Questions to ask yourself before you ask for a raise/promotion as a Chartered Accountant

April 15

Have you found yourself in work as a chartered accountant and wonder whether you are being paid what you are worth?  Or maybe you have worked for several years in that role and have began to think about what it would be like to get a promotion? You know that you are completing your job duties properly, and that your continued good work has resulted in successful operations for your business. You might also have waited a long time since being hired for the role, or since your last pay review. Every project you  complete is on time, and all your work merits accolades from your employer. Given all of this, can you say that you are being paid what you are worth?

 Figuring out how to approach your employer for a raise can be difficult for anyone, and a key to asking such a question is knowing why it is worth it for them to say yes. 

Knowing your value as an employee can sometimes be hard to discern, but when you are the chartered accountant at the company, you have a better idea than most of the value of your output. Depending on what salary you are on, it could well be the time to consider asking for a raise. Figuring out how to approach your employer for a raise can be difficult for anyone, and a key to asking such a question is knowing why it is worth it for them to say yes. Questions you need to ask yourself before you ask for a raise (or even a promotion) as a chartered accountant include:

  • Am I completing more work than my job description says that I should be?
  • Am I able to show how my input has led to financial savings or increased earnings?
  • Will I be supported by my co-workers if they knew I was asking for a raise? What about my superiors?
  • Would I have the time to take on new responsibilities if my employer asked me to in exchange for getting a raise?

 

Additional Considerations Before Asking for a Raise

By considering the above questions you will be better prepared for the types of questions that will likely come to your employer’s mind when you approach them on the subject. You should also be comfortable with any eventual answer or opinion that your boss might respond with when you bring up any specific point. By being prepared, you will be sure not to be caught off guard and potentially lose the moment that holds your opportunity for a raise or for a promotion. You should also be considering what you were told when you were hired, of course. If, for instance, your then-employer told you clearly that they do not value the work you do as a chartered accountant, but only feel they hire someone to fulfil that role for the sake of compliance, you will have to think about what preventative measures you put in place for the company. If you unearthed something that was happening which could have held your employer in a state of noncompliance, this could be your biggest entry into a better title and more pay.

If you are doing more than your fair share, this is a point worth noting to your employer. If the duties that you do should otherwise fall to another person, you should attempt to quantify the value of that work as compared to all of the job duties which that other person holds. In this way, you can approach your employer and explain that X amount of pay that is going to worker B for duties they are not actually undertaking is the amount that you are seeking as a raise for completing those exact functions.

It should go without saying, but you might be the only one in the company who is acutely aware of the actual work that you do, which is never more important than when you have implemented changes to past procedures for the purpose of either time or money savings. Making a note of these changes is a good idea and noting the results of those changes with a financial figure where possible to show how much you have saved the company. As your job is about numbers, it should make sense to you that trying to quantify your worth from your employer’s perspective should involve numbers, mainly how much they earned or saved by having you on the team. Remember, once you point out the new responsibilities that you are doing, or what you would be willing to do if you were paid more, you will have to be willing to follow through and complete those extra tasks ongoing, so be careful what you ask for. Make sure that your requests are reasonable and that the new work description that you are putting forward is something that you can stick to.

 

You Don’t Get if You Don’t Ask

Ultimately, you will have to decide whether it makes sense from your company’s point of view, to pay more for your services. You might have made changes for the benefit of the company which the company will be able to avail of ongoing even if you left to pursue more money elsewhere, so that is a consideration that you must weigh up before approaching your boss for any change to your working terms. If you have weighed up all the advantages that the company gains by having you on the team and you can see that you are doing more work than what you are currently getting paid for, the only way of rectifying it is by approaching your company. As the old adage says, you can’t get if you don’t ask, which makes the move in your court a particularly important one to consider.

You should also consider what your future plans are, and make sure that you are prepared to stay with the company after a revised agreement is made. If you are unhappy in your current position and feel that you would be happier if you were paid more money, that might be easy to repair. If, however, you are actually burned out in your current job, and you are thinking about what it would be like to work elsewhere, it probably isn’t a good idea to make extensive new agreements. You should be in a position to know that you are willing to stay with the company in the revised setting, either with more pay or a promotion, before asking the company for either.

As a chartered accountant, you know that you create a high value for the company you work for, by nature of the job. You will also be one of the best placed members of the company to see the entire picture of what incomings and outgoings companies have.

Being prepared with proof of what implementations you have made to the company will be helpful in being able to show clearly how advantageous it is for the company to have you on their payroll. If you use Excel for the creation of month-end reports and have made alerts on the Excel which automatically remind people using it what should be included, and you have made equations in Excel that run the program more efficiently, these are the type of examples that can speak for themselves.

 

Having  a Good Vision

It is important to be ready for any eventual question that you might be asked in relation to your work for the company, including whether you see yourself staying with the company for a long time. It would be helpful for negotiations if you were ready for the conversation by having a good vision of how it would work if you did get a promotion, whether you were suggesting amalgamating roles or changes job duties to reflect actual work completed. As a chartered accountant you would have an advantage that other employees do not have when they are negotiating for a pay rise – you would have superior knowledge about whether the company can in fact afford to pay you more. Comparing the work you do to other companies and the wages that they pay for similar work is also important to know before entering into any negotiation.

 

As a chartered accountant, you know that you create a high value for the company you work for, by nature of the job. You will also be one of the best placed members of the company to see the entire picture of what incomings and outgoings companies have. If you have found yourself in a position that you believe you are worth more, and that the company could afford to pay you more, entering into negotiations for a wage increase is only the natural result. You might find that the roles could be combined or split between two other existing roles, and a promotion would be better suited to you. By considering all aspects of the company’s position relating to whether they could make changes in the way that you foresee, you will be able to approach the situation as prepared as is possible. It is advisable to consider what other companies locally are paying their chartered accountants, what type of program is handed to that worker when they arrive (do they need to create their own programs or are they using a well known and easy to use piece of software?), and whether they perform more job duties for less pay, or less job duties for more. Everything is quantifiable, and no one would understand that better than you!

About the Author

Concepta Cadogan

Concepta Cadogan

Director - Accounting & Finance

ccadogan@lincoln.ie+ 353 ( 1 ) 661 0444

Concepta heads our Accounting and Finance Division and has consistently delivered excellence to her loyal client base for many years in this sector. A genuine market expert in the Accountancy field, her clients and candidates alike have long testified to her passion and desire to source the best talent in a highly competitive market. Concepta’s ability to go the extra mile for her clients and candidates has become the key to her successful career. Her team share an inspirational work ethic with a real desire to get to the best active and passive talent in the market place for their clients and the best opportunities to meet the needs of their candidates.

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