Annual survey from Chartered Accountants Leinster Society, in partnership with Barden, shows changing work practices & values focused on health and work-life balance following Covid-19
A new survey published today places the average salary package (including base salary, car or car allowance, plus bonus) for a Chartered Accountant in Leinster at €112,033, consistent with recent years. But in contrast to previous surveys, a strong shift in work practices, values and priorities has emerged for many following the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The survey of more than 1,000 Chartered Accountants, published today by Chartered Accountants Ireland Leinster Society in partnership with Barden, Ireland’s leading accounting and tax recruitment firm, and in association with Coyne Research, provides the most up-to-date guide to Chartered Accountant salaries and employment prospects in the Leinster region.
Strong Earning Potential
The survey, carried out between 22 July and 9 August, highlights strong earning potential for those entering the profession, with newly qualified (2020 and 2021) Chartered Accountants receiving an average salary package of €57,164. The majority of members surveyed said they hold full-time permanent roles (96%), up slightly on 2020 (95%). Over 4 in 5 (82%) said their total remuneration has increased within the past three years, with 1 in 3 claiming it has increased by more than 25%. The survey also showed a significant increase in those anticipating a bonus payment in 2021 (67%) versus 2020 (52%), with €20,000 the average bonus expected to be paid this year. At 85%, the majority also have a pension, unchanged from 2020, with employers contributing on average 9% of their salary.
Healthy Work-Life Balance
The survey also examined the impact of Covid-19 on working life, and the growing focus among Chartered Accountants on health and work-life balance, with employers increasingly offering ways to facilitate this for staff:
- 88% of respondents have the ability to work from home, versus 50% pre-pandemic (up +38%);
- 48% now enjoy flexible working arrangements such as flexitime, time in lieu and job-sharing, versus 39% pre-pandemic (up +9%);
- 8 in 10 respondents (81%) said they value flexible working arrangements and would sacrifice 5%-10% of their remuneration for this, versus 74% pre-pandemic (up +7%);
- More than 3 in 4 (76%) rated their employer as “good” or “very good” in adapting to working from home arrangements;
- Only 8% of those surveyed said their employer offered no specific measures to facilitate improved work-life balance, versus 25% pre-pandemic (a drop of -17%);
- After basic salary, the most valued benefits were a pension scheme (52%) followed by health insurance (17%). 55% claimed to receive health insurance as part of a salary package, versus 48% in 2018 (up +7%).
New Ways of Working
As with many professions, the pandemic has changed how Chartered Accountants work with regards to place of work, the role of technology, and hours worked. Key findings include:
- 8 in 10 respondents considered location flexibility (a mix of home and office/client location, work from anywhere) the most valuable aspect of flexible/hybrid working for the future;
- More than 8 in 10 believed personal productivity tools such as MS Teams, Zoom, etc. have positively impacted their career;
- However, almost half (48%) of Chartered Accountants also claim they are working more hours at home than they were when working in the office;
- 60% know what their future working arrangements will entail, while one-third (32%) do not yet know – but among this group, 7 in 10 would like to collaborate with their employer on a plan;
- Just 6% would be happy to return to a full-time, Monday to Friday office routine in the future.
At this stage in the pandemic, respondents are more positive about the future, both in terms of their own personal career progression and the outlook for the profession in general. Key findings include:
- More than two-thirds (67%) believe the employment market is buoyant, a significant change from 25% in 2020. Only 9% believe the market is contracting in 2021 compared to 36% in 2020.
- Over half (51%) said they have been promoted in the last three years, with one-fifth of members moving job in the last 12 months. This remains on par with recent years.
- 90% of Leinster Society members are not concerned about job security, a significant improvement on last year when Ireland was in the early stages of the pandemic. At that time, almost one fifth (18%) of those surveyed expressed concern about their job security.
- Just 4% said their salary has reduced as a result of the pandemic, versus 13% in 2020.
- Only 3% were in receipt of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme, a fall of 6% on 2020.
Jilly Harvey, Chairperson of Chartered Accountants Ireland Leinster Society, said:
“While our survey shows that 84% don’t believe the pandemic has changed their work as a Chartered Accountant, it is clear that ways of working have changed, and that the pandemic has been a catalyst for much of this change. Greater work-life balance with flexible arrangements are valued by members in greater numbers than in any previous Leinster Society survey. It is reassuring that employers are providing tangible ways to meet those needs as part of the overall remuneration package on offer to new and established professionals. The survey points to a profession that is adapting well for the post-pandemic world of work, while retaining the many benefits, such as strong starting salaries and flexible entry routes, that make Chartered Accountancy an attractive career path for so many.”
Elaine Brady, Managing Partner at Barden, said:
“This survey gives employer firms, recruiters and anyone considering a career in Chartered Accountancy the big picture on what it means to work as a Chartered Accountant in Leinster today. The findings look far beyond the traditional remuneration packages to ask about the real life work arrangements and non-financial benefits increasingly valued by employees. Over half of those surveyed are satisfied with their work/life balance and the non-monetary aspects of their job. As Ireland emerges further from the pandemic, all the signs point to continued confidence in both the employment market and equally the career progression outlook for Chartered Accountants across Leinster.”
Where Chartered Accountants Work
The survey highlights the wide range of industries and sectors that Chartered Accountants work in. The majority of members surveyed work in Dublin (84%). Of the 19% of members employed in practice, 48% work in a Big 4 practice. 68% of those working in practice are in a Manager or Director role.
The majority of those not working in practice currently work in financial services (25%). Members also work in IT and Telecommunications (13%), Government/Public Sector/Education (10%), Construction (8%), Pharmaceutical (8%), and across a broad range of other sectors including manufacturing, not-for-profit / charities, food industry and more.
Among those not employed in practice, almost four in ten (39%) work for companies that are a subsidiary of a foreign-owned multinational compared to a private Irish company (29%) or the business unit of an Irish plc (11%).
To view a copy of the 2021 Salary Survey results click here.
Source: Chartered Accountants Ireland