UK tops accountancy earnings league

The survey revealed accountants with five years work experience could expect to earn an annual salary of £76,000, while accountants in France, who came second in the earnings stakes, took home a wage of just under £50,000, or 55% less.

Joining UK accountants as the highest paid in their field are UK boardroom executives who earned an average salary package of £509,000, an increase of nearly 30% since 1999. French executives came in second, with an average income of £382,223 their earnings falling behind the UK by a third.

Surprisingly, executives in Germany, traditionally seen as the models of efficiency and hard work, came in at the bottom of the ladder earning £298,223. Australian and Japanese CEOs substantially out-earned German rivals, taking home £457,139 and £385,128.

Only executives across the pond earned more – US boardroom chiefs command an income of £992,974, taking their earnings package to almost $1.5m, but they do so on just 10 days of annual leave, compared to as many as 25 days taken across Europe.

The climb in executive pay comes at a time when boardroom bonuses are coming under heavy scrutiny. Only yesterday Vodafone chairman Lord MacLaurin said the company would undertake a full review of its executive remuneration policies after shareholders rebelled against directors’ bonus arrangements.

And in May, Tesco revealed it had paid three board members including FD Andrew Higginson more than £1m if profits on share options were taken into account.

John Monks, general secretary of the Trade Union Congress, said CEOs were earning almost a third more than they were two years ago, adding that ‘fat cat pay’ showed no signs of letting up.

‘That’s why we want the government to ensure remuneration committees have employee representation and to compel companies to justify pay packages to their agms including allowing for a separate vote on pay,’ he added.

Rufus Olins, editor-in-chief of Management Today, said: ‘For now, your worth is largely determined by where you live.’

But, he said this was slowly changing, as the global market opened up, giving business a greater pool of talent to ‘fish’ from.


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