Date posted: 2/04/2019 3 min read

Survey shows Chartered Accountants enjoy strong remuneration growth

Latest Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand Remuneration Survey indicates that “across the board, remuneration for accountants has been strong”.

Chartered Accountants in the Big 4 and large public practices in Australia had the biggest increases in remuneration, up 5 per cent since 2017, according to the latest remuneration survey of more than 10,000 members of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ).

The CA ANZ survey released on the 27th of March shows however that overall, Chartered Accountants (CAs) enjoy their largest increases in remuneration, in percentage terms, in the first 10 years after receiving their designation.

After the Big 4 and large public practices, CAs working in other public practices and in the corporate sector saw the next largest increase (both 3 per cent), followed by public sector and not-for-profit workplaces (both 2 percent).

Chartered Accountants in corporate firms however topped remuneration by sector with an average package (including bonuses and other elements such as vehicles and professional development) of $205,097.

The survey, which has been run for the past two years in Australia and New Zealand, was conducted by Colmar Brunton in late 2018.

Aside from remuneration, flexible work arrangements were identified by two-thirds of survey respondents as being important, followed by workplace culture and opportunities for coaching and training.

Mark Rice, CA ANZ’s Group Executive Member Engagement said the survey provided valuable remuneration benchmarks for both employees and employers and an important insight into employer expectations across the accountancy profession.

“Across the board, remuneration for accountants has been strong.”

The survey also found that a gender pay gap persists in the accounting sector, although it has lessened since 2017. In Australia last year, female CAs earned 25 per cent less than their male counterparts – $144,776 compared to $193,448.

“Some of the gap can be explained by roles, the number of direct reports, experience and hours worked,” Rice said. “Twenty to 30 years ago, more men entered accounting than women and the most experienced accountants are the ones with the highest remuneration.”

“But there aren’t any factors in the survey which explain the remaining 30 percent.”

He said monitoring the pay gap through the Remuneration Survey was a good start to closing the gap. “CA ANZ is committed to supporting members and their employers to speed up progress, not only on the gender front but across the diversity spectrum.”

Other key findings:

  • Sydney Chartered Accountants are paid 21 per cent more than their counterparts in the rest of Australia.
  • Chief executives, managing directors and partners in large Australian CA firms have the largest remuneration – $522,561 for CEOs and managing directors and $349,214 for partners.
  • Bonuses and other elements comprise 28 per cent of the remuneration of the four occupations (CEOs/MDs, COOs, CFOs, and partners of large public practice firms) with the largest remuneration.
  • At the other end of the scale, audit seniors, business services accountants, business services seniors and financial accountants receive 9 per cent of their remuneration through bonuses and other elements.


Percentage increases – these indicate the percentage increase since 2017 for those who have stayed in the same job.

The 2018 survey included more than 6000 Australian CA ANZ members.