UK Tax Market Report 2019/20: Accountancy Firms

Sarah Reid Tax with Professional services

Despite the continuing uncertainty created by Brexit, the last 12 months have been busy with competition for talent ever more acute across the entire professional services sector, from Big 4 firms through to independent practices.

After a short period of stagnation, we saw real movement in salaries with 60% of respondents reporting a salary increase of up to 5% and a further 22% receiving a pay rise of 6-10%. In addition, it was reported that over 71% of respondents received a bonus in the past 12 months with the majority achieving up to 20% of their basic salary. 

From a work/life balance perspective, over 97% of respondents cited that their firm now offers flexible working with the majority (78%) being able to work from home and 16% enjoying flexible start/finish times. We expect to see these trends continue as the recruitment landscape remains competitive for firms to attract and retain the best talent.

Clients have stated that the biggest challenges for the next 12 months include lack of staff (68%), retention of staff (36%) and talent acquisition (39%). Only 10% of respondents named economic factors and lack of budgets as a concern. For those that manage teams, 92% expect to hire and 88% expect to promote in the next 12 months illustrating that the demand for talent shows no signs of alleviating. 

Hiring is expected at all levels; however, the biggest needs are anticipated to be between Assistant Manager and Senior Manager level.

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