If you’ve aced your interviews and you’re confident of a job offer, then it pays to know how to negotiate your new salary.
Why? Because your offer may be a little below what you’re expecting, but that doesn’t mean you can’t negotiate to achieve a salary closer to your expectations — if the firm can afford you.
High-calibre accountants are currently in demand, especially if you have a specific skill set or sought-after status or qualifications (like tax or RI), which puts you at an advantage.
The key to negotiating your salary for your new accountancy job is understanding your value based on the market rate, location, expectations, and your skillset.
As our latest happiness at work survey shows, salary isn’t everything — so it’s worth taking a look at the accountancy firm’s core values, wellbeing support, and benefits in balance with salary.
Accountancy jobs: understand the market rate
Public Practice Recruitment Ltd recently published an accountant salary guide, which can be helpful when researching what other firms are offering for similar roles.
You’ll also need to consider location, as inner-city roles often provide higher salaries and travel perks that aren’t present in more rural areas and smaller towns.
The top four firms are perhaps the exception when it comes to salary, as they will offer the most sought after roles with the most competitive salaries.
Larger firms may have a salary scale that is based upon experience and responsibilities, which ensures that pay is fair across the business. However, this can be advantageous as it can provide a clear route for career progression — enabling you to climb the scale over time.
Accountancy jobs: look at what is being offered
What was the original scale on the job advertisement; is what you’re being offered within that scale? If it’s towards the bottom, you can assume that they consider your experience to be at the lower end of the scale. If so, this may present an opportunity to reaffirm your experience level if you think it’s higher.
This may also be the case if you are expected to manage and mentor more junior team members, as additional responsibilities justify a salary increase.
Accountancy jobs: consider benefits and EVP
The Employee Value Proposition (EVP) concerns their core values, social, and corporate responsibility. Whereas benefits are concerned with the following:
- Life Assurance
- Holiday (including flexible buy and sell options)
- Employee assistance (such as a counselling service)
- Paid study leave (ensure this is fees and paid time to study)
- Retail discounts
- Childcare vouchers
- Snacks and drinks allowance
- Travel allowance (usually car or train)
- Free car parking onsite
- Social events
- Paid charity days and fundraising opportunities
If a salary is lower than expected, but the EVP and benefits appeal to you, it’s worth considering that for the long-term fit of your values and happiness.
Also consider your commute time, flexible working options, and remote working — as they can all reduce your day considerably and provide a work/life balance.
Accountancy jobs: justify your salary request
Enthusiasm is always welcome when it comes to a job offer, and it’s okay to ask for the details at this stage.
Having done your research, you can thank the person for the job offer and be positive about your discussion around the salary and benefits.
If the salary is less than advertised, you can politely ask why the salary offered sits lower or at a lower end of the scale advertised. If you feel that this isn’t representative of your experience and the market rate, you can politely ask if they would consider what you initially asked for based on this information.
At this stage, you could revise your expected salary (if you would like to) to provide the prospective employer with the minimum you feel you could join the company for — reaffirm your reasons.
If the employer cannot meet the salary requirements, you might be able to negotiate in other ways that are within their remit.
An employer might be comfortable negotiating on flexible working hours, holiday entitlement, performance-related commission, or a salary increase after goals or a probationary period has passed.
Ask questions about how often salaries are reviewed and if there is a regular review process. Can the firm give you information on what would be expected of you to gain a salary increase?
It’s also reasonable to ask for 24 hours to make a decision if the salary offered or the job requires discussion with another person before you commit.
- Threatening them with offers from competitors (always justify your worth instead).
- Avoid emotive, ill-considered responses to low offers as they might be negotiable.
- Making demands (discuss expectations instead).
- Taking too long to get back to people or elongating the process.
Public Practice Recruitment Ltd
Public Practice Recruitment Ltd recruits high-calibre accounting professionals at all levels for tax, accounts, and audit vacancies on both a permanent and temporary basis for accountancy firms.
Specialising solely in accountancy recruitment, Public Practice Recruitment Ltd has new accountancy jobs every day and has a superb track record of meeting and exceeding expectations for accountants looking for their next accounting role.