top certifications for accountants


In every industry, there’s a big need for skilled accountants. Businesses are not only putting more effort into hiring permanent staff and helping their employees grow professionally but there’s also a shortage of qualified accountants since fewer people achieved that status during the recession. 

This means there are more job opportunities available than qualified accountants to fill them. So are you curious about UK accountant salary?

New Accountants in Training

Just check with those a few years ahead of you in their careers – it’s quite common to receive multiple job offers. And if you’re thinking of moving on from your current role, your employer might even present a counter offer.

Even as a trainee accountant, you’ll enjoy a competitive UK accountant salary, along with early responsibility and fantastic career growth opportunities. 

According to recent research by High Fliers, the median starting accountant salary UK for graduates in the accountancy sector is £30,000. You might even see this figure double in the three or so years it takes to complete your qualification.

Of course, your starting UK accountant salary depends on factors like the size and type of organization you choose, the sector you work in, and the location of your office.

Qualifications for an Accountant

1. Educational Background

  • Entry is open to graduates from various disciplines, showcasing diversity in candidate backgrounds.
  • While entry without a degree or HND is possible, having a degree provides a competitive advantage.
  • Graduates are generally preferred over those with an HND, especially by larger employers.

2. Intermediate Steps

  • A Certificate in Finance, Accounting, and Business (CFAB) serves as a useful bridge between a degree and a training contract.
  • Some employers offer training for the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) qualification, an alternative route that doesn’t require a degree but can lead to chartered status.

3. Professional Institutes

  • There are three distinct professional institutes for chartered accountants in the UK:
  • Chartered Accountants Ireland (oversees both Ireland and Northern Ireland)
  • ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales)
  • ICAS (Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland)
  • These institutes play a crucial role in providing the necessary training, support, and recognition for individuals pursuing a career as a chartered accountant.

Accountants Job Description

Financial Management

  • Oversee financial systems and budgets.
  • Conduct financial audits, providing an independent check of an organization’s financial position.

Client Interaction

  • Liaise with clients (individuals or businesses), offering financial information and advice.
  • Review company systems, analyze risk, and perform tests on financial information.

Tax Planning and Advice

  • Advise clients on tax planning within current legislation to minimize tax liability.
  • Provide guidance on tax issues related to activities like business acquisitions and mergers.

Record Keeping and Reporting

  • Maintain accounting records and prepare accounts for small businesses.
  • Produce financial statements, including monthly and annual accounts.
  • Arrange financial management reports, including financial planning and forecasting.

Corporate Finance

  • Advise clients on business transactions, such as mergers and acquisitions.

Specialized Areas

  •  Provide counsel on areas of business improvement or dealing with insolvency.
  •  Detect and prevent fraud through forensic accounting.

Team Management

  • Manage junior colleagues, overseeing their work.

Audit and Compliance

  • Liaise with internal and external auditors, addressing financial irregularities.
  • Produce reports and recommendations following internal or public sector audits.

Additional Expertise

  • Advise on tax and treasury issues.
  • Negotiate terms with suppliers.

These diverse accountant’s job descriptions showcase the multifaceted role of a chartered accountant in managing financial aspects, providing strategic advice, and ensuring compliance with regulations.

Brackets for Different Types of UK Accountant Salary

Accounting Technician

In the learning phase, expect around £22,000. Post-qualification, earnings can rise to £30,000 or more, contingent on experience, industry, and accountant job description.

Auditor

Commencing with a UK accountant salary in London of approximately £41,000, the figure can climb to over £53,000 with accrued experience, contingent on the organization.

Chartered Accountant

Initial salaries start modest but surge after 2-4 years, reaching about £56,000. After 5 years, an average accountant’s salary in London is £90,000.

Financial Adviser

For Accountants in London, starting off, fresh graduates in the accounting field can expect entry-level earnings between £22,000 and £30,000. After obtaining the necessary qualifications, individuals, including Certified Accountants, could see a substantial increase in earnings, reaching up to £45,000. As professionals progress in their careers, Senior Financial Advisers, whether based in London or elsewhere, may command salaries reaching £60,000. For those aiming for prestigious roles as Wealth Managers, including Accountants in Preston or Romford, the earning potential can surpass an impressive £100,000.

Financial Controller

With an average UK accountant salary of around £65,000, potential earnings could near £90,000, factoring in variables like location, industry, and experience.

Forensic Accountant

For individuals seeking Accounting Firms in Ilford and Practical Accounting Training, the starting point is around £50,000, and as professionals gain experience in this intriguing role, their earnings could surpass £61,000. For those involved in small businesses, consulting with Accounting Firms for Small Business becomes valuable, and in major financial hubs like London, connecting with Top Accounting Firms is a significant aspect of career development.

Investment Analyst

In the early years, salaries range from £28,000 to £40,000. With 5-8 years of experience, Senior Analysts can earn £65,000 to £100,000, with bonuses up to 150% of UK accountant salary. Senior roles command salaries over £110,000, with bonuses reaching 200%.

Finance Trader

For Accountants Middlesbrough, Accounting Firms in Liverpool Street, and Accountants Canary Wharf, individuals embarking on their career journey can anticipate starting salaries ranging from £26,000 to £32,000 (excluding commissions). As professionals gain experience, the earnings potential expands, with seasoned traders earning between £45,000 and £150,000. In prestigious roles like Associate Traders within top-tier banks, salaries might reach approximately £140,000. Specializing in niche markets could elevate annual earnings for professionals in locations such as Liverpool Street or Canary Wharf to an impressive £230,000.

Finance Director

The average salary hovers around £65,000 annually, potentially rising to nearly £90,000, contingent on location, industry, and experience.

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

CFOs, positioned prominently in a company hierarchy, could earn an average of £115,000 to £128,000 in London. Some top-tier companies offer significantly higher salaries; for instance, Google’s former CFO received over $43,000,000 (approximately £35 million).

The Gender Pay Gap

Similar to many professions, there’s still a noticeable difference in pay between genders in the accountancy field. On average, male chartered accountants in business earn £100,900, while their female counterparts earn £63,900 – showcasing a 5.4% increase in the pay gap since 2014. Interestingly, the pay gap is narrower among chartered accountants under the age of 30.

Research indicates that men are more likely to hold senior roles, work in the private sector, and operate in regions with typically higher salaries. The gender pay gap persists due, in part, to demographic and employment factors for men and women. Women are often engaged in part-time work and are more likely to work in public or not-for-profit organizations where salaries tend to be lower.

Despite these challenges, the overall job outlook for accountant salary in London remains positive, ensuring that wherever you choose to build your career, you can expect competitive compensation.

Interested in Accountancy?

If numbers and precision are your forte, stepping into the world of accountancy might be your perfect career move. Surprisingly, you don’t necessarily need a degree to embark on this journey, making it accessible to a broad range of individuals.

Accountants are consistently in demand, offering you the flexibility to choose between a bustling city or a serene small town for your career path. The versatility of this profession ensures that job opportunities are aplenty, regardless of your preferred work setting.

Are you intrigued by the world of numbers, finance, and strategic financial management? A career in accountancy might be the perfect fit for you. Accountants play a crucial role in organizations, providing financial insights, ensuring compliance, and contributing to decision-making processes.

FAQs

1. What is a starting accountant salary UK ?

The starting accountant salary UK can vary depending on factors such as location, company size, and industry. On average, entry-level accountants may earn around £22,000 to £30,000 annually. This figure can increase with experience, qualifications, and career progression.

2. Is a chartered accountant a good job in the UK?

Yes, being a chartered accountant in the UK is considered a prestigious and lucrative profession. Chartered accountants are highly valued for their expertise in financial management, audit, and business advisory services. The profession offers competitive salaries, career advancement opportunities, and the potential for a varied and rewarding career.

3. How do I become a Chartered Accountant in the UK?

To become a Chartered Accountant in the UK, individuals typically pursue a professional qualification from one of the three main chartered accountancy bodies: Chartered Accountants Ireland, ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales), or ICAS (Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland). This involves a combination of academic study, practical work experience, and successful completion of professional exams.

4. Can a chartered accountant’s salary in London comprise six figures?

Yes, experienced and qualified chartered accountants in the UK have the potential to earn six-figure salaries. As professionals gain more experience, specialize in specific areas, and progress into senior roles such as financial directors or chief financial officers, their earning potential increases significantly. Many chartered accountants with years of expertise can command high salaries, especially if they work for large corporations or in leadership positions.

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