If you are a CPA in the Philippines, you may want to work in the UK. There are several reasons for this, but one of the main reasons is the salary. So how much does an accountant earn in the UK?
This article features a video created by an OFW YouTuber that is now based in the UK. He works as an accountant, using his channel to provide information about what life is like in the UK, including what’s it like to work as an accountant in the country.
Disclaimer: The information posted here is based on the personal experiences shared by the OFW in the video below. Please let this post serve as a guide only. If you have specific questions, you may ask the OFW by commenting on their video on their accounts.
How Much Can You Earn as an Accountant in the UK?
In this video, The House Husband talks about how much accountants earn in the UK. He says though that the information he shared is only based on his experience and what he heard from others. As a disclaimer, he is in no way an expert in the subject so you should keep that in mind while watching the video or reading this article.
Of course, you need to qualify as an accountant in the UK. So what are the qualifications? Well, for any job in general, you need to have the following:
- You must have the skills and educational attainment suited for the job.
- You must have the adequate amount of work experience.
- Your prospect employer should be eligible to sponsor your visa.
Indeed, not all companies in the UK can sponsor you a visa to work in the country. For accountants, these six major companies can do that for you:
- EY – Ernst and Young
- KPMG – Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler
- PwC – PricewaterhouseCoopers
- Grand Thornton
To qualify to work as an accountant in the UK, you first must be a CPA and have three to five years of quality and related work experience. Indeed, this is the best way to get a job.
There are three main factors that affect how much you can earn as an accountant in the UK. These are:
The video featured in the article refers to salaries of accountants working in accounting firms in the two of the biggest cities in the UK, London and Cambridge.
An average CPA or qualified accountant working in these cities can earn at least 40,000 to 80,000 pounds per year. When converted to Philippine pesos, that is equivalent to a monthly salary of over 200,000 pesos to 450,000 pesos.
However, this is gross salary, so it doesn’t include deductions and expenses. The cost of living in the UK is quite expensive according to our YouTuber.
If you are a CPA and have 3 to 5 years of work experience, that usually qualifies you to work with a rank of senior associate, with an annual salary of around 40,000 pounds when you are in the two big cities mentioned above.
If you work in other cities in the UK like in the Western or the Northern part of the country, the salaries are slightly lower. However, the cost of living is much cheaper as well.
A higher rank, specifically a manager position, will raise your salary by around 20 percent. Moreover, if you are a senior manager, your salary will increase by another 20 percent.
Therefore, the best way to get a higher salary is to get more work experience.
For an annual gross salary of 40,000 pounds, according to The House Husband, you will receive a net monthly salary of around 2,500 pounds. This already includes deductions from tax, insurance and whatnot.
In Philippine pesos, this net pay is equivalent to 150,000 per month. That is your take home pay.
You have to consider the cost of living though, which varies in location. As mentioned above, the cost of living is higher in the bigger cities. In fact, the most expensive city in the UK is the capital itself, London. The next is Cambridge, where our YouTuber lives.
These numbers are based on his experiences and observations while working and staying in Cambridge.
Accommodation is 1000 to 1500 pounds per month for a 2 to 3 bedroom flat. To save money, follow what most people do there which is house share. Get others to live with you in the same flat, and divide the rent amongst each other.
Now typically, if you house share, the cost per month, including rent, electricity, internet, is around 800 pounds.
Moreover, your budget for food, groceries and supplies is probably around 200 pounds per month.
This means that your total living expenses per month is 1,000 pounds.
Deduct that from your 2,500 pounds per month net pay, and you get savings of 1,000 pounds per month, which is equivalent to savings of around 70,000 Philippine pesos.
That’s a relatively big amount of money, and it gives you some room to spend on your wants. However, he suggests that you don’t splurge your extra money. Instead, save as much money as you can. In fact, come up with a regular savings plan that helps you prepare for times of drought, metaphorically speaking, or for a huge investment to further improve your financial capabilities.
When he was first starting out as an accountant in the UK four years ago, he had almost the same salary as mentioned. He said that he was able to send some money back to his family in the Philippines, while maintaining a very decent life in the UK.
In fact, he was able to travel to other countries, and with the right management of time, money and body, was able to enjoy a very nice work-life balance.
Getting an Accounting Job in the UK
So how can you get an accounting job in the UK? Well, first of all, the UK has one of the largest economies in the world, so there should be lots of job opportunities available for you.
In fact, the UK has a massive skills and labor shortage. In demand jobs include nursing, agricultural jobs, hospitality industry jobs, etc. Majority of the workforce of these industries are actually overseas nationals. Each year thousands of overseas workers are hired to work in the country.
Where the challenge lies is in getting a visa and a work permit. As mentioned above, if you want to work as an accountant in the UK, you need to be sure that the company you wish to work in can sponsor your visa.
If you are a qualified accountant, then you are classified as a skilled worker in the UK. That means you don’t belong to the blue collar working class, since you have a specific skill set, one that fits well in the corporate world at that.
UK also has a shortage of qualified accountants, especially in the field of audit. Aside from nurses, auditors are one of the most in demand jobs in the UK. Therefore, if you have audit experience, you should definitely explore the opportunity of working in the UK.
Once you have 3 to 5 years of working as an auditor in one of the big firms mentioned above, this should be enough to raise your rank to senior associate level. Moreover, if you have audit experience of more than 5 years, if you are an audit manager in the Philippines for example, when you work in the UK, you will be placed one level down, or assistant manager.
However, this entirely depends on your experience and how they deem your qualifications, and also how well you performed during the interview.
According to our YouTuber, applying for an auditor job in the UK is probably the easiest way to work in the country. To those who don’t want to work as an auditor, you should just check out the websites of the firms mentioned above, as they are the ones that can sponsor visa.
Look at the job vacancies and pick one that suits your work experience. They will probably prioritize picking from the talent pool already available in the UK. However, if that doesn’t work out, they will sponsor you. That is added cost to them, but that’s just how it works.
Another way to get a job in the UK is to have a dependent or spouse visa. In fact, that’s how our YouTuber moved to the UK; through a dependent’s visa. This actually make it so much easier to find a job in the country, especially if you are a CPA or a qualified accountant.
In this case, you don’t need a company to sponsor you. When you have a dependent visa, that means you also have a right to work. Once you start finding jobs, you will then have to wait for several months (around 3 on average). You will then receive a COE or Certificate of Employment, work permit, then the visa processing.
There you have it. I hope this article and the video shared by our UK-based OFW gives you an idea regarding how much an accountant can earn in the UK. Indeed, the UK is a great place to work as an accountant, and as you can see, the pay is quite lucrative. More importantly, you will definitely grow as a professional and enhance your accounting skills.