Audit Salary Guideline Q3 2023

In this article Liam examines and explores the current salary trends in UK based audit positions. Liam leads Taylor Hawkes' recruiting team of audit, outsourcing and financial reporting specialists. His portfolio of clients typically consists of Taylor Hawkes’ larger corporate firms, with fantastic connections with a range of global top-10 and top-20 firms. With a degree in accountancy and finance and eight years' recruitment experience in the sector, he has built a vast client portfolio who all believe in the quality of candidates Liam brings to the table.

Updated: 5th October 2023

Taylor Hawkes has a heavy focus on placing audit professionals within the London practice market. Our clients range from Top 10/20 firms through to leading mid-tier firms and independent boutiques. We aim to act as recruitment advisors to our clients throughout the process and often advise on market rate salaries.

Whilst I try to provide quarterly updates, I realise that I was unable to provide a Q2 update, which I do apologise for.

Coming to the end of Q3, we are finding that salaries seem to have semi plateaued. I would add that we did see a slight increase on base salaries over the past 6 months, which have mainly been at the non-qualified and newly qualified level. We have seen a trend of first year audit salaries now pushing the late 20s mark, especially if these are university graduates. Whilst we do not specialise in graduate recruitment, however, a number of my clients have requested assistance at this level due to the sheer competition for strong graduates. From conversations with Partners, a lot of potential accounting grads have accepted roles to go into banks, PE, etc. This has subsequently pushed the salary for first year trainees up, which has had a knock-on effect at other non-qualified levels.

As mentioned previously, it is always advantageous to look at the wider package in addition to the base salary. Suggestions include:

  • Flexibility around working from home. We appreciate that this is not as easy whilst they are training, but at Senior qualified level and beyond. This would be beneficial. The consensus is that 2-3 days per week from home is sufficient.
  • A change in structure regarding titles. It is becoming increasingly more common for firms to give the title of ‘Supervisor’ or ‘Assistant Manager’ to newly qualified Seniors, with third year students being offered the title of ‘Senior’ if they are leading audits.
  • We are seeing a range of sign on or retention bonuses included in offers. On top of the base salary, we are finding it is common for a sign on bonus to be included (to be paid after the first month) or a retention bonus (if they remain with the firm for 12 months after joining). This seems to work well as parity is being maintained within the team, whilst also making offers very appealing.
  • We have also worked on a substantial amount of visa candidates of late in order to fill the gap in a lack of strong qualified profiles. South Africa has been a very good source for us as their experience correlates relatively well and culturally fit in well also.

Below is a summary of offer ranges made over the past three months to candidates across all levels. The table summarises the lowest offer made as well as the highest offer received for candidates. This table aims to give guidance on salaries offered throughout the market and act as a potential guideline to use when making offers to audit individuals. Please note that we have focused on audit roles as a whole. We are aware that each role differs in terms of exposure to other areas including accounts, tax, corporate finance etc. There will always be a slight premium for niche roles within audit (SRA focus, FCA specialism, NFP etc), however, the table looks at audit salaries as one category. Offers made have been received from Top 10 firms (Big Four not included), Top 20 firms, Top 50/100 and independent boutiques with sector specialisms (Media, financial services, tech, NFP etc). It is also key to note that the table looks at solely the starting annual salary and does not take into consideration additional benefits such as; study support, holiday allowance, private pension, healthcare, salary reviews etc.




Audit School Leaver (AAT Study)



Audit Graduate (ACA) / Trainee



Audit Semi Senior (Part ACA/ACCA qualified



Audit Senior (Qualified by experience)



Newly qualified Audit Senior/AM (ACA)



Audit AM/Junior Manager (18 months – 36 months post qualified)



Audit Manager



Audit Senior Manager



Audit Director



Please contact for further information on salaries.


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