Key findings from the 2023 Accountancy Salary Guide

Key findings from the 2023 Accountancy Salary Guide

Accountancy training firm First Intuition has released the findings from its most recent salary survey for accountancy employers. The Accountancy Salary Guide collected data from First Intuition’s clients in May 2023 and monitors average salaries paid to trainees and qualified accountants in East Anglia. Additionally, the guide highlights preferred rewards and benefits, as well as insights into recruitment and retention trends.


Key findings from the 2023 Accountancy Salary Guide include:

  • East Anglia has seen an average salary increase of 6% across all levels of accounting since 2022
  • 95% of employers plan to increase their salaries over the next 12 months
  • 70% of employers are finding it difficult to recruit new staff, this compares to 64% in 2022
  • 23% of employers are finding it difficult to retain new staff, this compares to 29% in 2022
  • Accountants working in Industry are paid 9% more than those in Practice
  • The Public Sector has seen an 8% increase in salaries from 2022 to 2023
  • 42% of employers expect to increase recruitment levels between May 2023 and May 2024
  • 39% of employers are currently recruiting for Junior/ Assistant Manager roles
  • 38% of employers are finding it difficult to recruit First-year Trainee accountants, this has increased from 17% in 2022
  • 70% of employers offer staff hybrid working arrangements as a method to retain staff, compared to 18% in 2021

Average salaries

The findings indicate that average salaries in the accountancy sector have risen by an average of 6% across East Anglia since 2022. Among the regions surveyed, Chelmsford stands out as experiencing the highest percentage change in average salary, with an impressive 18% increase. The job level that has seen the most significant pay increase is Newly Qualified AAT staff, who have seen their salary grow by 11%. Furthermore, the majority of employers (95%) have expressed their intention to further raise salaries over the next 12 months, anticipating continued salary growth in 2023.


In 2023, a significant number of accountancy employers (70%) reported challenges in recruiting staff, compared to 64% in 2022. More employers in Practice are finding it hard to recruit (80%) compared to those in Industry (50%). This suggests a growing challenge for employers in recruiting qualified staff.

The difficulties in recruitment could be partly attributed to employers not effectively reaching potential candidates. This is evident in the disparity between where employers advertise job vacancies and where students typically search for them. Moreover, 38% of employers said they were facing challenges in recruiting first-year trainees, a significant increase from 17% in 2022, further indicating that young adults starting their careers in accountancy are harder for employers to find.


Despite this, only 23% of respondents said they were finding it difficult to retain staff in 2023, this compares to 29% who said the same in 2022. These findings suggest that employers are experiencing a comparatively easier time in retaining their workforce compared to the previous year.

First Intuition Chief Executive Gareth John comments:

“I am proud of the engagement and feedback we receive from employers to produce such an extremely valuable report. Every year employers eagerly await its publishing and I receive numerous positive comments from clients about how useful they find both the data and the insight at a time when they are especially keen to get their salary and benefit offerings right.”

First Intuition hope to continue to monitor average salaries year on year, not only to offer guidance and information but to track change. You can download the full East Anglia Accountancy Salary Guide 2023 here.