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Accountancy and Finance workers reveal career priorities

Written by: REED
Published on: 23 Jan 2015

REED insight

  • Workers in accounting and finance roles are more satisfied than those in other roles with 90% of those asked saying they were satisfied in their roles

  • Work-life balance and job satisfaction trump salary as the most important aspects of working life

  • Breakdown across the ages reveals changing priorities when it comes to work and play

With research revealing workers in accountancy and finance roles rate job satisfaction and work-life balance as more important than salary, recruitment specialist REED is urging employers to give consideration to their recruitment and retention strategies.

The poll of more than 1,600 workers by YouGov, in association with the launch of the REED 2015 Salary Guides, questioned workers on their attitudes to work, career aspirations and regrets. It found that 39% of finance workers claimed good job satisfaction is the single most important aspect of working life, followed by the need for good work-life balance (29%), showing it’s no longer just about the salary package, which received just 17% votes.

Results revealed – what matters most across the ages

18-24                     Salary and benefits (38%)

25-34                     Job satisfaction (31%)

35-45                     Work-life balance (31%)

45-54                     Salary and benefits (25%)

55+                         Job satisfaction and work-life balance (joint top – 32%)                 

Career carousel

In addition to this, the poll revealed that accountancy and finance roles had the highest portion of satisfied workers, with 90% describing themselves so. Just over 1 in 10 (11%) will be looking for a new job in the next 12 months. 

While just over one in ten workers (14%) in finance roles have stayed loyal to the same employer over the course of their career, almost twice as many (26%) have moved workplaces more than seven times. When asked why they changed employer, workers reported better prospects for promotion (40%), better salary (39%) and boredom with their current role (33%) as the top three motivators.

Tom Lovell, group managing director at REED, said: “In a candidate-led market such as this, employers need to think hard about how they attract and retain staff for accountancy and finance roles. What this research shows is that although salary is very important, now we’re out of the recession it’s no longer just about pay – employers need to consider many other factors, such as flexible working and how they can offer the greatest job satisfaction.

“Our research shows that in the last 12 months, 27% of accountancy and finance workers received some form of pay rise and almost a quarter (22%) received a bonus – yet 1 in 5 (21%) have received no benefits. Employers need to start taking action and think wider than just the salary package.”

The REED 2015 Salary and Market Insight report can be obtained at

For further information please contact:

Megan Coulson on 0121 713 3550/07557256050 or email

Gemma Perks on 0121 713 3829/ 07796 996035 or email

Ian Stanley on 0121 713 3939/07974266458 or email