Top 10 accountancy and finance salary increases for the year ahead 

6 min read | Karen Young | Article | Job searching Salary & pay Recruiting Salary and pay

top 10 accountancy and finance salary increases

The last 12 months have seen accountancy and finance employers battling fierce competition in a bid to secure top talent, as skills shortages have hampered the industry. The vast majority (90%) of employers have increased salaries, often driven by attempts to improve candidate attraction and retention. In fact, accountancy and finance professionals saw the second most significant salary increases of the 21 industries recorded in our 2024 Hays Salary & Recruiting Trends Guide, surpassed only by the sustainability sector.

Meanwhile, it’s been a smoother ride for jobseekers who have had an abundance of job opportunities to choose from, which looks likely to continue as most finance employers (60%) are planning on recruiting in year ahead. 

Our latest Salary Guide analyses over 12,000 salaries and gathers survey data from 15,000 professionals, providing insights into salary changes, recruitment trends and more.

This research answers some important questions: 

  • Which jobs have seen the most significant salary increases?
  • What do employers need to do to attract and retain top talent?
  • What’s the employment outlook for 2024?


The cost of living is driving pay rises 

The accountancy and finance industry saw notable salary growth this past year, rising 5.6% compared to the overall average uplift across the UK of 3.5%. The rising cost of living has had a notable impact on salary; almost three-quarters (73%) of employers say they boosted pay as a result of the cost of living, compared to just over half (51%) the year prior. 

Salary satisfaction, however, remains almost unchanged from last year, with those who are dissatisfied having only marginally risen from 32% to 33%. It seems that earnings – despite above-average increases – are not keeping up with rising living costs for many workers. Over a third (37%) of employees are more likely to move jobs due to the growing cost-of-living crisis, and over half (55%) of whom cite their current remuneration as being too low to cover their living expenses. 


In-demand roles saw the most substantial salary hikes

Which accountancy and finance salaries have had the greatest increases in pay? Payroll, accountancy support and part-qualified accountant roles. 

Although not the highest paid jobs in accountancy and finance overall, our list of top jobs have seen the biggest percentage increases in remuneration over the past year. These are some of the most sought-after talent pools, and employers are having to improve their offering to attract and retain valuable workers. 


AI could exasperate skills shortages 

Currently, most (85%) accountancy and finance employers tell us they are not utilising AI tools at all within their organisation. However, that looks set to change, with two-thirds (67%) expecting to adopt this in the future. Technological advancements such as AI certainly have their benefits for organisations – including improvements in speed, efficiency and accuracy – but they can also create challenges in terms of skills gaps, especially when the technology is rapidly evolving. 

Fewer than half (47%) of employees in this industry feel they have the skills needed to utilise AI, and almost two-thirds (65%) say their employer is not helping them to prepare for the uptake of this technology. It’s evident that organisations should be better preparing their workers for AI and upskilling where needed, or risk intensifying the already overwhelming skills shortages.


Attract and retain staff by improving the employee experience 

As skills shortages prevail and job opportunities remain plentiful, attracting and retaining staff is imperative. Simple adjustments to interview processes can go a long way to reducing dropouts, since two-thirds (63%) of A&F employees have been dissuaded from continuing an application due to forming a negative first impression of their potential employer. The top three deterrents for employees are unanticipated people and culture (46%), long application/interview processes (37%) and unprepared interviewers (35%) – hiring managers should be considering ways to mitigate these.

However, it’s not just potential employees that businesses need to impress. Of the people wanting to leave their current employment, over a quarter (27%) said the main reason was their salary being too low, while 15% cite a lack of opportunities and 12% are worried about their job security. Almost half (47%) of accountancy and finance professionals are planning to change jobs in the next 12 months – a statistic that employers shouldn’t take lightly given the labour market conditions.

Employers: discover more about the hiring trends currently shaping the world of work and ensure your salaries aren’t falling behind the competition, with our Hays Salary & Recruiting Trends guide for 2024

Jobseekers: want to know if you’re being paid the market rate? Take a look at our salary calculator to find out. 


About this author

Karen Young, Director of Hays Accountancy & Finance UK&I

Karen is a Director and recruiting expert at Hays Accountancy & Finance for UK&I. She provides strategic leadership to a team of over 300 accountancy and finance recruitment professionals across nearly 100 offices. With 25 years of finance recruitment experience, Karen has a track record of recruiting top finance talent for businesses across a range of industry sectors, and is a trusted industry voice on recruitment, career planning and market insights.

Karen also leads development and delivery of social and environmental purpose at Hays UK&I. This focuses on how the business supports local communities with a particular focus on improving skills and employability, as well as steps to safeguard the natural environment. Karen leads a Hays UK Charity partnership with End Youth Homelessness focusing on strategic input to the employability element of the EYH Independent Futures programme, that supports young people into work and independent living.

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