UK companies struggle with “The finance growth challenge” finds 2013 Salary Guide from Robert Half

The Robert Half 2013 Salary Guide depicts challenges facing finance companies to grow

  • Finance teams being asked to do more with less – creating the finance growth challenge
  • Hiring activity not keeping pace with extra workloads
  • Salary guide helps employers set realistic and competitive pay levels to attract the best staff

London, 12 November 2012 – A twin speed job market has emerged over the past 12 months and will continue into 2013, finds the Robert Half 2013 Salary Guide.  Highly skilled accounting and finance professionals remain in high demand despite more stagnant general job growth.  The majority (78%) of UK CFOs say that it is challenging to find skilled financial professionals, and as a result organisations are paying more for the market’s brightest and best candidates.

The shortage of strong candidates, together with the general slowdown in new hires, means that finance departments are generally being asked to do more with less: creating the finance growth challenge. Candidates who are particularly in positions in demand include those with strong process analysis change management and project implementation skills as well as those commercially-aware accountants who can add value by performing business partnering functions throughout the business.

The move towards global financial reporting and regulation means that there is demand from certain companies for IFRS specialists to help prepare for the January 2015 deadline.  Candidates with previous experience in converting organisations from UK GAAP to IFRS can expect to command competitive salaries.

Experience in systems implementation is also highly valued.  Pension auto enrolment will create a new requirement for systems to be updated and for the finance department to partner with HR and payroll departments to ensure that organisations remain compliant with government legislation.

Accountants who can conduct detailed financial and strategic analysis to help companies understand trends affecting the business, identify cost savings and ensure that their firm is well-placed for business expansion are particularly sought after.

Up and coming talent is also in demand: companies are looking to the future and shaping their succession planning strategies.  Companies are seeking newly qualified accountants with five or more years’ experience – especially for those with some industry experience outside of public practice. 

The 3% club: salaries that will rise by 3% or more between 2012 and 2013

Role 2013 salary range % rise over 2012
Financial Business Partner (SME) £40,000 - £61,000 3.0%
Compliance Manager (Large company) £41,500 - £60,000 3.0%
Newly Qualified Accountant (Large company) £34,750 - £45,000 3.2%
Compliance manager (SME) £41,500 - £60,000 3.3%
Financial Business Partner (Large company) £40,250 - £60,500 3.5%
Internal Audit Manager (SME) £43,000 - £62,250 3.7%
Credit Controller (SME) £17,500 - £24,000 3.8%


Best paid roles in finance and accounting

Role 2013 salary range % rise over 2012
Chief Financial Officer/Group Finance Director (Large) £75,000 - £130,000 1.5%
Finance director (Large) £69,750 - £121,500 1.6%
Partner (Public Practice) £108,000 - £430,000  -


Phil Sheridan, Managing Director, Robert Half UK said: “The hiring climate has evolved to address the finance growth challenge.  While some companies lack the revenue growth needed to increase headcount, others cite lack of access to credit and working capital, which is stopping them from hiring the talent needed to commit to new ventures or expand operations.  However, our research shows that business confidence has improved, with most CFOs saying that they are more confident in their companies’ growth prospects than last year.  Finance professionals are benefitting from this optimism as companies look for additional insight and strategy into business process improvement, cost savings and new revenue sources.

“Offering competitive compensation can help organisations attract top professionals and keep them on board.  While pay is not the only factor employees consider, an attractive remuneration package can often be the difference between welcoming employees to your team and watching them accept job offers from competing organisations.”

About the 2013 Salary Guide

Since 1950, Robert Half has produced Salary Guides to offer business owners, hiring managers and professionals information on prevailing starting salaries in their geographic areas and insight into the latest employment trends. Companies consult the annual guides to determine appropriate remuneration for accounting and finance, financial services, technology and administrative professionals at all levels

Information in the salary guides is based on the thousands of job searches, negotiations and placements managed each year by Robert Half's recruitment consultants, along with the company's ongoing surveys of executives. Continuing or ongoing salaries are not reported because many external factors -- such as seniority, work ethic, job performance and training -- impact the salaries of permanent professionals as work histories develop. The Robert Half Salary Guide can be downloaded at /salary-guide.

About Robert Half

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy and member of the S&P 500. We have once again been named to FORTUNE’s “World’s Most Admired Companies®” list and remains the top-ranked staffing firm (February 2020). Founded in 1948, the company has over 300 offices worldwide providing temporary, interim and permanent recruitment solutions for accounting and finance, financial services, technology, legal and administrative professionals. Robert Half offers workplace and jobseeker resources at and