We often see chartered accountants as high earners, but in order to understand the national average salary of a chartered accountant, we need to look closely at a few different things.
First, the difference between a chartered accountant and their average salary vs their starting salary.
Second, the way a chartered accountant makes their money and the salary packages offered (there are lots of different areas that chartered accountants can specialize in, and lots of related areas where they can make their money).
And finally, answer the question once and for all, do chartered accountants really have higher salaries than most other workers in the United Kingdom?
What Do Chartered Accountants Do?
Before we start looking at salary packages and the national average salary of chartered accountants, we need to look at what they actually do for a living.
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A chartered accountant makes their money by essentially giving financial advice to companies, large businesses, and small businesses alike. It can involve a number of different tasks. We collated this list from services that Auditox Accountancy provides.
- Audit accounts
- Review financial reports and records
- Financial reporting
- Financial audits
- Implementing new financial systems
- Tax planning (and preventing tax issues for the companies/clients)
- Forensic accounting
- Corporate finance
- Business recovery
- Reviewing business transactions
- Liaising with other professionals in related jobs (i.e. external auditors)
- Reviewing accounting systems and processes
- Managing budgets
- Reviewing financial statements
- Checking for financial irregularities
There are plenty of other tasks involved when working a chartered accountant job, but these are just some of the main ones to highlight what they’re responsible for.
Where Do Chartered Accountants Work?
Chartered accountancy is a job that can take place in many areas and a chartered accountant can work in lots of different organizations.
These may be within the public sector, public practice firms, industry, and commerce, not-for-profit organizations/non-profit organizations, or within the private sector.
It is the chartered accountant within the company/organization (or the chartered accountant that has been hired by clients/employers on a private or independent basis) that’s responsible, in a nutshell, for maximizing profitability for the business.
Chartered Accountant Salary: A Step-By-Step Guide
The average salary of a chartered accountant is difficult to give because salaries vary based on a number of different factors, including:
- Size of the business/company (highest salaries are paid by the largest businesses)
- Other candidates as competition
- Experience levels (a starting salary will be lower than the salary an established chartered accountant might expect)
- Gender (there is still a gender pay gap within this sector, with an average salary for males being around £100,000 and an average salary for females around £63,000 across all sectors)
- Position within the firm (there is scope for professional development and career advancement in this field)
Although a chartered accountant’s salary average might be difficult to give, it isn’t impossible, so below we’ll look at the average chartered accountant’s salary based on a few different things.
Entry-Level Chartered Accountant Salary
The average salary of a chartered accountant that’s just starting out is lower. We expect this in almost every field since experience is valued across most careers.
Graduates should expect their salaries to have a maximum earning potential of around £40,000. For this salary, they’d likely be working in a large company or organization, and have demonstrated their significant skillset throughout their qualification.
Chartered accountant salaries will vary based on the business size as discussed above, so a starting salary for a chartered accountant might be much lower in smaller businesses where they are the only internal auditor for example, where time management is less important since the profits and finances they’re dealing with are much smaller than larger businesses – essentially their workload is less, so their salary is too.
Salaries for Those More Experienced
As chartered accountants continue to gain experience and progress towards bigger companies etc., then employers may begin to offer a salary of up to £65,000 per year for those working in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.
Chartered accountant jobs pay more to those with high skills in accountancy and who continue to put stock in professional development after they’re qualified.
The more employees accept more responsibilities in their job, the more their pay will be.
Highest Salaries for Chartered Accountant Jobs
A chartered accountant has more than just their average salary to think about, and they receive a lot of compensation for the work they do, which often brings in additional income or saves them money elsewhere.
For the highest earners, their average salary may be around £84,500, but their average total compensation might be an additional £17,300 0n top of that, totaling over £100,000 per year.
The average total compensation includes money earned through additional packages, which may include access to profit-sharing schemes, car allowances, medical insurance, and pensions.
What to Expect as a Chartered Accountant
Given that we’ve just covered some pretty high salaries for the United Kingdom, it might make you think that applying for a chartered accountant job might be the way forward for you. So, in this last section, we’re going to include some realistic expectations you should have – to understand that a chartered accountant works very hard for the pay they receive.
This is not a 9-5 job. You’ll often need to stay late, work overtime, and come in early to meet deadlines. This is expected of all chartered accountants at all levels.
A position as a chartered accountant is something you might have to move for. Most of the best-paying jobs in this area are in large towns and cities.
Both overseas and around the United Kingdom, travel is typical, including overnight stays, as you work with many clients as a chartered accountant in many locations.
You will need a qualification to work as a chartered accountant. This is usually offered by employers, but you will probably need a degree (not necessarily in finance) to be considered for the role.
You’ll need plenty of work experience to get a job in the chartered accountancy field. Often, this work is unpaid.
Working as a chartered accountant is a rewarding career that many people strive for. But it’s important to note that it is a demanding job. As such, the average salary of a chartered accountant, though high, is often in proportion to the sheer volume of work they undertake.
If you’re considering a chartered accountant job in the future, then further research would be a good idea to make sure you have the relevant skills and experience to apply.
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