UK recruitment business Reed has revealed that companies looking to attract accountancy and finance talent are advertising stagnating salaries across the UK while cost of living continues to rise.

Reed’s suite of annual salary guides, created by an in-depth analysis of 6.6m jobs posted on over the last three years, show that advertised salaries in accountancy and finance roles dropped 1.4% on average in 2021, despite a huge battle for talent in the sector.

The fall in salaries is in the face of soaring living costs, as the consumer price index (CPI) measure of inflation reaches 5.5%, the highest rate since March 1992. Petrol, energy and food prices also continue to spike, meaning many accountancy and finance professionals may find they have even less in their pockets in what is set to be a challenging year financially for many.

Reed accountancy and finance recruitment expert Chris Willsher said: “In the current climate, there are more jobs in the sector than qualified professionals. Our recruiters have been working with many companies seeking professionals, and for them to ensure they attract the best talent, it’s vital they offer the best salaries and benefits they can.”

However, there are some roles and regions where salaries in the accountancy and finance sector have bucked this trend, for example in London there was a 5.4% increase in salaries for accounts receivable manager roles and in East Anglia there was a rise of 6% in the salaries advertised for financial accountants.

Willsher added: “As has been true across numerous professions since Covid restrictions were eased, there are an increased number of accountancy and finance vacancies with fewer professionals actively looking for work. While there is a shortage of staff to fill permanent roles, the lack of jobseekers is even more acute for temporary and interim positions. This is exacerbated by many organisations hiring for senior roles on a temporary or interim basis to minimise their ongoing commitment to the higher salaries commanded by professionals in these roles.

“With an all-out battle for talent, it’s vital that employers aren’t narrowing their talent pool and are considering candidates from other sectors with transferable skills, as well as offering the best remuneration packages they can.”