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Are local accountants underpaid?

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Money appears to be the root of all problems for practicing accountants in Singapore, who are currently dissatisfied with their local wage rates.

The Accountancy Sector Survey 2013 of 3,990 respondents by the Singapore Accountancy Commission recently identified insufficient income as the top challenge facing individuals in the accountancy sector.

Attaining a score of 3.57 out of five, incommensurate salaries was highlighted as the biggest cause of discontent.

A lack of a work-life balance and job satisfaction followed, with scores of 3.41 and 3.29 respectively.

“Many individuals working in the accountancy sector generally felt that they were being under-remunerated and made to work long hours because of the lack of experienced staff to assist them. Furthermore, the work that they do might not always be interesting to them,” the report stated.

Corresponding to these identified challenges, raising incomes and more flexible working hours were the most desired suggestions for improvement.

Aimed at formulating policies and designing programmes which will benefit stakeholders in the accountancy sector, the survey included responses from those working in public accounting firms, as well as those in accounting and finance roles within corporate organisations.

Talent management ranked the top challenge at the departmental level, with the ability to retain and attract talent garnering a score of 4.04 out of five.

Accordingly, ensuring continuity of support staff, and providing more guidance for staff on optimal practices were the most popular suggestions for improvement, followed by competency of finance staff, with a score of 3.89.

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