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Management accountant salaries growing at twice the national average

Study reveals qualified management accountants are paid £36,411 more than the typical British workers

Salaries within the management accountancy sector have continued to grow at twice the national average, according to The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) Annual Salary Survey, sponsored by the Global Accounting Network. The results reveal that average earnings among qualified members reached £64,011 in 2016 (an increase of 1.9%), £36,411 more than the current average UK wage.

According to the research, even those in the process of gaining their qualifications report earning 22% higher than the national average wage, receiving an annual salary of £33,638.

 Members and students in the UK are positive about their continued salary development. Indeed, more than nine in ten (94%) members expect their gross annual salary to grow (by an average of 4%). A similar proportion of students (95%) anticipated a salary increase over the next 12 months (by an average of 6%). 
On top of base salaries, 55% of CIMA students in the UK received a bonus in 2016, with the average bonus amounting to 8% of annual salary. The average bonus increases to 12% of annual salary for qualified members, with 68% reporting they received one in 2016.

Andrew Harding FCMA, CGMA, Managing Director of CIMA, said: “For three years in a row, management accountants have been paid more than twice the national average, revealing their enduring value to businesses.”

“This is a reflection of the importance of their skillset – they have an ability to help drive good decisions in the short, medium and long term, and help business leaders generate value.”

Looking across industry, members within the banking sector were found to receive the highest average annual wage in 2016 (£85,334), followed by the Construction & Property and Professional Services industries. In contrast, students within the legal sector were paid the highest average amount (£42,603) followed by Banking and Education. In terms of bonuses, those members working with the Financial Services and Healthcare & Pharmaceutical industries received the biggest bonus in relation to their salaries (14%). This was followed by CIMA members working in Banking, who were found on average to receive 13% of their salaries as a reward at the end of the year.

Roughly half of CIMA’s UK members (50%) and students (48%) will likely look to switch jobs and join a different organisation within the next two years, with financial reward being the primary motivator, followed by Scope of role, and promotion prospects. However, 16% also cited training and skills as a possible reason for switching businesses. The skills most desired included Accounting Information Systems, Business Planning and Strategy.

CIMA Members and students continue to be confident about their career mobility. Of those planning to find new jobs, 7% of members and 10% of students plan to move abroad for work. The main reasons stated for moving abroad were improved quality of life and the experience of a new culture, with the most popular place for relocation being USA, followed by Australia and Ireland.


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