Accounting staff in the UK get a slight pay bump

British accounting workers are slightly more satisfied with their pay and less likely to leave for another job than they were in 2011, a new survey by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) indicates. They received small raises on average in the past year and offer some hope of better times ahead.

CIMA surveyed 2,388 finance workers in the UK who are qualified members or part-qualified students. It also surveyed 3,170 CIMA members in other countries.

In the UK, pay for qualified CIMA members rose slightly, from £57,170 in 2011 to £58,434 this year, and salary satisfaction amongst CIMA members rose two percentage points to 68%. On average, they expected pay increases of 3.5%.

Looking at the broader economy, 34% of UK-based CIMA members expect an increase in the overall profitability of the companies for which they work – a ray of hope for those in the accounting profession, considering the gloomy forecasts for Europe’s economy.

About one-third of respondents expect to work more hours in the coming year, and 70% of them attribute the increase to added responsibilities. About half (52%) mentioned understaffing or a lack of resources.

Other key findings from the UK survey:

  • The top motivator for CIMA members is not cash. The most popular choices were: good working environment (45%); flexibility and work/life balance (44%); and financial reward (43%).

  • The average work week for respondents was 42 hours – one of the lowest compared with other countries – and 51% of respondents work 42 or more hours a week.

  • One-quarter of respondents expect their company to increase pay.

Highlights from CIMA’s other regional salary surveys, with each measure in local currency, include:

  • In the US, the average CIMA member salary is $212,619. US members average 51 hours of work per week, and 32% expect their hours to increase in the coming year.

  • The average salary for CIMA members in Australia is $151,695; 27% expect job cuts at their company, compared with just 17% in 2011.

  • The average salary for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, CIMA members is RM194,245.

  • In China, where just 45 members responded, the average salary was RMB953,035.

Neil Amato ( is a CGMA Magazine senior editor.