Lucrative opportunities for new and old recruits

The high demand for auditing professionals has seen the price of skills also
rocket – at an average of up to 14% a year.

And those set to benefit include thousands of new recruits who qualify this
month, as well as experienced professionals who want to leave their current
firms in search of better prospects.

Financial recruitment agents reveal that the job market for auditors has
never been better, as firms are increasingly devising ways of ‘buying back’
employees – who had intended to leave the organisation in pursuit of external
opportunities – in an effort to retain experience and talent.

According to financial recruitment specialists ECHM – who surveyed salary
increases of 300 commerce and public practice firms in England – those who pass
their final exams can expect to earn up to 14% more in a newly qualified
accountancy role than their 2005 counterparts.

According to those surveyed, newly qualified ACCAs can now earn a basic
salary of up to £43,000, a 14% rise on 2005 salaries. This is expected to rise
to £45,000 by 2007, representing a 22% increase between 2005 and 2007.

John Hunter, chief executive of ECHM, said firms are working hard to retain
key talent within their business.

‘We have started to see a growing trend in buy-backs, particularly at the
newly qualified level. This is not a tactic that practice firms have previously
utilised and is indicative of the tightness of the talent pool. The Big Four
have offered some individuals payments of between £5,000 to £10,000 to stay,
while one Top 50 practice gave a newly qualified accountant a 50% pay rise to
ensure he remained with the business,’ he said.

Newly qualified ACAs within commerce and public practice can now earn up to
£48,000 compared with £45,000 in the last year. Their basic pay is expected to
rise to £52,000 in 2007, an increase of 16% in two years.

Salaries for newly qualified CIMA accountants increased 7% to £45,000 in
2006, with companies offering basic salaries of up to £45,000 from £42,000 in
2005. According to ECHM’s research, basic salaries are likely to rise to £47,000
by 2007.

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