Average accountancy pay has risen by 7% over the past year, according to an annual survey by specialist recruitment firm Marks Sattin.

Salary growth was 5%, from £60,788 in 2011/12 to £64,022 in 2012/13, while the average accountant's bonus was £11,012, exceeding their own expectations by £1409.

When questioned in November 2012, accountants expected 15% of salary as a bonus, but the actual average was 17.2%, up from 16.9% the previous year. Satisfaction with bonus levels rose from 65% to 70%.

Loading article content

Dave Way, managing director of Marks Sattin, said: "Obviously accountants aren't immune from the gloomy economic news, hence their understated bonus expectations, but the news is very good for them – these figures represent the third year in a row of solid, above-inflation, pay growth."

However, an independent industry survey in Scotland has found pay freezes were more common than they were a year ago.

More than one-third of members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland said a freeze on basic pay was in effect in their organisation (34%, up from 29% in 2011/12), while 38% reported reduced bonuses.

Ian Wilkinson, managing director of recruitment firm Wilkinson & Associates, said: "This is no surprise, given where the economy is right now, and we can expect to see more of the same next year."

Meanwhile, more than half (55%) of UK finance directors admitted to having no succession plan in place, according to Robert Half UK.

Almost four in 10 cite "lack of existing internal talent" as the primary reason, rising to 55% for publicly listed companies.

Phil Sheridan, managing director at Robert Half UK, said: "With a raft of high-profile senior resignations over the past year, it is surprising to see such a large proportion of financial directors without a chosen successor."