.

Worryingly, just ten per cent of those surveyed were very satisfied with their current levels of remuneration, although 65 per cent recorded themselves as being satisfied. This has remained largely static from last year's equivalent survey.

Some 40 per cent would pursue a new job "if the right opportunity came up" and nine per cent are "actively seeking" a new job.

Robert Outram, editor of The CA, argued that the figures reflected a mood of "cautious optimism" within the sector.

"Even so, more than four in ten of CAs in the survey believe their pay has not kept pace with the cost of living, so if growth does match expectations there will be pressure to improve packages or risk losing staff," he added.

Salary levels remain relatively impressive for financial directors - the median level was between £100,000 and £150,000, reaching £200,000 to £300,000 in companies with fewer than 50 overall employees.

Just under half of CAs surveyed worked more than 54 hours a week, highlighting the pressure often involved in a finance role.

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