Trainees feel exploited

One in two trainee accountants say they are underpaid and exploited by their employers, despite the popular belief that accountancy is one of the highest paid professions, according to a new survey.

The annual poll of around 500 trainees by recruitment consultant TMP Harrison Willis also found almost half claimed they receive insufficient time off to study for their exams, while 70% thought their training was inadequate. Fifty six per cent of graduate trainees polled complained that compared to contemporaries in other fields their pay was poor.

Findings revealed a huge variance in trainee salaries.

At the bottom end, one Midlands-based ACCA student received a salary of #4,800, while another ACCA trainee earned #45,000.

The results contrast with recent news that Andersen Consulting is offering graduate trainees #10,000 as a ‘golden hello’ with some Big Five firms paying #1,000 as a ‘settling in’ bonus. The largest firms typically offer new graduate joiners salaries in excess of #20,000.

The survey, carried out in association with Pass magazine, also showed the most disgruntled group were trainees with the English ICA with as many as 63% saying they had been let down in some way.

Confusion over ‘golden hellos’

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