Finance directors have rounded on the UK’s top accountants for being ‘grossly overpaid’ after it emerged that John Connolly, Deloitte senior partner, earned a ‘scandalous’ £2.9m last year.
One in three respondents to this week’s Accountancy Age/Reed Finance Big Question survey said the country’s top accountants were ‘definitely’ overpaid, while almost a quarter said they ‘probably’ were.
Kevin Fuller, finance director of Anteon UK, said they were ‘grossly overpaid in general’. ‘Whereas FDs in companies have a lot of responsibility, and can go to prison if they make mistakes, but get paid a lot less,’ he said.
Fuller’s feelings were supported by several finance directors. ‘I don’t think (John Connolly) is worth 20 of me,’ said Alan Williamson, director of finance at Jewel & Esk Valley.
Others suggested that it was difficult to measure or justify such high salaries, and that they were in turn pushing up fees. ‘It is the depth of those earning high salaries that is out of line,’ said one respondent.
Just 7% of respondents said the UK’s top accountants were ‘definitely’ not overpaid and a quarter said they ‘probably’ were not.
Connolly tops the pay list of accountants in practice, followed by KPMG’s Mike Rake (£2.4m), PricewaterhouseCooper’s Kieran Poynter (£1.4m) and Ernst & Young’s Nick Land (£1.3m).
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