2019 Public Practice Salary Guide

Kathryn Swan 27.12.2018

The 2019 Public Practice Salary Guide covers the most notable workplace and hiring trends that have been seen across the UK.

Salary tables:

Commentary:

 

London - Permanent

Audit - Big 4
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Part Qualified 35,000 30,000
Newly Qualified 50,000 46,000
Manager 68,000 55,000
Senior Manager 85,000 60,000
Director / Partner 160,000 130,000
 
Audit - Top 20
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Part Qualified 35,000 30,000
Newly Qualified 50,000 46,000
Manager 67,000 54,000
Senior Manager 78,000 60,000
Director / Partner 145,000 115,000
 
Audit - Top 100
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Newly Qualified 52,000 45,000
 
 
Audit - Independent
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Part Qualified 33,000 27,000
Manager 60,000 50,000
Senior Manager 65,000 58,000
Director / Partner 130,000 100,000
 
Accounting - Big 4
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Part Qualified 35,000 29,000
Newly Qualified 48,000 45,000
Manager 66,000 54,000
Senior Manager 75,000 60,000
Director / Partner 150,000 110,000
 
Accounting - Top 20
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Part Qualified 32,000 27,000
Newly Qualified 48,000 45,000
Manager 62,000 54,000
Senior Manager 75,000 60,000
Director / Partner 130,000 85,000
 
 
Accounting - Top 100
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Newly Qualified 47,000 42,000
 
Accounting - Independent
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Part Qualified 32,000 27,000
Manager 55,000 48,000
Senior Manager 63,000 57,000
Director / Partner 130,000 85,000
 

South East - Permanent

Audit - Big 4
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Part Qualified 32,000 28,000
Newly Qualified 45,000 40,000
Manager 58,000 48,000
Senior Manager 71,000 55,000
Director / Partner 110,000 75,000
 
 
Audit - Top 20
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Part Qualified 32,000 25,000
Newly Qualified 42,000 38,000
Manager 55,000 46,000
Senior Manager 70,000 55,000
Director / Partner 100,000 70,000
 
Audit - Top 100
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Newly Qualified 42,000 38,000
 
Audit - Independent
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Part Qualified 28,000 23,000
Manager 52,000 42,000
Senior Manager 70,000 65,000
Director / Partner 100,000 70,000
 
 
Accounting - Big 4
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Part Qualified 30,000 26,000
Newly Qualified 43,000 38,000
Manager 60,000 45,000
Senior Manager 65,000 55,000
Director / Partner 100,000 75,000
 
Accounting - Top 20
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Part Qualified 28,000 24,000
Newly Qualified 42,000 35,000
Manager 55,000 45,000
Senior Manager 63,000 53,000
Director / Partner 100,000 65,000
 
Accounting - Top 100
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Newly Qualified 42,000 35,000
 
 
Accounting - Independent
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Part Qualified 26,000 23,000
Manager 53,000 42,000
Senior Manager 60,000 50,000
Director / Partner 100,000 65,000
 

South West - Permanent

Audit - Big 4
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Part Qualified 30,000 28,000
Newly Qualified 42,000 32,000
Manager 53,000 48,000
Senior Manager 75,000 50,000
Director / Partner 90,000 75,000
 
 
Audit - Top 20
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Part Qualified 30,000 25,000
Newly Qualified 41,000 38,000
Manager 50,000 40,000
Senior Manager 65,000 50,000
Director / Partner 90,000 70,000
 
Audit - Top 100
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Newly Qualified 40,000 35,000
 
Audit - Independent
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Part Qualified 28,000 23,000
Manager 48,000 40,000
Senior Manager 60,000 50,000
Director / Partner 85,000 70,000
 
 
Accounting - Big 4
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Part Qualified 30,000 24,000
Newly Qualified 40,000 34,000
Manager 47,000 38,000
Senior Manager 58,000 48,000
Director / Partner 85,000 60,000
 
Accounting - Top 20
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Part Qualified 28,000 24,000
Newly Qualified 38,000 33,000
Manager 45,000 35,000
Senior Manager 55,000 45,000
Director / Partner 70,000 60,000
 
Accounting - Top 100
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Newly Qualified 36,000 30,000
 
 
Accounting - Independent
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Part Qualified 25,000 20,000
Manager 45,000 35,000
Senior Manager 50,000 45,000
Director / Partner 68,000 60,000
 

Midlands - Permanent

Audit - Big 4
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Part Qualified 30,000 26,000
Newly Qualified 40,000 38,000
Manager 56,000 42,000
Senior Manager 75,000 55,000
Director / Partner 95,000 70,000
 
 
Audit - Top 20
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Part Qualified 32,000 25,000
Newly Qualified 40,000 31,000
Manager 50,000 40,000
Senior Manager 65,000 50,000
Director / Partner 90,000 70,000
 
Audit - Top 100
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Newly Qualified 40,000 30,000
 
Audit - Independent
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Part Qualified 28,000 23,000
Manager 48,000 40,000
Senior Manager 60,000 50,000
Director / Partner 85,000 70,000
 
 
Accounting - Big 4
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Part Qualified 28,000 22,000
Newly Qualified 34,000 28,000
Manager 47,000 35,000
Senior Manager 60,000 45,000
Director / Partner 75,000 60,000
 
Accounting - Top 20
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Part Qualified 27,000 22,000
Newly Qualified 33,000 27,000
Manager 45,000 33,000
Senior Manager 55,000 45,000
Director / Partner 70,000 60,000
 
Accounting - Top 100
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Newly Qualified 30,000 25,000
 
 
Accounting - Independent
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Part Qualified 25,000 25,000
Manager 45,000 35,000
Senior Manager 50,000 45,000
Director / Partner 68,000 60,000
 

North - Permanent

Audit - Big 4
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Part Qualified 27,000 24,000
Newly Qualified 38,000 32,000
Manager 50,000 42,000
Senior Manager 70,000 55,000
 
Audit - Top 20
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Part Qualified 25,000 20,000
Newly Qualified 35,000 31,000
Manager 50,000 40,000
Senior Manager 65,000 50,000
 
 
Audit - Top 100
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Newly Qualified 36,000 30,000
 
Audit - Independent
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Part Qualified 23,000 20,000
Manager 45,000 40,000
Senior Manager 60,000 50,000
 
Accounting - Big 4
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Part Qualified 30,000 23,000
Newly Qualified 34,000 28,000
Manager 55,000 35,000
Senior Manager 60,000 45,000
 
 
Accounting - Top 20
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Part Qualified 23,000 20,000
Newly Qualified 33,000 27,000
Manager 45,000 33,000
Senior Manager 55,000 45,000
 
Accounting - Top 100
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Newly Qualified 30,000 25,000
 
Accounting - Independent
  High (£) Low (£)
 
Part Qualified 23,000 20,000
Manager 43,000 33,000
Senior Manager 50,000 45,000
 
 

Commentary on Public Practice Roles and Remuneration for 2019

The public practice market remained buoyant in terms of job flow throughout 2018 after what proved to be a challenging 2017. The Big 4 and Top Ten firms were seen to be hiring into their teams all over the UK, including London. The buoyancy of recruitment can be put down to firms continuing to build out their strategic growth plans in regional areas, across various major cities, where increased levels of hiring was a subsequent result. 

However, this market confidence didn’t result in any significant movement on salaries; the majority of organisations offered inflationary wage increases in annual reviews. Competition for candidates with niche skills and/or in particular locations inevitably could command higher salaries, but these isolated cases did not impact salaries overall.

The most popular roles, skills and qualifications

The continual rising popularity of cloud computing softwares has meant those with high levels of experience or any form of certification in these softwares found themselves in demand. In particular, knowledge of Xero, Quickbooks and Sage Business Cloud put any candidates at an advantage. In line with this, there was also sustained investment in building outsourcing teams and expanding headcount.

Noticeable workplace trends across audit into practice

Workplace flexibility is now commonplace, as firms have to adopt increasingly creative solutions to accommodate for the fluid working patterns of their employees. Offering this is essential if firms want to have access to the full spectrum of talent - 43% of practice professionals who responded to our survey highlighted flexible working as the main thing that would make their work life easier and hiring managers that responded stated how offering a good work-life balance was one of the top ways they retain their best talent. 

The flow of international candidates in the UK increased towards the end of 2018; this was mainly due to the relaxation of Home Office restrictions. For Big 4 firms in particular, this was welcomed as it helped them fill a high number of vacancies across London and other regional cities. Despite this evidence, 67% of employers across the profession perceive the employment market as less attractive after Brexit.

A significant trend seen throughout 2018 was the increasing number of firms that have become location agnostic. With the aforementioned focus on regional growth and the increased desire from jobseekers to be able to work remotely, firms are getting used to having their workforce spread out across different locations, in some cases, a considerable distance from the client.

Mandatory audit firm rotation has been given much news coverage in an attempt to increase competition in the market and reduce the stranglehold that Big 4 firms have on FTSE 100 companies. Despite this significant scrutiny, the Big 4 firms continue to dominate the FTSE 100 and have seen an overall increase of 10% in fee revenue.

The audit market came under further scrutiny over 2018 with the CIMA launching an enquiry into the effectiveness of the top firms’ work. Notably, KPMG, PwC and Grant Thornton were all involved in widely publicised shortcomings in the cases of Carillion, BHS and Patisserie Valerie, respectively. Each instance resulted in extensive negative press coverage for the firms. Consequently, the discipline as a whole has been under considerable review and comment. Regulators will continue to look at matters and it is important to find a resolve to this issue that is reducing public trust in audit.

There were some high profile acquisitions, particularly towards the end of the year, with Blick Rothenberg acquiring Hazlems Fenton, the top 100 firm, as well as BDO taking over fellow mid-tier firm, Moore Stephens. The latter resulted in BDO jumping ahead of Grant Thornton into 5th place. This further demonstrates the changing and evolving landscape of the profession, and how firms are adapting and future proofing their businesses.

 

Predictions for audit into practice recruitment in the upcoming year

The practice market should remain resilient as Brexit negotiations progress. Looking forward to 2019, both the compliance and advisory business lines will be busy advising UK and European based businesses as to how to best navigate this changing market. As a people dominated business, the profession relies on employing high calibre professionals who are looking for challenging and rewarding roles in what is likely to be an eventful year.

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