Rate of Pay

TALLY Registered Posts: 22 Dedicated contributor 🌟 🐡 🌟
Hi everyone,

The dreaded question that everyone asks, am I being paid the right amount for the job. I work for someone who has two businesses for which I do the bookkeeping. One of the directors does the month/year ends. Some of the work is pretty basic i.e. entering data onto the computer etc, but I do all of the reconciliation work bank/sales plus the VAT returns and payment runs. I work in the office alone so I basically run the office; for this I am paid 7.50 per hour; just wondered if this is a fair rate. I work in retail by the way.

I have been approached by one of the directors who has another business to do some reconciliation work for her. What rate of pay would be reasonable to ask for or expect to be offered? This business is a successful company dealing in computer services.


  • Jan
    Jan Registered Posts: 654
    Mmmm, always a tricky one this.

    I was in a similar position a few years ago, except I was paid Β£6 per hour and felt the company couldn't afford to pay me any more. It was only when I handed in my notice that they offered me any more money. (It would have saved them getting someone else who didn't sell themselves short as I had done!) I learnt from that experience and when I got my present post negotiated what I thought was a fair wage before I started. (More than Β£7.50 ph) Like you at the time I worked alone - I still am the accounts/payroll dept!!
    Do you feel underpaid for your existing work? If so, how do you feel about asking for a rise? When was your last and could you justify it with extra work you may have taken on recently? Your boss is in business to make money, so if you are prepared to put up with a low wage he'll carry on paying it until you make a fuss. With the other work for the director you are in a difficult position as she knows how much you are already paid and I presume will expect to pay you the same rate. Have a look on the job centre plus website - see what is being advertised locally which will give you a good indication of wether you are paid fairly or not.

    Incidently, I recently discovered that my previous employer had been prepared to pay Β£8 ph to someone who could do general office work, but had no knowledge whatsoever of accounts/bookkeeping/finance etc. No wonder they were so keen to employ me :glare:
    TALLY Registered Posts: 22 Dedicated contributor 🌟 🐡 🌟
    Hi Jan,
    As you probably know the retail trade is suffering at the moment, I work for a Ladies and Gents clothing shop. Because trade is slow we have recently had to make someone redundant. Last year I got a decent pay rise, but none of us got anything the year before and unless things pick up may not this year.
    The thing is I have settled in where I am, it's close to home and I like the staff. The couple that I work for are in their seventies and believed to have had said that they are no longer in it for the profit. On the other hand the director who would like me to work for her could afford to pay more, does she see me as a cheap option! The extra hours would be nice, but do I ask for more money or just accept what is offered.
  • richardw
    richardw Registered Posts: 108 πŸŽ† 🐘 πŸŽ†
    Could you do a compromise?
    something along the lines of take you on at Β£x per hour, maybe the same as now, then in 6 months time review it, on the basis that the new wage would be similar to what is available in the market.
    If in that period you can add an extra qualification, eg sage/excel/ecdl you can then show that your worth more.
  • Jan
    Jan Registered Posts: 654
    Agree with Richard, although I would probably ask for a little more to start - there's no harm in asking, but only you can judge the situation. Has she indicated how much the pay will be? I don't think she sees you as a cheap option. She needs someone she can trust and knows can do the work, so in that respect you are in a strong position, but nobody likes paying more than they need for anything. My last two jobs were where I was approached by an employer to work for them - hence I stuck by my guns for a reasonable wage. I would have taken less, but I'll never let my present boss know that :lol:

    I've reread your original post, not sure if you work part-time and this would be a second job or if you are giving up one to go to the other with extra hours. I can understand how you feel if you are settled where you are. You'll need to add up the pros and cons - not just the extra money/hours. On the other hand the couple are in their 70's and sound as if they are coasting along till they decide to retire - do you want to coast along with them or grab this oppotunity whilst it's there?

    As ever, only you can decide. Good luck and keep us posted.
  • blobbyh
    blobbyh Registered Posts: 2,415
    Hello Tally,

    If it's a quick answer you're after then yes, I'd say that Β£7.50/hour for what you are currently doing is underpaid and you could probably earn nearer the Β£10-Β£11/hour mark...

    ... however...

    ... there's much more to a job than the wage you're earning and number one for me is professional happiness. With higher wages usually comes increased stress and greater accountability. There's less of a hiding place (aka lame excuse!) if you were to do something wrong and it's expected that the more you're paid, the greater your professional liability will become in the event things turn sour. This can have a devestating personal effect should you be unfortunate that it ever happen to you. I think most people want extra responsibility - and in turn money - in their working roles but when it's actually given to them, few are prepared to do it and even fewer can do it effectively.

    Money or happiness? Health or wealth? A fortunate few have both but for most, it's just a dream!
  • sarahwilson
    sarahwilson Registered Posts: 567
    Thats good advice Robert. I have been in a similar position, not accounts but I was doing the work of 2 people for 1 persons wage. I got fed up and actually found another job, when I gave my notice my employers offered me a 25% rise to stay which I took.

    It was the worst thing I've ever done, the stress was unbelievable as they seemed to think that the extra money would mean I would work longer to ensure 2 peoples work did get done and that now there would never be a mistake. I left after 14 months it was unbearable.

    I agree that 7.50 is low for what you are doing but don't fall into the trap I did and think that extra money will make doing too much work bearable. It won't:001_smile:
    TALLY Registered Posts: 22 Dedicated contributor 🌟 🐡 🌟
    Hi Folks,

    In reply to your question Jan yes I do work part-time at the moment, and you are right in the fact that the elderly couple are just coasting along until they decide to call it a day. They have said that they are not prepared to invest any more money into the businesses.

    With trade being what it is at the moment it may not be long before we are all looking for new positions, and to be honest if there were to be no pay rise this year I think that I would seriously consider working elsewhere anyway. The past six months have been pretty hellish with money being so tight

    The work that I would do for the computer company I would be able to do at the premises where I work now, if the shop were to close it would be too far for me to travel to where the computer company is based (it would not be impossible though)

    On top of all this the manager of the mens clothing business previously asked me if I would work for him if he were to buy the business, but things being the way that they are he may be having second thoughts. If I just worked for him it would probably be less hours, if anything I would prefer to work more.

    What it is to be wanted or should that be used!! Maybe I should just be grateful to have a job.

    I do often look to see what vacancies there are locally, but there are so many people going into this business now, wiz kids etc who are often prepared to accept less. It's not easy to find anything.
  • Jan
    Jan Registered Posts: 654
    to be honest if there were to be no pay rise this year I think that I would seriously consider working elsewhere anyway. The past six months have been pretty hellish with money being so tight

    Been there, done that! That's the trouble with our job - you get to see what's going on and have to put a brave face on so no-one else knows.

    So at the moment you have a serious offer on the table and a possibility of another if the manager buys the business, which isn't a bad position to be in really. You're still back to the problem of how much to ask to be paid though! Has the computer co indicated when they want an answer? I get the feeling everything is so much up in the air you don't know which way to jump or if to just yet!

    None of us knows what lies round the corner - thank goodness. I've taken up opportunities as they came along. Learnt from the experience, even though at the time it appeared to be the wrong decision. (I lost a stone in weight when I changed to the job that paid me Β£6 ph with the stress of trying to teach myself their accounts package/fight off creditors etc etc. Didn't regret it as it proved to myself what I was capable of.)

    As ever - good luck
    TALLY Registered Posts: 22 Dedicated contributor 🌟 🐡 🌟
    I haven't actually spoke to the director of the computer company yet about this, she asked the elderly couple if I would be interested in talking to her about it (which I said I would) I'm really just tying to prepare myself.

    I just think it unlikely that she would offer me more even though she is in a position to do so, as it could cause me to question the rate of pay that I am currently on with my present employers. It could make things awkward all round.
  • red_devil
    red_devil Registered Posts: 52 πŸ’« 🐯 πŸ’«
    I wouldn't work for any less than Β£20/hour. Mind you I am a MIP and worth every single one of those 2,000 pennies per hour!
  • JanM
    JanM Registered Posts: 2 New contributor 🐸
    Rates of Pay

    I am an MIP and have employed help with data entry work for over six years and currently pay Β£7.50/hour but take all the responsibility. It sounds as if you are being taken advantage of.

    If the other job is offered will it be on a self emplyed basis? If so you can ask for Β£10/hr plus. That is still not so good as you will not get any SSP or holiday pay. I was approached by a lady with over 30 years experience who is working for a local accountant and she is being paid Β£10/hr.

    You have to have to believe in yourself when you know you have the ability.

    I now work in the wilds of Devon after living in Surrey and I know that location makes a big difference to rates of pay.

    Good luck!
  • deanshepherd
    deanshepherd Registered Posts: 1,809
    I wouldn't work for any less than Β£20/hour. Mind you I am a MIP and worth every single one of those 2,000 pennies per hour!

    Hey guys and gals! I have just started working for myself here in the north-east of england (geordieland!) and I am charging Β£50/hour for bookkeeping/VAT/payroll work and Β£100/hour for tax and accounts work. No complaints from any clients so far about these prices. As Delboy Trotter would have said....."I will be a millionaire" one of these days! As Justin lee Collins would say....."Good times"!!

  • red_devil
    red_devil Registered Posts: 52 πŸ’« 🐯 πŸ’«
    Hmm. Not sure exactlty what your point is Deano?! My point was that I felt the original poster shouldn't work for less than Β£20 per hour. At the moment I am in the fortunate position of being able to charge Β£50/Β£100 per hour without any complaints.
  • Poodle
    Poodle Registered Posts: 711
    Had a nice surprise today,

    Doing a VAT return I noticed that my client was missing Β£10K (yes I did say Β£10K) in PDQ income in one month and did not notice it.

    I suggested a finders fee of say 50% they gave me an extra Β£100 on top of my bill
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