21st Jan, 2022

Alister Houghton
Author
Alister Houghton
Job Title
Senior Content Writer

The salaries offered by accountancy and finance practices vary depending on different regional factors. While pay will often depend on a region’s cost of living, firms may pay more or less for professionals with certain skill sets – with sought-after specialists in areas like tax and audit commanding higher salaries in areas where fewer accountants have these skills.

The following are interesting salary variations from each of the 13 regions in Reed’s 2022 accountancy and finance practice salary guide.

East Anglia

Practices based in East Anglia have always faced challenges matching salaries with the big firms in London, with professionals often choosing to commute to the latter. Now the rise of hybrid and remote working means that specialists may not even have to choose between an idyllic East Anglian working environment and a London salary.

However, qualified professionals in the region should still earn a minimum of £30,000 across all accounting areas. The only exceptions are in corporate recovery & insolvency and forensics & investigation, where some salaries start at £28,000 for qualified specialists.

East Midlands

The East Midlands is one of the areas of the UK where there are a shortage of tax and audit professionals. This shortage manifests itself in salaries for audit roles, which have a significant range between minimum and maximum rates. For example, an assistant manager specialising in audit and assurance in the East Midlands can earn anything between £27,000 and £45,000.

London

Despite practices’ reputation for offering lower salaries than in industry, partners and directors at some London firms can earn comparable salaries to CFOs and finance leadership in other organisations.

This is true for tax roles, with practice leaders earning as much as £260,000 for personal tax roles and £258,000 for corporate and indirect tax positions. Partners and directors with a corporate finance focus can earn up to £310,000 in some London-based firms.

Greater London

The proximity of big-paying city firms can put practices in Greater London at a disadvantage when looking to attract staff. Despite this, salaries at Greater London firms are higher than across many regions of the UK, with part-qualified professionals earning a minimum of £24,000 no matter which discipline they specialise in.

North East

For those professionals embarking on accountancy and finance careers in the North East, undertaking a CTA qualification to become a tax specialist is an excellent way to earn good money in the region.

CTA-qualified specialists in personal tax and corporate & indirect tax can earn as much as £50,000 and £55,000 respectively – matching salaries for manager and senior manager level roles across other practice disciplines in the region.

North West

One interesting aspect in firms across the North West is the smaller gap between salaries for newly qualified and part-qualified professional. Whereas in some regions this can be approaching the tens of thousands, in the North West a part-qualified professional specialising in business services and outsourcing can earn £25,000, with the minimum for someone newly qualified in the discipline around £28,000.

Northern Ireland

While there has always been a shortage of practice professionals in Northern Ireland, this year the demand for staff is even more acute. This lack of professionals appears to have impacted minimum salaries for senior managers in business services – outsourcing and audit and assurance roles. Both have salaries starting at £53,000, which is higher than a number of regions across the UK.

Scotland

Many of the practice salaries on offer in Scottish firms are slightly lower than those available in other regions of the UK, but those professionals who remain in practices rather than moving to industry are rewarded when they reach partner and director level.

Maximum salaries for these roles in Scotland can reach as high as £160,000 for tax, audit and corporate finance disciplines, with £150,000 the top rate for partners and directors in other disciplines.

South East

Part-qualified professionals in the South East have great earning potential when compared to other regions in the UK. The minimum salary for those partway through a qualification in any discipline is £24,500 (business services – outsourcing), with maximum salaries reaching as high as £38,000 for audit & assurance and corporate & indirect tax specialists.

South West

The South West is one of the most rewarding regions for forensics & investigations specialists. In other regions of the UK pay rates are slightly below those found in areas like audit, tax and corporate finance, yet in the South West the discipline receives the greatest rewards.

This begins with AAT/CAT foundation/intermediate positions, where professionals will earn a minimum of £18,000 and up to £22,000, and continues to senior manager level, with the minimum £60,000 salary higher than any other minimum rates in other disciplines.

Wales

The shortage of audit and assurance specialists in Wales, particularly unqualified and part-qualified professionals, manifests itself in the salaries on offer. Audit specialists who progress through their qualifications see their pay rates increase more quickly than other practice disciplines here.

This is particularly true for first year trainees studying ACA, ACCA or CA qualifications, whose £20,000-£24,000 salary range exceeds that of those studying for comparable qualifications in different disciplines.

West Midlands

In the West Midlands, those professionals who look to progress from assistant manager to manager-level positions are well rewarded. Pay scales increase incrementally in the region for roles across all disciplines until accountants reach a managerial position, at which point pay increases by almost 25% for all but personal tax specialists.

For example, an assistant manager specialising in corporate recovery & insolvency receives a minimum of £32,000. This increases to £40,000 when they become a manager, and can rise as high as £60,000.

Yorkshire & Humberside

The earning potential for professionals who are CTA qualified in Yorkshire & Humberside is unsurpassed. While minimum salaries for both personal and corporate & indirect tax is £35,000, the maximum salary for these roles is as high as £90,000. This means that those professionals who can demonstrate proficiency in this sought-after discipline can increase their remuneration to a level equivalent to what partners and directors earn in this region.


To find out more about practice salaries across the UK, download Reed’s 2022 accountancy & finance practice salary guide now.