2017 Audit (Practice & Internal Audit) Salary Guide

Kathryn Swan 24.02.2017

Big recruitment drives are expected in 2017 as firms look to recruit talent in lacking areas, with diversity and work-life balance being the main focus.

Contents:

Audit into Practice

View our up-to-date Practice Salary Guide.

Internal Audit

View our up-to-date Internal Audit Salary Guide.

 

Audit Into Practice | Permanent - London

Basic Salary (£ Per Annum)

  Big 4 Top 20 Mid Tier
Partner 100,000+ 80,000+ 80,000+
Director 100,000+ 80,000+ 80,000+
Senior Manager 70,000-80,000 65,000-75,000 65,000-75,000
Manager 60,000-65,000 60,000-65,000 58,000-62,000
Assistant Manager 48,000-52,000 48,000-52,000 46,000-50,000
Senior 45,000-48,000 42,000-46,000 42000-45000
Semi Senior 30,000-35,000 30,000-35,000 27,000-33,000
 

Audit Into Practice | Permanent - Home Counties

Basic Salary (£ Per Annum)

  Big 4 Top 20 Mid Tier
Partner 80,000+ 70,000+ 70,000+
Director 80,000+ 70,000+ 70,000+
Senior Manager 57,000-62,000 57,000-62,000 54,000-60,000
Manager 49,000-54,000 49,000-54,000 47,000-52,000
Assistant Manager 44,000-48,000 42,000-45,000 40,000-42,000
Senior 40,000-43,000 34,000-38,000 34,000-38,000
Semi Senior 27,000-32,000 23,000-27000 20,000-25,000

Audit into Practice Commentary 

Overview

The EU referendum undoubtedly had an impact on auditing jobs within the financial services sector during the latter part of 2016, with uncertainty causing a significant slowdown in recruitment within the banking community. This in turn trickled down through to the professional services practice, in particular the Big 4.

Jobs remain readily available in other areas of practice, although this is mostly owing to a severe candidate shortage, with a lot of companies looking for the same sort of profile - typically individuals from a similar background, who are not only technically competent, but able to communicate with stakeholders at all levels.

Throughout 2017, we expect the top 10 practices to embark on strong recruitment drives, with firms looking abroad to attract talent in those areas where skills are lacking in the UK candidate pool.

Positive & Negative News

With the increase in audit thresholds, a lot of the smaller businesses are no longer conducting audits, which has both positive and negative repercussions for financial service professionals and job seekers.

Many companies that have traditionally required an audit no longer do so, so long as their turnover is under £10.2 million. This will mean a loss in revenue to medium sized auditing practices. This is turn, will lead to fewer jobs being created by these employers. 

On the positive side, it has meant that mid-tier financial service practices have had to work hard at introducing new areas to supplement their revenue streams, which will lead to new roles being created. In particular, we expect a larger volume of outsourcing and accounting roles to be on offer from these firms moving forward.

We also anticipate that smaller practices will join forces and merge over the course of the coming year. ‘Strength in numbers’ could definitely be the prevailing philosophy for 2017, especially with revenue streams being squeezed.

Qualities & Skills in Demand

As professional services practices continue to diversify we also expect new hires to embrace these changes. Business development will be key, as decision makers will be looking for individuals that are capable of selling different facets of the business. This includes accounting, and outsourcing services, which are becoming more prevalent as practices look at new ways to supplement their income. 

This is why soft skills will be just as important for the technically strong auditor who is increasingly expected to upsell and recognise opportunities for new revenue streams outside of traditional auditing.

Outside of Work

From a job seeker's point of view, the ability and willingness to work across a number of different services lines will be crucial, as firms will look to get more value for money from new hires.

From an employer’s point of view, recruiting is becoming much more competitive as candidates with the appropriate skill sets are becoming increasingly rare. This means that talented candidates will receive multiple offers, and the firms that offer the most attractive packages will, more than likely, win the race. Auditors work long hours during the busy season, so we expect  benefits such as TOIL (time off in lieu) and overtime to be common place in competitive job offers next year. 

Notable Trends

Diversity will be key in 2017, with a number of the employers that we work with stressing the continued importance placed on improving this area; accountancy has always been associated with being a male dominated industry, albeit big efforts made to try and change this.

In a bid to improve work/life balance for employees, professional services firms are increasingly offering flexibility in the workplace.  Examples of this can be reduced working hours or the ability to work from home, which is particularly beneficial to professionals with certain disabilities, as well as those with complicated child care arrangements.

In 2016, 95% of candidates we recruited were based in the UK, although we would expect the amount of international candidates to increase next year, as firms struggle to meet their recruitment requirements. A number of firms that we have spoken to are applying for licences that will give them the ability to sponsor overseas candidates. 

Whilst the process of sponsorship is time consuming and costly, it is increasingly necessary for firms that want to ensure that staffing levels are at acceptable levels in the new year.

 

 

Internal Audit | Permanent - London

Basic Salary (£ Per Annum)

  Investment Banking Retail / Commercial banking SME Banking IT Audit
MD 150,000+ 130,000+ 150,000+ 150,000+
Director 110,000-160,000 100,000-150,000 110,000-160,000 110,000-140,000
VP 80,000-130,000 75,000-110,000 80,000-135,000 75,000-110,000
AVP 55,000-80,000 45,000- 75,000 55,000-85,000 55,000-75,000
Analyst 40,000-55,000 35,000-50,000 45,000-55,000 40,000-55,000

Commerce and Industry | Permanent

Basic Salary (£ Per Annum)

  London Home Counties IT Audit
Head of Audit 120,000+ 100,000+ 120,000+
Director 85,000-120,000 75,000-100,000 85,000-120,000
Senior Audit Manager 70,000-85,000 65,000-80,000 70,000-85,000
Audit Manager 55,000-70,000 55,000-65,000 55,000-70,000
Senior Auditor 50,000-60,000 48,000-58,000 50,000-60,000
Auditor 48,000-52,000 45,000-48,000 45,000-52,000

Internal Audit Commentary

Overview

As with the previous couple of years, the demand for internal auditors remained high across all sectors - most notably within the big banks. Despite the political uncertainty of 2016, it was very much business as usual.

There remain some challenges in attracting recently qualified accountants into the discipline, but more experienced internal auditors now see it as a wise career choice. The skills associated with these roles are internationally transferable, so we are seeing more candidates arriving from abroad to address local shortfalls in talent, often without an ACA (or equivalent) but instead qualified by experience.

Positive & Negative News

Within commerce and industry, recruitment has been heavily geared towards newly qualified candidates, with continued demand for candidates who want to travel and can speak a second/third language. Industries such as media, property/construction, engineering and the charity sector have been particularly active with their recruitment activities.

The bulk of the hiring within the banks has been AVP level positions - primarily within the various CIB audit teams. Whilst many teams are happy to consider audit candidates direct from practice, there is now a preference for those with a year or two within banking, coupled with strong product knowledge.

SME roles within the risk and regulatory audit space continue to be in high supply, with models and market risk teams the busiest. These departments are looking for candidates with very specific exposure (risk models and front office market risk). Owing to the scarcity of high-calibre SME auditors in these areas, department heads are often willing to explore candidates who do not have prior audit experience.

Regulatory audit roles such as conduct risk audit, compliance audit and financial crime audit have been in fairly constant demand at all levels.

Within IT audit recruitment, cyber and data analytics remain the key growth areas. The option for non-audit professionals to move into the world of IT audit is still an avenue that many companies are pursuing, especially at the senior levels.

Qualities & Skills in Demand

In recent times, internal audit roles have afforded a lot of opportunity to candidates wanting to move into other areas of the business. With the controls awareness and analytical mindsets they possess, auditors are able to provide huge commercial value to the wider business. Internal audit remains an excellent training ground for future business leaders. As such, our clients are now looking for candidates who are more forward-thinking and hungry to both progress and add value.

Outside of Work

Whilst money will always be a determining factor, opportunities for progression rank high on the list of factors that job seekers consider when assessing potential employers. Candidates want to know that they can continue to learn, develop and ultimately move onto better things. Employers that want to attract the best talent should, therefore, clearly demonstrate potential career pathways for new starters, providing tangible examples of routes that other employees have taken.

Likewise, continued training and investment in professional qualifications is important. For overseas candidates, the opportunity to study for the ACA/ACCA is a big draw and businesses should be willing to invest in this.

Within IT audit, the most important qualification remains CISA. It shows employers that the job seeker has a fundamental understanding of IT risk and controls. However, for more technical SME roles (like infrastructure and cyber) greater value is attributed to candidates that hold CISSP, CRISC and CISM qualifications.

For change management audit positions, a PRINCE2 practitioner qualification alongside project management experience demonstrates that the job seeker has an excellent understanding of the change management cycle.

A relevant masters degree can also go a long way to showing deeper experience and understanding of a particular area.

Notable Trends

Diversity still remains a hot topic across internal audit with businesses trying to address the gender imbalance. This is perhaps most notable within IT audit – historically a very male dominated profession. The past couple of years have seen the gender split improve from circa 80:20 to 60:40. Indeed, there are now a number of high profile women in senior leadership roles within technology audit across the banking sector. 

Unsurprisingly, the number of international candidates applying to roles in London has noticeably diminished since the EU Referendum. Whilst the need for candidates with additional European language skills remains high, particularly amongst commerce and industry firms, the uncertainty over Britain’s political and economic future is certainly having an impact. That said, very few firms are actually showing any signs of relocating their audit functions.

Kathryn Swan's picture
UK Lead for Accountancy Practices | Tax Audit & Advisory
kswan@morganmckinley.co.uk