Management accountants to see 5% pay rise in 2019

Here are the top takeaways from the salary survey.

CGMA designation holders across the world are expecting an average 5% salary increase over the period into early 2019 and an average bonus of 13% of their salary in companies that operate a bonus scheme.

The current average annual salary for those with the CGMA designation in the UK is £63,000; in the US, $154,000; in Sri Lanka, LKR 2,263,000 ($13,350); and in South Africa, ZAR 884,000 ($61,880) (excluding any bonuses).

CIMA students anticipate their salary to rise by 10% into early 2019. Those students who receive a bonus are expecting an average award of 9%. The average CIMA student salary in the UK is £32,000.

These are key findings from the annual 2018 Salary Survey of CGMA designation holders and CIMA students by the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants.

The survey also showed that:

  • More than half (58%) of CGMA designation holders were satisfied with their current salary, while just over a third (35%) of CIMA students were content with their salary.
  • On skills, nearly nine in ten (88%) CIMA students are planning to learn new skills to enhance their progression. Accounting information systems, strategy, and business planning were the top three desired skills shown in both this year’s and the 2017 Salary Survey. CGMA designation holders, by contrast, wish to focus their learning on strategy, driving performance, and business planning.
  • There has also been a shift in how people want to build their skills. Of those with the CGMA designation wanting a skills upgrade there is a rise in demand for informal, on-the-job learning — from 50% in 2016 to 68% in the 2018 survey. There is also an increased demand for online courses — up from 22% to 37% over the past two years. For CIMA students there was an increased interest — albeit a smaller increase — in online courses and on-the-job learning over the same period.
  • Flexibility and work/life balance is becoming a more important motivational factor for management accountants. A total of 58% of CGMA designation holders said this was the top motivator, followed by a good work environment (51%) and financial reward (40%). For CIMA students, flexibility and work/life balance was acknowledged by 38% as a motivating factor — up from the 2017 survey. However, financial motivation was the top factor at 50%, followed by a good working environment (40%).
  • A total of 48% of CGMA designation holders and 57% of CIMA students are planning to change jobs within the next two years.

Association members and students 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 the Association’s online salary calculator.

The survey, which took place in mid-2018, had responses from more than 4,000 CGMA designation holders and 4,000 CIMA students globally.

Oliver Rowe ( is external affairs content manager for FM magazine.