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Money Comes Distant Third On Accountants Wish-List

Money Comes Distant Third On Accountants’ Wish-List

Survey reveals accountants’ priorities

The 2006 Hudson Remuneration Survey has revealed that New Zealand Chartered Accountants are not as money-oriented as the stereotype suggests.

One-third of respondents to the annual, independent survey of Chartered Accountants – which surveyed 10,200 members of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants – put work-life balance as the prime motivation in their current role, 27 per cent said career advancement and just 10 per cent said money.

The survey is run by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in conjunction with Hudson and provides members and human resource professionals with detailed, up-to-date information on remuneration trends within the accountancy profession.

Hudson New Zealand national practice leader for accounting and financial services, Anna Williams, said the survey results showed accountants wanted career advancement but not at the expense of work-life balance.

“How successful accountants achieve a balance between striving for professional success and having the time and energy to maintain a healthy lifestyle will often depend on the individual.

“But one-third of respondents are saying work-life balance is the single most important factor in choosing and staying in a job. Employers who can offer employees things, such as flexibility in when and where an employee works have a much greater chance of retaining employees.

“Chartered Accountants can earn significantly more overseas in places such as London and Sydney. One of the reasons why New Zealand accountants can successfully demand work-life balance is because many have the option to go overseas and their employers know that. In addition, many Kiwis have returned from overseas for work-life balance and once here, they expect it.”

Institute of Chartered Accountants chief executive, Garry Muriwai, said the survey showed the majority of accountancy employers were already meeting Chartered Accountants’ demands for more work-life balance.

Previously seen as a “fringe-benefit”, formal work-life balance policies have increasingly become a standard component of what organisations offer to their employees.

More than 70 per cent of respondents said their current employer offered work-life balance. Almost 28 per cent of respondents thought the opposite.

“At the moment we’ve got a shortage of accountants in New Zealand and worldwide. Based on the survey, if employers want to be competitive in this market, they’re clearly going to have to offer flexible work options,” Mr Muriwai said.

“If employers also wrap-in career advancement and training, they’ll have a very attractive package for prospective and current employees.

“Previous remuneration surveys of Chartered Accountants were just that – questions about money – in the belief that this is what drove respondents.

“The work-life balance issue has been creeping up in importance for a number of years. This survey shows that for Chartered Accountants it is now the single most important factor in choosing and staying in a job. ”

Gender comparisons
Thirty-six per cent of female respondents said work-life balance was their prime motivation in their current role – eight percentage points higher than men – on 28 per cent. Female respondents who responded to the survey by saying career advancement was their prime motivator (26.9%) were only fractionally more numerous than male respondents (26.5%) who also said the prime motivation for their current role was career advancement.

Professional development
Half of survey respondents had professional development as part of their employment package.

Remuneration comparisons
Chartered Accountants working in the industrial sector have had a significant increase in salaries since last year’s survey, while those in IT have levelled off. Chartered Accountants working in the banking and financial services sector remain the highest paid.


For full survey results visit: or

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