Management accountants see average salaries rise 3%

Salaries for management accountants continued to rise in 2013, according to a survey of Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) members and students in 23 countries. Qualified finance professionals are also highly mobile and enjoy strong promotion prospects, according to the research.

In the UK, CIMA members have seen their average salaries including bonuses rise to £66,710 ($109,404) over the past year, representing a 13% increase over the 2012 figure. The profession fared much better than most, with salaries nationwide increasing by an average of just 0.2%, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The trend looks set to continue into 2014. Eighty-seven per cent of CIMA members and 90% of students worldwide expect a salary increase in the next 12 months.

Talent retention

Talent retention is a crucial issue for employers across the globe, given that 91% of members worldwide aim to switch jobs in the next three years. Of those, 13% are seeking a position overseas within the next two years, with the opportunity to experience a different culture and improved quality of life being the most common drivers. Australia, Canada, Singapore, the UAE, UK and USA are the most sought-after destinations for CIMA members.

Flexibility and work/life balance were the most important motivators for members across the globe, particularly in Australia (with 59% of respondents ranking them highly) and China (56%). A good work environment was another key factor for those surveyed. A challenging workload was a common priority for management accountants, followed by financial reward. The scope of the role was among the top motivators at work for members in China, India, Malaysia and the US. Opportunities for training and development were the strongest motivators in the Nigerian market.

The survey revealed that qualified CIMA members are especially keen to develop their skills in leadership, strategic planning and implementation, along with persuading and influencing. In China, respondents highlighted relationship management as a further priority, while in India skills for developing others feature on the wish list. Russian students were particularly eager to develop their decision-making and leadership capacity; risk management was a popular focus for part-qualified students in Zambia and Nigeria.

The survey revealed a marked difference in pay according to gender, although it is less pronounced among junior colleagues than more experienced members. In the UK, women earn an average of £17,450 ($28,618) per annum less than their male counterparts. In Australia, the difference is AUD 26,216 ($23,857), in the Republic of Ireland the difference is €22,337 ($30,378), and in Malaysia the difference is RM 63,015 ($19,535).

Samantha White ( is a CGMA Magazine senior editor.

Salary survey

Management accountants have seen wages rise by an average of 3% across the world in 2013 and look forward to similar conditions in the coming year, according to the CIMA 2013 Salary Survey. Here’s a snapshot of the key findings.

Average salary increases for CIMA qualified members (compared with 2012 salary):

Canada: 4.7%
Hong Kong: 0.9%
India: 28.6%
Malaysia: 9.6%
New Zealand: 2.9%
Singapore: 3.2%
South Africa: 3.1%
UAE: 7.0%
UK: 13%

Average hours worked each week for members and students:

Northern Ireland: 40
Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Nigeria, UK: 43 
Botswana, Republic of Ireland, Zambia: 44
China, Poland: 45   
Ghana, Russia, Sri Lanka: 46  
Pakistan, UAE: 47
Hong Kong, Malaysia: 48  
India, USA: 49

Source: CIMA 2013 Salary Survey.