A Guide to Effective Salary and Package Negotiation Strategies – Part 1

A Guide to Effective Salary and Package Negotiation Strategies – Part 1

I recently had the pleasure of joining an expert panel of speakers at the Chartered Accountants Ireland “Effective Salary and Package Negotiation Strategies for Women” online event.

Taking part in events like these and ensuring the professionals we work with have the right information, to make an informed decision, and are ultimately armed with the right tools to appropriately negotiate salaries, is at the heart of what we do in Barden.

This particular event focused on negotiation strategies for women, however the information and tips that follow are relevant for all accounting and tax professionals.

During the event I spoke about the current market for accountants, in particular when it comes to salary, and shared some top tips to help accounting professionals to achieve a successful negotiation process when it comes to discussing salaries. Over a short series of blogs I’ll share the key insights we shared during this event.

First up…An Overview of Salaries in the Current Market

Before you can begin any negotiation process, whether it’s to do with salary or not, it is essential to understand the setting and your market, and to gather your insights and facts on which to base your discussion.

For the last number of years, we have partnered with Chartered Accountants Ireland Leinster Society to produce the ONLY data driven, accounting salary survey in the market. I mention the phrase ‘data driven’ here quite specifically,  as that’s really one of the key aspects of any successful negotiation…having market specific facts and data researched in advance of any conversations on the topic.

Some of the headline findings from the salary survey are extremely impressive:

A Chartered Accountant with 5 years PQE has an average salary package of €83,535, while the overall, average salary package of a Chartered Accountant across all levels is just over €112k.

However, what we need to keep in mind is, these numbers are average numbers, in other words they are the mean numbers across a number of respondents. It does not mean that all ACAs with 5 years PQE secure a salary package of over €83k.

Pin Pointing an Exact Market Rate for Salary…Is It Really Possible?

 Pin pointing an exact market rate as you progress up through levels or years of post-qualified experience (PQE), becomes even more difficult. It becomes less about your years PQE, and more about the value you’re creating in the business and organisation.

Salary is based on a myriad of factors, such as the scale of the business, organisational structure, the remit of role, the size and breakdown of team, reporting lines, projects outside of BAU…the list goes on.

For example we’ve been engaged in Barden to recruit Financial Controller (FC) roles for €3m turnover businesses at a €75k package, and also FCs for large listed businesses with turnover in the billions for a €150k package.  As you may imagine, there is a substantial difference in the requirements for both of those roles, even though they ultimately have the same title, but resulting in different salary packages.

In the next editions of this series we look at differences in negotiation behaviour between men and women, how salary negotiations differ with external and internal career moves, and the top tips when it comes to negotiating your salary.

About Elaine…

Elaine Brady is Managing Partner with Barden Dublin. Following an undergrad in business with Trinity, Elaine joined the recruitment profession in 2004 and held a number of leadership roles with key recruitment firms before founding Barden in 2014. Working with a team of 15 experts Elaine advises leadership teams across Leinster on their talent attraction and retention strategy and is a regular speaker at institute events. Contact Elaine at elaine.brady@barden.ie or via LinkedIn.



At Barden we invest our resources to bring you the very best insights on all things to do with your professional future. Got a topic you would like us to research? Got an insight you would like us to share with our audience? Drop us a note to hello@barden.ie and we will take it from there. Easy.

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