The Big Question

As the title race is now all but over and England’s cricketers have finished their winter tours, the countdown to the first golfing major of the year, The Masters, has begun. One topic has been the source of most of the debate in our house: Rory McIlroy, and his change of clubs. For those who aren’t into their sport, the world’s (now former) number one golfer has dispensed with the Titleist clubs that have been in his bag throughout his rise to the top and signed a very lucrative contract with sporting giant Nike, with mixed results. During the discussion a word very popular in forum questions kept coming up: Money!

The question of how much anyone is going to be paid for their job is an important one, and this should be a key factor in applying for and accepting a job; the message that this blog seeks to get across is that it shouldn’t be the only one.

Our firm pledges that the salary you receive is competitive and after having various conversations with fellow trainees I can confirm that the salaries will be exactly that. Some of the people I have met were offered a slightly higher initial salary with the big 4, deciding that this was still the place for them, and others were in the position where by the salary offered here was larger than big 4 offers that they received. So it’s fair to say in some locations and in some roles we will be offering a higher initial salary than another offer that you may have received and in some cases the opposite will be true.

The reference to initial salary in the paragraph is a deliberate one as the fluctuations regarding where you would be earning the most money usually continue as you progress through your training contract and you pass your exams, with some rises in salary bigger than others. Another reason that the salaries of people within the company vary is location. It is no secret that the people who work in London earn the most; however the cost of accommodation in the capital, commuting to work and the frightening price of a pint mean that it is often those working in the regions that are better off. This cost of living is attempted to be reflected within the salaries for all offices and there is some variation between the offices throughout the UK.

I would encourage everyone to accept an offer based on where you feel you will thrive as an individual and fulfil your potential. Not only will this allow you to enjoy your job more but in a organisation that has your career progression at heart, promotions and subsequent wage rises are much more likely to come about. If that place also happens to one where you get paid slightly more than you would elsewhere then that is a nice bonus! This viewpoint ties in nicely with the conclusion of our golfing discussion, that your main focus should be on fulfilling your potential and if taking a contract with a certain company meant that that vision was compromised then you should turn the money down. However, if that potential can be fulfilled as well as maximising income in the short term, as Rory hopes, then the beers are on you!

It is true to say that if money is the only factor in your career choice, then accounting as an industry may not be for you, with the starting salaries in other sectors often higher. However, if you’ve decided that accounting is for you (and hopefully this website has been some assistance in making that decision) and are applying for jobs, or in the fortunate position of sitting on offers from various firms, then please do your research into each job role, location and company when making your decision. I would hate to think that anyone would choose a job based solely on the highest initial salary because of a few extra pounds in your pay packet. This won’t be much comfort if you are working somewhere you don’t enjoy and aren’t getting the support you need to progress in your career; just as it won’t be any consolation for Rory if he is not in contention to win golf’s major tournaments for the years to come.

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