Accountancy training firm, First Intuition, has launched its first Accountancy Salary Guide to help provide benchmarking information on salaries at different levels in accountancy careers. Data collected from First Intuition’s clients between May – June 2021 form the findings on average salaries, rewards and benefits, and retention across different regions of East Anglia. The results indicate that there are significant regional differences in pay across East Anglia for trainee and qualified accountants across all levels. The Accountancy Salary Guide 2021/ 2022 not only provides a model for salaries to ensure businesses remain competitive within their market, but they also mark a point to monitor change before the effects of the pandemic took hold.

Gareth John, Chief Executive of First Intuition explains the motivation behind the Accountancy Salary Guide. “Clients often approach us wondering whether their planned salary bands are in line with those offered by other organisations in their local area. In response to this, we conducted a confidential survey of salaries offered by the employers that we work with across East Anglia.”

The survey data covered questions on what firms pay their employees at different stages of qualification, the rewards and benefits they offer and what affects these, as well as retention rates 12 months after qualifying and techniques used to retain staff. Some notable findings include:

  • Cambridge has the highest average salary in East Anglia at £29,047 across all levels of accounting
  • Suffolk (excluding Ipswich) has the lowest average salary in East Anglia at £24,800 across all levels of accounting
  • £16,174 is the average salary for school leavers across East Anglia
  • £20,814 is the average salary for graduates across East Anglia
  • 86% of employers still have 90% + of their intake 12 months after qualifying
  • 91% of employers pay the same for apprentices and non-apprentices at the same level
  • Increased Responsibility is the most popular method used to retain staff
  • 40% of employers do not reward employees for passing exams
  • Around half of respondents’ use advancing in competency/ capability and passing exams as a measure for setting monetary rewards
  • On average, employers pay newly qualified AAT staff moving onto higher level qualifications 8% more than graduate entrants starting those qualifications without having done AAT


The spring/ summer of 2021 provided the perfect opportunity to collect this benchmark data on accountancy salaries before the impact of recent upward pressure on salaries took hold. The accountancy and finance industry is already seeing changes in salaries across all levels as low retention rates, high recruitment competition, and lack of qualified staff is fuelling wage pressure. This data is therefore not only a great guide for salaries, but it also represents a good starting point to monitor change before the impacts of the pandemic took root. First Intuition hope to continue to monitor average salaries year on year, not only to offer guidance and information but to track change.

Download the full East Anglia Accountancy Salary Guide 2021/ 2022 here:

First Intuition is an award-winning training provider that has been training accountancy students for AAT, ACCA, CIMA and ICAEW exams for over ten years. With training centres across the UK, First Intuition offers first-class attention to student care and customer service. First Intuition delivers classroom courses, distance learning options, accounting apprenticeships, as well as a post-qualification education programme.