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Boom time for accountants as M&As fuel jobs growth and bonuses

  • 11,494 new accountancy roles projected for 2013
  • Resurgence in M&A activity leads to 43% bonus increase for Corporate Finance professionals

Accountancy is facing a hiring boom with 11,494 new roles projected over the course of 2013 according to specialist accountancy recruiter Marks Sattin.

A third of accountants (33%) questioned said they expected their firm to increase headcount this year which would equate to 11,474 new roles assuming each of these firms hires just one new role.* EY have recently announced 2,000 new jobs and other large firms are expected to follow suit.

In the five years since the start of the economic downturn, accountancy and related professions have been fairly recession proof, with net growth of 19,000 roles between 2008 and 2012. This is an increase of 8.64%, compared with a difference of -0.15% in employment numbers as a whole.

Dave Way, Managing Director of Marks Sattin said,
“People will always need accountants – in the bad times, being able to balance the books is more important than ever and in the good times, a firm grasp of the numbers is vital when looking to expand. There is a growing feeling the economy has turned the corner which is great news for accountants. There are big headcount increases on the way, and opportunities for promotions and pay rises.”

Corporate Finance

One source of confidence particularly among corporate finance professionals is an increase in M&A activity which rose to its highest level since 2011 in the first half of this year. The £4.824bn seen in H1 is a 128% increase on the same period in 2012 and falls only slightly short of the £4.846bn seen in H1 2011.**

Consequently two thirds of corporate finance professionals expect a pay rise this year. Total remuneration rose £14,777 between 2012 and 2013 (16.3%) from £90,391 in 2012 to £105,168 in 2013.
The average bonus rose from £20,918 in 2012 to £29,973  in 2013 - an increase of 43.2%.

Laura Wilson - Director, Corporate Finance of Marks Sattin said,
“Strong M&A and corporate finance activity are really healthy signs for the economy and for those professionals working in this area, the benefits are huge. Pay is increasing as their skills are more in demand. At the moment, this is manifesting itself in bonuses, but I’d expect to see this translate into strong hiring in the year ahead as the salary pot increases and new hires can be made.” 

Data Sources
* Data from Marks Sattin Market Insight 2013. 33% of accountants expected headcount increases. 35,150 accountancy firms and units in the UK (ONS – UK Business Size, Activity and Location 2012). Assuming one new role in each of the 32.7% of firms where headcount is expected to increase, this would equate to 11,494 new roles
** ONS Summary of Mergers and Acquisitions in the UK by other UK companies July 2013


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