CIMA SALARY SURVEY 2013 Northern Ireland


Foreword CIMA’s members and students are looking forward to rapid career progression and salary rises well above the national average - despite the continuing economic uncertainty. This optimistic outlook reflects the growing demand for professionally qualified management accountants who are focused on helping organisations – in both the public and private sectors - to develop strategies that are successful and sustainable in the long term. Five years after the onset of the credit crunch, our annual salary survey of the CIMA community highlights a brightening optimism that the UK’s economy is finally rallying. Results show an ongoing trend towards greater employment stability with fewer concerns about falls in business profits, budget cuts or recruitment and salary freezes. Overall, our members and students told us that they are heading for a dynamic future with promotion and attractive earnings packages on the horizon. Their confidence may well have been boosted by CIMA’s joint venture with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The result of this alliance is a new global designation, the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). The CGMA designation is rapidly gaining globally acceptance as a mark of unparalleled excellence in business and financial management. On average, CIMA members are earning just under £67,000 per annum while CIMA fellows are commanding significantly more at around £117,000. Those who have reached the top of the ladder as CEOs and MDs are taking home average salaries nearer £143,000. Moreover, our students’ earnings in the UK are a healthy 36% above the national average. The 2013 survey figures for average basic salaries represent a 13% increase compared with last year’s figures for qualified members. There was also a 9% increase for students. This is far above the increase in the average national salary of just 0.2% reported by the Office for National Statistics - and greatly exceeds expectations expressed in the 2012 survey. However there is still a considerable gender gap among members where, on average, women earn £17,450 less than their male counterparts. This is a slight drop from last year’s figure and CIMA is working hard to address this issue. There are signs that the younger generation is beginning to close the imbalance: the gap between male and female students is significantly lower at just under £3,000. Ambition is a key driver for both members and students. In all, 40% said they want to develop their leadership skills. Almost all of our members and students (97%) expect to be in a different role in three years’ time. Over half (53%) expect to be in a senior, finance-related role. The growing diversity of CIMA members as business partners is reflected by members, 17% of whom anticipate being in a very senior, non-finance role such as CEO or leading a non-finance division. However, our survey also revealed a preference for a more flexible approach to career progression. Key workplace motivators were divided fairly equally between a desire for flexibility/work-life balance (49%), a good working environment (47%) financial reward (43%), and a challenging workload (39%). Combined, these responses give a clear indicator to employers of what they should be offering if they want to attract the very best in management accounting expertise.

Charles Tilley Chief Executive CIMA


Salary survey results Northern Ireland average salary figures In 2013, qualified CIMA members in Northern Ireland earn on average £41,101 in basic annual salary plus £2,176 in bonus payments, totalling £43,278 per year.1 This compares with an official average salary figure for Northern Ireland of £27,879.2 Part qualified students in Northern Ireland earn on average £25,297 in basic annual salary plus £553 in bonus payments, totalling £25,850. Salary satisfaction 60% of qualified members are satisfied with their current salary compared with 42% of part qualified students, giving an overall average figure of 55%.

Salary increases anticipated Over the next 12 months 75% of part qualified students expect to receive a salary increase, at a rate of 4.2%, which is above the price inflation forecast of 2.7% to 2.8%.3 Among CIMA members, 80% expect a salary increase, at an average rate of 3.0%. CIMA widens career choices Members and students in Northern Ireland are very positive about the benefits of the CIMA qualification on employability. 92% agree that the CIMA qualification creates career opportunities and 84% say that it strengthens international employability.

Figure 1: Annual remuneration by CIMA level

£43,278 £25,850

Part qualified students

‘On average qualified CIMA members earn c. £43k per year.’

Qualified members

1 Figures may not sum due to rounding. 2 Office for National Statistics (ONS) Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings. Provisional data 2012 Table 10 - Place of Residence by Parliamentary Constituency, Northern Ireland. Figure quoted is the mean average gross annual earnings for all full-time employees. Available at: html?edition=tcm%3A77-280149 Accessed 29 June 2013. 3 Office for Budget Responsibility. Consumer Prices Index (CPI) forecast for 2013. Available at: HM Treasury Forecasts for the UK economy: a comparison of independent forecasts. Available at: system/uploads/attachment_data/file/199018/201305_-_Forecasts_for_the_UK_economy.pdf Both accessed 17 June 2013.

‘92% of members and students agree that the CIMA qualification creates career opportunities.’


‘96% of members and students anticipate being in a new role in the next three years.’

Business and the economy Expectations for future pay and conditions Although there have been dramatic improvements since the Great Recession, there are lingering questions over Eurozone economic performance, ongoing austerity measures and weak UK economic data, leading to forecasts of 1% GDP growth for the UK and 0.5% for Northern Ireland alone.4 This is contributing to a continued cautious outlook among CIMA qualified members and part qualified students, although there are significant glimmers of optimism. Despite little change since 2012 in the proportions of members and students anticipating budget cuts (42%) and job cuts

(26%) in the organisation in which they work, other factors look more optimistic. There have been significant reductions in members and students anticipating a salary freeze (63% in 2012 to 42% in 2013), a recruitment freeze (48% to 28%), and a fall in business profitability (27% to 16%). In line with this, there have been improvements in the proportions expecting positive factors: increases in business profitability (up from 18% in 2012 to 27% in 2013), salaries (10% to 20%) and headcount (12% to 22%). However, expectations for a fall in business investment have risen a little, from 17% to 26% between 2012 and 2013.

Figure 2: Expectations for the business environment over the coming 12 months − selected indicators 42% 44%

Budget cuts


Salary freezes

63% 28%

Recruitment freeze

48% 27%

Increase in the overall profitability of the business

18% 26% 28%

Job cuts


Less money available for future investment

17% 22%

Cuts in funding for staff training

27% 22%

Increase in staff recruitment

12% 20%

Salary increases

10% 16% 27%

Fall in the overall proftability of business Salary decreases

9% 5%



4 Belfast Telegraph online. D. Elliott 8 March 2013. ‘Northern Ireland lagging behind in economy forecast.’ Available at: Accessed 29 June 2013.


Working conditions Working hours On average, members and students in Northern Ireland work 40 hours per week, although this figure incorporates 11% currently working part-time hours. A further 48% work 35–40 hours per week and 42% work more than 40 hours per week. Overall, 36% of members and students expect their working hours to increase over the coming 12 months, and the most influential reason for increasing hours is related to career progression – taking on more responsibility was cited by 66%. Other contributory factors are understaffing/lack of resource (45%), company culture (37%), the current financial climate (28%) and company growth (25%).

The CIMA qualification creates career opportunities for me


The CIMA qualification strengthens my ability to move internationally with my career

Career plans Seeking new opportunities Only 4% of qualified members and part qualified students see themselves in the same role in three years’ time, further suggesting the presence of a high degree of mobility and promotion prospects. 42% anticipate being in a senior financerelated role in three years’ time, such as finance manager, financial director, financial controller, CFO, head of accounting/finance or self-employed practitioner. A further 11%

84% agree

The CIMA qualification strengthensmy ability to move across all areas of the business

76% agree

Motivators at work The key motivator at work for both members and students is flexibility/work-life balance (48%). In line with expectations for the business environment, job security (42%) and financial reward (41%) are also important motivators. Other notable factors are a good working environment (40%), a challenging workload (34%), the scope of the role (33%) and promotion prospects (24%).


anticipate being in a very senior non-finance role such as CEO/MD, head, director, or manager of a non-finance division. Among all members and students, 23% are planning to find another job over the next six months, and a total of 48% are planning to move job within the next two years. A global career Among the 12% of members and students who plan to seek employment abroad, the USA, Australia and the UK are the most frequently named destinations. The most commonly cited reason for relocation is seeking better employment opportunities. A new career opportunity, improved salary and desire to experience a different culture are other frequently cited reasons for planned relocation.5

88% plan to stay in Northern Ireland 48% are looking to move job within the next two years, of which… 12% plan to move abroad

5 Percentage figures are not provided due to the low base of 10 respondents.


‘Over the coming 12 months, part qualified students will focus on developing a broad range of managerial and management accounting skills alongside their technical skills.’

Building skill sets Over the coming 12 months, part qualified students will be focusing on developing a broad range of managerial and management accounting skills alongside their technical skills. Around one-half want to develop their decision making (51%) and leadership skills (49%) alongside financial reporting (47%). Organisational skills − personal development (44%) and project management (34%) – are also important, together with interpersonal communication (32%) and relationship management skills (31%).

For qualified CIMA members, the top priority is the development of leadership skills (43%), followed by strategic planning and implementation (39%). Organisational skills remain important, with 38% focusing on personal development and 31% on project management. Beyond that, there is a distinct focus on interpersonal management skills. More than one-quarter will develop skills in persuading and influencing (35%), change management (29%), skills for developing others (29%), and relationship management (27%). In addition, 23% will focus on communication skills.

Figure 7: Top skills that members and students wish to develop Part qualified students

Qualified members

51% Decision making

43% Leadership

49% Leadership

39% Strategic planning and implementation

47% Financial reporting

38% Personal development

44% Personal development

35% Persuading and influencing

34% Skills for developing others 34% Project management

31% Project management

32% Communication 32% Risk management 32% Strategic planning and implementation 31% Relationship management

29% Change management 29% Skills for developing others 27% Relationship management 23% Communication


Appendix Part qualified students

Qualified members


Basic salary (£ per annum)

Bonus (£ per annum)

Total package (£ per annum)**


Basic salary (£ per annum)

Bonus (£ per annum)

Total package (£ per annum)**



























Micro/small/ medium (1-249 employees)









Large (250+ employees)









Northern Ireland

Total Gender

Size of organisation

*Caution: Low base, under 30. **Figures may not sum due to rounding.


Technical information

Further information

Survey responses were collected by CIMA among active qualified members and part qualified students between 25 April and 19 May 2013, via an online survey. The data was analysed and reported by an independent specialist consultancy.

For further information on technical matters relating to this survey, contact [email protected]

Approximately 25,000 qualified members and just over 21,000 part qualified students were selected and invited to participate in the international study, which covers 23 markets in total. Within the study period 6,039 responded internationally, including 143 from Northern Ireland. The response data presented in this report has been weighted to reflect the profile of CIMA qualified members and part qualified students by market. All base numbers quoted in figures report the unweighted base; i.e. the number of responses.

For further country specific analysis and reports, visit CIMA MY JOBS at

Acknowledgements This research was conducted by CIMA in conjunction with Spotlight Market Research & Editing. The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants is a Market Research Society Company Partner. Both CIMA and Spotlight abide by the Market Research Society’s Code of Conduct and the Data Protection Act.

CIMA Ireland 5th Floor, Block E, Iveagh Court, Harcourt Road, Dublin 2 T: +353 (0)1 643 0400 E: [email protected] © September 2013, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants