Working hours for finance professionals are increasing across the globe, according to the findings of the 2010 members’ salary survey carried out by CIMA (the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants). The average working week for CIMA members globally is 45 hours, with South East Asian economies (48-50 hours) and the U.S. (50 hours) working the longest hours.
The primary reasons reported for the increase are understaffing/lack of resource (up 12% to 61% from 2009), and more responsibility/more pressure (down 3% to 63% from 2009). The findings clearly show that as economies around the world are starting to recover, existing staff are bearing the brunt of job cuts made during the depths of the recession.
The good news for CIMA members is that their skills are valued, as the survey shows that chartered management accountants earn significantly higher salaries than the national average in every nation featured in the research. In developed economies, members’ salaries are usually between two and three times the national average. However, in developing economies such as Malaysia or Sri Lanka, the percentage is as much as six or even ten times the national average earnings.
Bonuses also featured as a significant proportion of member remuneration. In many countries this accounts for between 8% and 15% of total income with significantly higher rewards in the USA (19%) and Hong Kong (20%).
The downturn and subsequent recovery in some areas is having a mixed impact on CIMA members. Malaysia and Australia show the most significant increases in average remuneration since 2009, but countries such as Sri Lanka and the UK have experienced only modest growth – less than 4% on average. There has been a decline in average salaries in South Africa and Ireland.
Access to a pension scheme (received by 78%) and bonuses (64%) are rated as the most important benefits to CIMA members. The increasing desire for a better work/life balance is illustrated by the fact that flexible hours is considered one of the most attractive offerings in a benefits package. This shows that providing staff with more flexible working hours where this is currently not provided would be the easiest way to improve employee satisfaction.
CIMA members’ satisfaction levels with their remuneration have fallen last year, but are still high: in total, 68% are satisfied with their salary and 79% are satisfied with their benefits, with just over half (52%) of members surveyed thinking about a job move in the next two years. Almost half (45%) are worried that they may experience a pay freeze but far fewer (8%) are worried about possible redundancy during the coming year.
"The survey findings show that economies around the world are beginning to recover, but organisations need to be mindful of the pressure on existing staff as workloads increase. Employee satisfaction will become increasingly important to retain key staff and organisations should look at creative ways to achieve this, such as providing more flexible working options," says Ray Perry, CIMA executive director of brand, profile and marketing.
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