Job Priorities in the UK Finance and Accounting Sector: What Matters Most?

Written by Stacey Kutenha

Job Priorities in the UK Finance and Accounting Sector: What Matters Most? 

In the ever-evolving world of finance and accounting, the job market can be both highly competitive and ever-changing. Job seekers often find themselves at a crossroads, having to decide between various aspects of a job offer. To gain a deeper insight into the priorities of professionals in the UK finance and accounting sector, we conducted a poll on LinkedIn, and the results are in. 

The Question 

We surveyed  professionals in the finance and accounting sector to answer a simple question: "In the finance and accounting sector, what do you value most when considering a job offer?" The answer options provided were: 

  1. Competitive basic salary 
  2. Work-life balance 
  3. Comprehensive benefits 
  4. Clear career progression 

The responses provided valuable insights into the preferences of those navigating this dynamic field. 

Competitive Basic Salary: The Top Choice 

Topping the list with 42% of the respondents choosing it as their primary priority is a competitive basic salary. This result emphasises the importance of financial compensation for professionals in the finance and accounting sector, reflecting the high expectations and standards within the industry and of course our current economic atmosphere in the cost of living. 

A competitive basic salary not only recognises the expertise and experience of professionals but also serves as a key motivator in attracting and retaining top talent. In an industry where precision and accuracy are paramount, it's clear that professionals value compensation that reflects their skills and dedication. 

Work-Life Balance: A Close Second 

Closely following in importance, with 31% of the votes, is the concept of work-life balance. It's no secret that the finance and accounting sector often demands long hours and high-pressure situations. Nevertheless, this result shows that many professionals are actively seeking a work environment that acknowledges the need for a healthy balance between their career and personal life. 

As the world evolves, professionals increasingly appreciate employers who understand the importance of their well-being and provide the flexibility to maintain a satisfying work-life balance. This result highlights the growing emphasis on employee mental and physical health in the UK finance and accounting industry. 

Work-life balance is not only paramount for employee mental and physical health but also extremely vital for social satisfaction outside of work. As stated in the BBC article, 'What does work-life balance mean in a changed work world?' by Morgan, K (published on February 28, 2023), 'A balanced life integrates the personal and the professional in a healthy way, supporting an identity that includes the career but doesn't necessarily revolve around it.' 

Clear Career Progression: A Path to Growth 

19% of the respondents indicated that clear career progression is what they value most in a job offer. This result highlights the aspirations of many professionals in the finance and accounting sector to continuously learn and advance in their careers. Opportunities for growth, mentorship, and advancement are crucial factors that can help individuals thrive and excel in their roles. 

Seldom do you find employees staying in a role which doesn’t have career progression especially in the finance and accounting world. According to research conducted by CIPD (the UK’s leading accreditation body for HR and L&D), lack of career progression has been one of the leading reasons for employees seeking other employment with a third of people moving onto a different role for better opportunities. 

Comprehensive Benefits: An Important Factor 

While 8% of the respondents placed a high priority on comprehensive benefits, this should not be underestimated. In an industry where the details matter, it is significant that some professionals value the perks and support that a robust benefits package can offer. Comprehensive benefits can range from health insurance to pension plans, and they play a pivotal role in ensuring the overall well-being and stability of employees. 

Our poll reveals the diverse priorities and values of professionals in the UK finance and accounting sector when considering job offers. A competitive basic salary is undoubtedly a significant driver for many, but work-life balance, comprehensive benefits, and clear career progression also hold their rightful places. 

As the industry evolves, understanding the multifaceted needs of professionals can help employers tailor their job offers to attract and retain top talent. For job seekers, this information provides valuable insights into what to prioritise when navigating the finance and accounting job market. Ultimately, a balance of these factors may be the key to a fulfilling and successful career in this dynamic sector. 

Are you a finance or accounting professional in the UK? Do you agree with these findings, or do your priorities differ? We'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments below! 

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