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Life is Sweet for Part Qualifieds

We live in turbulent times, but it appears there is no let-up in demand for PQ and NQ accountants, says Hays Accountancy & Finance’s Karen Young.

February 2019

In fact, it appears PQs have never been happier with their lot! Some 60% of respondents to the Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trend 2019 guide said they were ‘satisfied’ with their salary.
This compares with just 42% in the survey a year ago. Some 58% of PQs also rated their work-life balance as good or very good, similar to the results seen last year. They were also planning to use 2019 to rejig their working hours and reduce commuting times. Employers who want to get ahead of the game should be looking to offer flexi working here.
The survey found the average UK salary for a trainee PQ now stands at £21,000. That’s a jump of 2.9% year-on-year. PQs at semi-senior level are, on average, taking home £27,635 (up 2.5%) and finalist £32,198, which is a yearly increase of 2.1%.
However, there are marked differences when it comes to PQs’ pay packets around the UK regions. The top salary went to CIMA finalists in London, who are on average being paid £43,000. This was closely followed by ACCA finalists in the capital – who on average receive £42,000. Many will be surprised to see that ACA studiers in London are paid £38,000 at the final stage of qualification.
Some of the lowest PQ salaries can be found in Northern Ireland and the North East of England, where the costs of living are lower. For example, an ACA trainee can expect a starting salary of £17,000 in the North East. In Northern Ireland CIPFA trainees’ average pay is £17,000.
Young stressed that PQs need to be aware of the demand for shifting skills sets. And that doesn’t just mean IT. She said candidates need to be developing the ability to interpret, provide insight and analysis of data. Creative and critical thinking skills are also key to future success.
Employers need to be aware of what attracts PQs when considering a new role, too. Top of the list (at 61%) is more than 28 days’ annual leave. Next is financial support for professional studies (52%), followed by health insurance or private medical cover (51%), pension provision above the legal minimum (50%), and training/professional certification support (41%).

• Go to page 20 in the February 2019 issue of PQ Magazine for the Hays salary survey and more insight into the data.

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