Accountancy Practice Salary Insights 2023 Overview

Author: Patrick Bell

Salary Insights Report - Accountancy Practice 2023

Accountancy Practice Salary Insight Overview 2023

It is fair to say that recruiting continues to be a not only a challenge for many accountancy practices but also a critical success factor for those firms wishing to stay on track for 2023 and heading into 2024.

Confidence can be a delicate matter, when gloomy economic forecasts start making headlines, it can send shockwaves through the job market. That Autumn budget in 2022, for better or worse, didn’t just rattle the financial world but also had potential job seekers second-guessing their plans to switch jobs.

The lack of candidates movement at the back end of 2022 and first quarter of 2023 has created an intense competition for talent going into the 2nd and 3rd quarters of this year. All of which is good for candidates, but not so good for employers. There are still more open positions than there are candidates to fill them, although thankfully, the nail-biting
desperation of late 2021 and early 2022 has eased up a

Firms have had to adapt to the challenging reality of a candidate-short market, even if it means they’re grappling with maintaining their service levels to clients. Increasingly more and more firms are feeling the pinch when it comes to being under resourced with senior and experience practice professionals. And where this is left un-tackled, has knock effects with less people picking up the slack and having more work to complete, which can then lead to people wanting to exit a business.
Most firms find themselves stretched thin, with noticeable gaps in their teams. Their strategies to cope with this shortage have been diverse, from shedding less profitable clients to sending work overseas, hiring remote talent, or simply being more flexible with their hiring criteria. In short, firms have had to make some adjustments and compromises.

When it comes to what candidates are looking for in job offers, flexibility in work arrangements remains one of the biggest drivers. The post covid effect of juggling a home and work life balances within families has become of paramount importance. Alongside the usual consideration of compensation, an interesting trend we’ve observed is the rise of the four-day workweek, which has gained significant popularity.

As recruiters, one of the most significant challenges we’ve faced over the past three to six months is a sudden surge in counteroffers (some of which have been quite staggering!) With senior staff shortages plaguing many firms, they’re pulling out all the stops to keep their employees from jumping ship. Although it’s worth noting that much of this seems to be in reaction to
resignations rather than a proactive, long-term retention strategy. When you have significant gaps at the senior levels, it gives firms the leverage to offer early promotions to discourage staff from leaving.

Salaries continue to climb rapidly in the North West, (on average we have seen 22% increases for people that move to another practice) and firms are employing various strategies to keep these increases in check. That includes using retention
and performance bonuses, offering attractive sign on incentives, and guaranteeing future pay raises.

One particular area where we’ve seen substantial salary growth is among audit, the combination for flexible working. Unfortunately work life balance is not always easy to achieve in the audit world.

The shortage is less of a problem at the newly qualified end of the spectrum but certainly senior audit professionals and managers are valued extremely highly and have seen the biggest pay jumps in the last 18months.

The intense candidate shortage shows no signs of letting up in 2023 or 2024. However the good news is that many practices are already reporting and experiencing far more movement of people going into the the 2nd half of this year. It is this feedback that gives much more confidence that the recruiting challenges can be met in 2024 (providing the economy and world events don’t jeopardize this!) 

Although my focus is only on the North West, I have pulled data together from various sources to create a more comprehensive nationwide salary insights guide.

If you would like to reach out to me about working with you to secure a new opportunity, or recruit for your vacancies, then please email me at


Author: Patrick Bell

Patrick works for businesses and individuals that need to identify Accountancy Practice professionals in General Practice, Audit, Tax, Corporate, Advisory. North West UK