Benchmark your salary

July 2024

What does the 2024 recruitment market have in store for accountants?

At the start of 2024 GAAPweb surveyed over 2,200 finance professionals to get the inside scoop on salaries, bonuses and employee expectations. The landscape of talent acquisition continues to evolve for accountants in 2024; shaped by changing workforce dynamics with return-to-office schemes and the ever-growing demand for skilled professionals. This year, the industry delivers on salary, bonuses and employees’ desire for flexibility, with 63.1% of accountants conducting a hybrid working schedule.

Average earnings

Some 62% of the GAAPweb audience received a pay rise in 2024, with 49% of accountants taking home an ameliorated wage. Despite employers’ budgets being under greater pressure, competition for suitably qualified staff continues. This fluidity is apparent within the financial recruitment market, with candidates seizing the opportunity to negotiate their salary with potential employers. The average salary for accountants stands at £52,447 per annum, with PQ accountants earning £40,000 (a 7.6% uptick on 2023 stats).

Spotlighting industries

Some 36% of GAAPweb accountants work within an accountancy practice – a sector that delivers a median salary of £59,611, a 13.4% uplift on 2023 figures. The strongest demand, however, lies with those working in technology. In an age of emerging tech, with companies assessing and adopting newfound AI models, workers within the tech industry are in high demand. With candidate shortages prevalent across the sector it’s no surprise that recruiters have turned to salary incentives to attract and retain new talent.

In comparison, those working in banking/ finance and fintech have been bestowed a lower salary than usual. A 35% decline in average earnings, the financial challenges in fintech in particular have affected the sector’s pay.


An impressive 78% of accountants received a bonus in 2024 (a 56% uplift on 2023 figures), with

  • 20% receiving a 0-2% bonus
  • 55% earning an additional 3-5%
  • 17% taking home 6-9%
  • 7% pocketing 10-20% of their salary
  • 1% being supplemented 20% or more

The professional demographic

The ICAEW chartered accountant qualification (22%) just pips CIMA (21%) and ACCA (19%) this year as the most popular qualification amongst respondents, for the first time since 2018.

Of those who are qualified, 51% of CIMA candidates and 31% of ACAs work in senior or director roles. This accreditation pays dividends in terms of earning potential, with CIMA-qualified accountants obtaining an average salary of £71,475.

Home-based or hybrid?

Flexible set-ups are certainly the norm for finance professionals in 2024. It’s worth noting that 63.5% of accountants declared a return-to-office ruling as a deal-breaker in their current role.

The question remains whether flexible working is now seen as an expectation rather than a perk.

Across the country, Scotland (87%) occupies the highest hybrid rate, followed by the Midlands (82%) and London (73%). With an enhanced employee map making global roles accessible to all, are those based in more rural and remote locations reaping the benefits that hybrid work has to offer?

The gender divide

This year celebrates a step towards equality, with female representation now equal to male across all echelons of accountancy. PQ accountants present a clear 50/50 divide, with chartered accountants falling in slight favour of women, with a 52/48 split.

Across the sectors, the accountancy practice sector is the closest to achieving gender pay parity, with a £1,000 discrepancy. Elsewhere, we see a clear chasm in pay, with those in transport (68% women) earning £26,759 less; construction (59% women, £4,222 less); and pharmaceutical (74% women, £5,982 less).

What’s most important to you in a role?

Some 28% of accountants denote salary as the utmost important factor within their job. Pay equity within a role has evidently surpassed hybrid working this year, with flexibility almost seen as a given rather than a perk.

Over the course of, and following the pandemic, job security was flagged as the top priority. This year, with a shift in attitude across the candidate- driven recruitment market, we see the trend return with a 15%-20% jump. This year brings increased volatility across the professional sector – with news of restructuring and redundancies in the headlines, it’s not surprising to see a return of concern over job stability.

Turn to GAAPweb

Overall, the finance sector has much to celebrate in 2024. Yet in order to boost loyalty, diversity, productivity and profit, firms must explore ways to level the playing field for accountants both in practice and in industry. Turn to GAAPweb for the latest developments and exclusive insights into the finance recruitment market – download the full report.