CIMA Salary Survey 2012 is published

The CIMA Salary Survey 2012 has now been conducted, revealing some interesting insights into the benefits the CIMA qualification offers students and members, salary expectations in different regions around the world, motivators for CIMA members and the skills that students and members are looking to develop.

The fourth annual salary survey includes responses from part qualified students and qualified members in Australia, Botswana, Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, South Africa, the UAE, the UK, the US and Zambia.

Salary and bonus information was collected in May 2012 in local currencies. A summary of findings follows.

Satisfaction with salary
Across all countries, 66 per cent of students and members are satisfied with their salary, and at 74 per cent the proportion is much greater in Australia.

At 70 per cent, the proportion satisfied with their salary is also high in Hong Kong and Poland.

Generally speaking, salary satisfaction is higher among qualified members than part qualified students, and this increases with years of experience. This is particularly true of our members in the US, New Zealand and Canada, where more than three-quarters are satisfied with their salary.

The confidence of CIMA members and students is also reflected in the survey. A total of 93 per cent agreed that the CIMA qualification creates career opportunities, while 83 per cent said that it strengthened their chances of adding an international dimension to their CV.
Together with the 74 per cent who said the qualification gives them greater opportunities to move across all areas of the business, these figures show that the CIMA community is robust. Indeed, 20 per cent of qualified members surveyed are working in a business division other than finance.

Salary expectations
In terms of their personal salaries 85 per cent are anticipating an increase over the next 12 months.

This is compared to 11 per cent who are expecting their salary to be frozen, and 1 per cent who are expecting a salary reduction over the next year.

With the exception of Ireland, where 32 per cent are expecting their salary to remain unchanged and 61 per cent are expecting a salary increase over the next 12 months, a high proportion of students and members in each country are expecting a salary increase over the next 12 months.

This is especially true in South Africa (95 per cent), China (94 per cent), India (93 per cent), and New Zealand (93 per cent.)

Motivators at work
The key motivators at work for students and members are a good working environment (45 per cent), flexibility/work-life balance (44 per cent) and financial reward (43 per cent).

Flexibility/work-life balance are of particular importance in Australia, Malaysia, China and New Zealand, whereas a challenging workload is of greater importance to those working in India, Pakistan and the US.

Skill sets
Over the coming 12 months, students and members are keen to develop their leadership skills, as well as their personal development skills (e.g. career planning, time management), strategic planning and implementation, and persuading and influencing skills.

Leadership – as one of the skills a student is most likely going to want to develop over the next six months – indicates strong ambitions even at the start of students’ careers.

As students progress through the qualification into full membership, developing strategic and managerial skills such as persuading and influencing, strategic planning and implementation, and skills for developing others are favoured over the more technical aspects of accounting, i.e. financial reporting and data analysis.

Working hours
In all countries surveyed the number of hours worked in a typical week is most commonly 41-50 hours, except for the UK and Zambia, where large proportions (c.45 per cent) typically work 35-40 hours. In 11 of the 19 countries surveyed, more than three-quarters of students and members are working over 40 hours per week, compared to just 50 per cent in the UK and 53 per cent in Zambia.

Overall, 62 per cent of students and members are expecting their working hours to stay the same, but 35 per cent are expecting them to increase outside of a 35-40 hour working week. Countries with the highest proportions expecting working hours to increase include Botswana, as well as India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Pakistan and Zambia.

In all countries the most common reason cited for increasing hours was taking on more responsibility/more pressure, which was mentioned by 70 per cent of all students and members.

However, when we look at the second most common reasons for increasing working hours, some interesting differences emerge.

Understaffing/lack of resources are most likely the reasons for increasing hours in countries such as Australia, Ireland, Singapore and the UK, whereas in China, India and Sri Lanka company growth is more likely to be the reason for students and members working longer hours.

Geographical mobility
Overall, 58 per cent of students and members are looking to move jobs in the next two years and 15 per cent of those are looking to move abroad.  

If we consider students only, the percentage looking to move jobs in the next two years is slightly higher at 60 per cent, compared to 56 per cent of members.

The lowest proportion looking to move jobs in the next two years include students and members working in more established economies – Hong Kong, Ireland and qualified members working in New Zealand, the US and Canada.

Students and members in Botswana, China. Pakistan, India and Zambia are most likely to be looking to move jobs within the next two years.

The highest proportions of those students and members looking to emigrate can be found in Pakistan, India and Russia. The lowest proportions can be found in Australia, Ireland, South Africa and the UK.

Students and members considering emigration are seeking an improved quality of life, a new career opportunity and to experience a different culture.

For further country specific analysis and reports, visit For further information about this research, please contact


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