Average pay higher than rest of UK

Salary numbers add up for Scots accountants

Andrew HardingForget about the streets of London being paved with gold. Scottish management accountants are leaving the rest of the UK playing catch up in the pay league.

Scottish qualified members of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) earn an average basic salary of £55,720 – more than double the UK average of £27,200.

Even while gaining their qualification, CIMA students in Scotland also earned more than the UK national average with basic salaries averaging £32,878, which is more than 20% higher.

On top of base salaries, 56% of CIMA students in Scotland last year expected a bonus, with the average being 8% of annual salary. Almost two-thirds (63%) of qualified members also expected a bonus in 2015, also averaging 8% of annual salary.

Both CIMA members and students across the UK are positive about their future salary growth, with nearly nine in ten (88%) members and just over eight out of ten (83%) students anticipating a salary increase over the next 12 months. The average expected pay increase was 5%.

Andrew Harding (pictured), managing director of CIMA, said: “In contrast to the ongoing trend of weak wage growth nationally, the earning potential of our members in Scotland has remained high, driven by the relevance and value of their skills to business.

“As we face ongoing economic uncertainty, we continue to see strong demand for management accounting skills as business seeks better support in decision-making.

“Businesses in Scotland know the benefit of strong management accounting skills in driving value and managing risk and so management accountants are increasingly sought after – and receiving increased remuneration as a result.”

The average pay package increases by around 25% once students have become fully qualified Chartered Global Management Accountants (CGMA). In the UK generally, a newly qualified CIMA member (less than a year since qualifying) earns an average £44,349 compared to an average of £35,283 for students at strategic level.

CIMA members in Scotland continue to be confident about their career mobility. Over half (55%) intend to change jobs within the next two years with 7% planning to find a job abroad.

Mr Harding adds: “Business is increasingly global and being able to work across cultures is a highly valuable skill.

“This can apply for companies in Scotland which have operations based across the globe but is also important for businesses that want to trade internationally.

“Our CGMA designation provides a global standard for management accountancy skills, based on research involving over 3,000 businesses and professionals across the whole world.”

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