Amicus Accountancy Insights Series Part I :  Preparing for your Salary Review

As a recruiter in the accountancy, finance and tax markets I frequently have conversations with
people about salary reviews. Once such recent conversation got me thinking about putting a little
structure around how to approach a salary appraisal with your employer.
There are 3 main headings that I wanted to discuss.

I. What value do you bring to the role

II. What are your expectations

III. What is achievable on the market

I. Your value proposition

This is something that individuals often fail to recognise when conducting reviews. Knowing your
value is a key piece of information required when entering a salary review/negotiation. Many of the
people I deal with work in practice and as a result are on the clock. The benefit to this is that it
should be fairly straight forward to get an idea of what level of fees you have brought in to your firm
in the previous 12 months. Even if you don’t know the exact amount it should be possible to have a
decent estimate of this number. Furthermore have you developed more work from clients or
generated work for others? What impact have you had on maintaining client relationships? Positive
impacts on generating work and improving client relationships all add to your value as an employee.
This is the currency that you use to negotiate your remuneration with your employer.
Once you have ascertained the level of fees you are responsible for check what the multiple is. If
your fee level is 3-4 times your remuneration then there may not be much scope to get an increase.
However, if you are generating 5-6+ times your salary then you have a strong positive argument to
get a healthy increase. For people who work outside of practice it is a very good idea to go over what
achievements you have had in the past 12 months and what benefit they have been to your
employer. What are the positive impacts you have had to improving the bottom line through
efficiencies etc.

II. What are your expectations

This is another key question to ask yourself prior to a salary review. People can often be
remunerated with a number of different rewards; base salary, bonus, pension contributions,
holidays, healthcare, maternity/paternity benefits, car allowance etc. Many people I speak with are
looking for greater long term security and are ok with their basic salary but would like some pension
contributions added or improved maternity/paternity benefit for example. Having an overall view of
how you would like to be remunerated can help with salary negotiations as you will have more
flexibility as to how you are rewarded and consequently make it easier for your employer to find a

III. What is achievable on the Market

The final part of the equation is to have a realistic idea of what you can get elsewhere. You don’t
want to have an argument with your employer about being underpaid if you can’t achieve what you
want elsewhere. In order to get an idea of what you might command on the market it is a good idea
to check salary surveys and speak with a recruiter that specialises in your area. In this way you will
find out if you are paid appropriately or at the top or bottom of the market.

If you would like to have a confidential discussion about the market and salary trends please do not
hesitate to get in touch with me on 01 234 3196 or email