2017 Practice, Advisory & Taxation Salary Survey & Employment Overview
Public Practice Advisory & Taxation Market Overview
The accountancy practice sector can be seen as a strong barometer for the overall health of the Irish Economy (since their clients, big and small, make up the Irish economy). Happily this year our survey, which is reflected in the broader economic data out there, suggests that Ireland Inc. is in rude health.
While the ‘Big 4’ and many of the ‘Top 10’ accountancy practices were quick to recover from the GFC due to their international client base, it has taken a while for the recovery to trickle down to the smaller practices. From the results of our research this year, we’re happy to report that just about all of our practice clients are reporting a return to growth this year. This is reflected in our survey results with 91% of accountants surveyed feeling secure in their current role.
The country’s audit teams remain the largest training ground for qualified accountants in Ireland and this year, like most, the demand for auditors again outstrips supply. Particular areas of demand are at the manager and senior manager level, with auditors being able to negotiate significant raises for themselves on moving. This shortage has led to large practices being more open than ever to taking auditors from their smaller practice counterparts, as well as an increased desire to take candidates from non-EU nations, despite the visa sponsorship hassles. We see this demand continuing throughout 2017, so qualified auditors looking for an improvement in remuneration, progression, location or work life balance should get in touch as there are plenty of options out there.
We have seen consistent demand for tax candidates this year, particularly from larger practices, and especially at manager and senior manager level. Again, firms are aware of the tightness in the market for candidates at this level, which is leading to significant wage inflation for Tax professionals, as well as companies creating more flexible working environments or reducing the compliance burden for candidates who are not primarily motivated by money.
The demand for consulting professionals continues to be very high with there being particularly strong interest in Management Consulting, Finance Transformation, Risk Consulting, Regulatory Affairs and Financial Effectiveness. Candidates from a variety of backgrounds, including industry, have moved seamlessly into these roles. This is not only driven by growth of the existing consulting business, we’ve also seen some of our practices’ clients look to add brand new consulting arms to their business to meet the increased requests they are getting from their clients. This further increases the opportunity for driven consultants to build a business around themselves.
Another area of significant growth for us here in Lincoln has been assisting clients to identify companies to merge with or acquire. This, once again, is a result of a new-found confidence in the market, with small and medium-sized practices having money to invest in their growth and seeing the merger/acquisition of another firm as being an effective way to do so. We have taken these processes from cradle to the grave in 2016 and the demand has been high. We have also created a definitive structure around Mergers to ensure a smooth hassle free journey through the process.
From our research we’re happy to report that just about all of our practice clients are reporting a return to growth this year.
2016 has continued the trend of recent years of being a candidate driven market. We hope that the uptick in trainees post-GFC will help to cool salary inflation, particularly at Manager level, but that remains to be seen. Over 80% of respondents received salary increases in 2016, demonstrating the demand, with over a third of candidates getting +10% increases. (We are aware of many examples of people receiving way above 10%.) We expect this trend to continue into 2017, so if you are a qualified accountant who is not entirely happy with your situation it’s well worth testing the market to see what you could achieve.
For breakdown of salaries in this sector please click here
To view the full survey results please click here.