Better standard of living for Southern accountants, study finds

ACCOUNTANTS living in the South of England, particularly the South West, enjoy a much higher standard of living compared to their Northern counterparts, research has found.

According to recruitment consultancy Marks Sattin’s quality of life index, the South West emerges as the region with the highest standards of living, boasting the highest proportion of accountants satisfied with their current job role, whereas the East Midlands ranks last with the lowest average salary and job satisfaction levels.

SW table 1The research, which ranks the UK regions on the basis of average salaries in the sector, as well as commuting times, housing affordability, job satisfaction and hours worked each week, found that accountants in London had the second highest levels of quality of life in England.

With the region recording an average annual salary of £92,875 in the sector, accountants in London were paid far more than accountants in any other region – giving them increased purchasing power.

In return for their high salaries, London-based accountants have to put up with the longest commuting times with the average accountant spending two hours 18 minutes commuting to and from work each week. Accountants in the South West enjoyed the quickest average total weekly commute, which measured just one hour 12 minutes.

SW table 2

Matthew Wilcox, managing director at Marks Sattin, said that the data revealed a clear North-South divide in accountants’ quality of life, and has urged the government to do more to remedy the situation, including to speed up plans to create a ‘Northern Powerhouse’.

“Accountants and the work they do is essential to business and the economy overall. If there is a geographic disparity in their quality of life there is a risk that business critical accounting talent might migrate to areas where quality of life is better, thus leaving a vacuum in certain regions.

“The dust is yet to settle from the Brexit decision but, whatever your personal opinion on the issue, one thing it does throw up is a fresh imperative to ensure that the economic balance across the UK is calibrated correctly, that new business and infrastructure are attracted to the regions, bringing new job opportunities too.

“This project needs input from many directions, including a drive from the government to ensure delivery of much needed housing and infrastructure. With this investment business will follow and new accountancy and financial job opportunities will flourish,” continued Wilcox.

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