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Who’d be an accountant?

Who’d be an accountant?

Contractor accountants could receive an unexpected, but welcome, surprise when it comes to bonus time this year.

A recent survey of 500 businesses revealed that UK accountants and other professional finance workers are likely to get a Christmas bonus of around 10.8% of their annual base salary. As the average salary for accountants is £42,000, the average bonus will equal £4,536, which is nearly £900 more than they were expecting. The total bonus pot will be £1.3bn, based on the amount of private sector qualified accountants.

60% of businesses plan to give their finance staff a bonus this year and 80% say they will either award a bonus or increase salaries in 2011. Only 20% are not planning to offer some form of salary increase or performance related pay in the next 12 months.

However, accountants may not get everything they wish for. When questioned about their salary expectations in 2011, an average 5% salary increase was predicted. Businesses on the other hand said that if they did award a salary increase it would be an average of 2.6%.

An accountant’s life isn’t necessarily a happy one. Apparently, many turn to drink or drugs to help forget the
stress of office life.

The Chartered Accountants Benevolent Association exists to offer accountants assistance on a range of issues. Traditionally, older accountants availed of its services when they neared retirement but in recent years the CABA has seen an increase in calls from younger accountants with problems such as alcohol and substance abuse.

The CABA’s chief executive, Kath Haines, pointed out that many of the younger callers not only found the recession hard to cope with but also suffered family, health and financial problems. In a recent survey of 1,126 accountants, the majority of them said stress, the long working hours and resulting imbalance between work and social life were their main concerns. At least freelance accountants should be able to get a more suitable work/home life balance!

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Image: 235/365 Hair pulling stress by stuartpilbrow

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