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Two thirds of accounting and business support professionals expect pay to rise

Two thirds of accounting and business support professionals expect pay to rise, while a third of financial services professionals predict salaries will increase

Morgan McKinley has today released two 2012 Salary Surveys for the accounting, finance & business support market and the financial services sector including insight from professionals working in these areas as well as comprehensive salary data for 2012.

Accounting, Finance & Support UK 2012 Survey Highlights:

Over half of respondents (52%) working across accounting, finance & support functions expect their companies to be hiring in Q1 2012

Nearly two thirds of those surveyed are expecting salaries to increase throughout 2012, either in their team (48%) or elsewhere in the business (14%)

Modest salary rises are expected by most, with 99% of those anticipating that the increase will be no more than 10%

Over half (58%) of survey respondents anticipate that bonuses will be up to 20% of base salaries in 2012.

Financial Services London 2012 Survey Highlights:

In the permanent financial services jobs market, one third (35%) expect salaries to rise, whilst in the temporary market, 15% predict rate rises in 2012

The dominant reason for salaries and temporary rates rising was attraction and retention of key staff as cited by 51% in the permanent market and 40% in the temporary market

A potential decrease in pay or rates is likely to be a result of the focus on cost management according to 66% working with permanent professionals and 78% working with temporary staff.

Morgan McKinley conducted a survey in November 11 with 350 senior-level operational and HR managers working across accountancy, finance and business support in the UK and a second survey with 372 professionals working across the London financial services sector. 

Modest rise for accountancy, finance & business support remuneration levels

Results from the survey of accountants and support professionals showed that most respondents (52%) expect to see hiring start in the first quarter of 2012.  Altogether, 62% are confident that salaries will rise in their own team or division, however most (99%) think pay increases are likely to be modest – up to 10% of current basic salaries.

Another positive sign for the jobs market is that more than half (58%) of respondents are expecting bonus payments for 2011/12 to be up to 20% of basic salaries.

Chris Leeson, Chief Operations Officer, Morgan McKinley Accounting, Finance & Support UK commented,

“This cautiously positive sentiment from our survey respondents illustrates the start of jobs market recovery that we saw in 2011 for accounting and finance professionals and the business support jobs market.  Commercial organisations really started to increase their hiring of accounting professionals in 2011 compared to 2009 and 2010.  Professional services firms are also showing greater inclination to hire new staff, particularly in specialist and advisory-related functions.  However the public sector has seen a marked decrease in hiring activity in the last year due to Government austerity measures forcing cutbacks. 

“Overall, the last 12 months have seen employers focused on elements such as flexible benefits and work/life balance to attract staff, rather than purely remuneration.  Looking ahead, 52% expecting hiring to start in Q1 12 gives us confidence that we will see further slow growth and modest rises in compensation throughout this year.”

Focus on attracting and retaining key talent in financial services

The London Financial Services Salary Survey found that half of respondents in both the permanent (51%) and temporary (52%) jobs markets are more confident about job opportunities than they were last year.

Salaries for permanent employees are predicted by 35% of respondents to rise by up to 25%, while half of those surveyed expect them to remain the same. In the temporary jobs market, rates are anticipated by 15% of professionals to increase by up to 25%.  An additional 46% of respondents expect them to remain at the same level.

The predominant reason for salaries to rise is a focus on attraction and retention of talent in 2012 for employers in both the permanent and temporary financial services jobs market.  For those who anticipate that salaries may decrease, this is predicted to be due to a focus on cost management for 66% of permanent employers and 78% of temporary employers.

Andrew  Evans, COO, Morgan McKinley Financial Services UK commented:

“The last 12 months have been mixed for global financial markets and consequently hiring levels in the London financial services sector have suffered.  As a result, remuneration levels have fluctuated. Our survey findings reflect market conditions with a relatively low level of confidence in the hiring market compared to a year ago. Despite this, just over a third of those working in the permanent hiring market (35%) are optimistic that remuneration levels will rise over the course of 2012. In the temporary market, 61% expect rates to salaries remain steady or rise.    

“It’s no surprise that attracting and retaining key staff is a real priority for financial services institutions, with a focus on cost management being the flip side of the coin for hiring managers.  Overall the mixed findings and cautious optimism on remuneration levels shown in our survey reflect the lack of visibility that has over-shadowed the City hiring market since H2 11.  We hope to see a conclusion to the eurozone crisis and clarity on regulation, bringing greater stability to the financial services sector this year, and subsequently a clearer picture for remuneration trends should emerge.”

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