Management accountants expect 6% pay rise in 2016

Pay increases could be coming to 94% of management accountants over the coming year, according to the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants’ (CIMA) annual salary survey. The average increase expected by the members polled was 6%.

In addition to their basic salary, 70% of members around the world expect to receive a bonus in 2016. On average, respondents expect that award to be equivalent to 12.2% of their salary.

Globally, 57% of members said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their current salary.

In the UK, members earn an average basic salary of £64,011 ($85,310). Sixty-eight per cent also receive a bonus, and in 2016 they expect that to be equivalent to 12% of their salary, on average.

The banking sector is home to the highest earning CIMA members in Britain, with respondents reporting an average annual wage of £85,334 ($113,724). Those working in the construction and property sector and professional services industries were the next highest earners.

It is worth noting, however, that the survey was carried out in April and May 2016, prior to the UK referendum on membership in the EU.

Average CIMA member basic salaries around the world and bonus expectations as percentage of salary

Australia  AUD 144,149 ($109,042)  11.3% 
Ireland  €102,087 ($113,964)  12.1% 
Malaysia  RM186,503 ($46,251)  13.7% 
Sri Lanka Rs2,519,914 ($17,258)  14.5% 
South Africa R997,729 ($71,561)  12.6% 
UK  £64,011 ($85,310)  12% 
USA  $147,958  14% 

Members can access more data from the survey and compare their remuneration package to those of counterparts in their country, industry, or level of experience using CIMA’s online salary calculator.

Other finance roles ready for pay bumps

The CIMA survey is the latest to track finance function pay. Hays’ UK Salary and Recruiting Trends 2016 report also highlighted rising salaries, driven by greater demand for finance talent. Like the CIMA survey, the data were gathered prior to the UK’s vote to leave the EU.

Accountancy support. Typical salaries of accountancy support staff increased an average 2.1% in the past year. Bookkeepers and assistant accountants across the UK were amongst the positions that benefited most from the pay increases.

Corporate governance. Salaries for some corporate auditor positions increased significantly, but the average typical salary for corporate governance positions in the UK rose less than 1% in the past year. 

The positions that received the largest salary increases were newly qualified auditors in London (up 6.4%, or £3,000, from £47,000, or $62,632, in 2015) and North-East England (up 6.3%, or £2,500, from £40,000, or $53,504, in 2015), and junior auditors in North-West England (up 5.2%, or £2,500, from £28,500, or $37,977, in 2015). Newly qualified auditors in Scotland and the East of England also saw their typical average salaries increase more than 4% from 2015.

Credit management. Typical salaries for many mid- and lower-level credit management positions increased in the UK since 2015, but typical salaries for several top credit management positions stagnated or decreased (down 12.5%, or £7,500, to £52,500, or $69,960, in the East of England; and down 9.1%, or £5,000, to £50,000, or $66,629, in North-West England).

Overall, typical salaries for credit management positions rose an average 1.5% from 2015. Positions for which typical salaries rose the most were credit managers (up 12.9%, or £4,000, from £31,000, or $41,311, in 2015) and credit controllers (up 10.5%, or £2,000, from £19,000, or $25,317, in 2015) in Northern Ireland, and credit controllers in North-West England (up 10%, or £2,000, from £20,000, or $26,649, in 2015).

Payroll. Typical salaries for UK payroll positions rose an average 1.9% in the past year. The biggest increases were reported for payroll administrator positions in London (up 25%, or £5,000, from £20,000, or $26,649, in 2015) and South-East England (up 12.5%, or £2,000, from £16,000, or $21,319, in 2015), and payroll clerk positions in South-West England (up 15.8%, or £3,000, from £19,000, or $25,317, in 2015).

Corporate finance. Larger companies in the UK were more likely than small and midsize entities to increase salaries for qualified accountancy positions in the past year. That is reflected in average salary increases, which were 1.7% for corporate positions and 1.1% for positions at SMEs.

The highest and most pay increases for positions at large companies and SMEs were reported in South-West and North-East England. The typical salary of a finance manager in the South-West region increased 14.3% to £40,000 ($53,300) at SMEs and 10% to £55,000 ($73,287) at large companies. The typical salary of corporate systems accountant positions in the same region rose 12.5% to £45,000 ($59,963) in the past year. In North-East England, the typical salary for corporate systems accountant went up 14.3% to £48,000 ($63,960) in the past year, and financial planning and analysis manager positions at large companies typically paid £55,000 ($73,287), 10% more than last year.

The East of England saw typical salaries for multiple upper and middle management positions at large companies and SMEs decrease in the past year.

Public accounting. Overall average salary increases for public accounting positions in audit and assurance and in general practice were amongst the highest in the UK profession the past year. Typical salaries rose an average 2.7% for the audit and assurance positions and an average 2.5% for the general practice positions.

The biggest pay rises were reported for general practice positions. Typical salaries for director positions in North-West England increased an average 14.3% to £80,000 ($106,400), qualified senior executive positions in Yorkshire and the Humber rose an average 10.4% to £32,000 ($42,631), and senior manager positions in the West Midlands as well as qualified senior executive positions in North-East England rose an average 10% to £55,000 ($73,287) and £33,000 ($43,957), respectively.

In London and North-East England, typical salaries for all listed positions in audit and assurance and general practice went up in the past year, most of them by 2% or more.

Taxation. Typical salaries increased an average 1.9% for in-house corporate tax positions, an average 1.2% for tax positions at the top 50 public accounting firms, and an average 3.1% for tax positions at smaller public accounting firms in the past year. At the Big Four, typical salaries for UK tax positions remained flat overall.

The biggest pay rises for in-house corporate tax positions were reported for international tax manager in Scotland (up 16.7%, or £10,000, from £60,000, or $79,922, in 2015); tax accountant in North-East England (up 12.5%, or £5,000, from £40,000, or $53,300, in 2015), and VAT director in London (up 15.8%, or £15,000, from £95,000, or $126,550, at FTSE 100/200 companies; and up 20%, or £20,000, from £100,000, or $133,211, at financial services companies).

Typical salaries for assistant and lower-level tax manager positions at smaller public accounting firms increased as much as 15%. Also, typical salaries for many public accounting positions dealing with corporate tax and VAT increased, particularly in London and Yorkshire and the Humber.

Treasury. The largest average pay rises in the UK profession were awarded to positions in treasury accounting. Compared to 2015, the typical 2016 salary for a position in treasury increased an average 4.8% at FTSE 100/250 companies and an average 4.3% at SMEs.

Pay rises were most consistent in South-West England, where typical salaries for group treasurer positions increased 10% to £110,000 ($146,535) at FTSE 100/250 companies and 16.7% to £70,000 ($93,249) at SMEs. Typical salaries for treasury analyst rose 18.5% to £32,000 ($42,631) at FTSE100/250 companies and 16% to £29,000 ($38,633) at SMEs.

Samantha White ( and Sabine Vollmer ( are CGMA Magazine senior editors.