Salary - Opinions please

Lucas09
Lucas09 Registered Posts: 10 Regular contributor ⭐ ? ⭐
After recently watching the programme 'Show me your money' On Channel 4 and receiving my salary review, I wondered what other people thought.

I began working for my current employer as an accounts assistant in September 2011 whilst half way through studying for the AAT Technician level. This meant I had one day out of the office to study. I started on what I thought was a measly salary of £13,000.

The firm run their pay reviews every December and July. I did not have a pay review in December 2011 as I only joined in Septemeber 2011, and therefore I was looking forward to July 2012. Having qualified and since attained membership to the AAT in April this year, I was hoping for a decent rise.

The letter sent to me states 'Your progress with the firm has been reviewed and we are pleased to inform you that your salary will be increased to £14,000 with effect from 1st July 2012.' Now I know performance is taken into account when your salary is reviewed, but this makes out that i'm doing a bad job, when I think I am doing fine, especially as my manager said in my appraisal a couple months ago that I am performing at the expected level.

Now my first reaction was to say that just doesn't seem enough. I recently read the AAT salary review survey compiled in 2011 and from what I saw the average salary for an AAT qualified employee in a large firm was in the region of £17,000 to £20,000.

It would be helpful to see what other people think of this and possibly offer some advice?

Thanks
Luke

Comments

  • jamesm96
    jamesm96 Registered Posts: 523
    Hi Lucas,

    It's a tough one because, although the salary surveys suggest that there are people in other firms doing the same job as you for loads more money, it's never quite as clear-cut as that. I'd say your main comparison would be against others at your firm at the same level as you, but finding that information isn't usually possible (or even allowed in many firms!)

    A colleague of mine who's a trainee AAT always comes back from her courses feeling quite dissatisfied with her salary because everyone else on the course boasts about the money their on. I suspect there's a whole lot of bravado going on and I don't believe that many of them are on the salaries they're on, but it doesn't help with the feelings of being undervalued.

    However, all of the above aside, my personal view would be that £13k is pretty low for your level... whereabouts are you in the country, though?
  • NicF
    NicF Registered Posts: 108 ? ? ?
    Luke, I've only worked for a large corporate organisation so I could be way off the mark here, but that is a nearly 8% pay rise which is more than people where I worked had over three years and is way above inflation. To me this indicates they are pleased with your performance and not that you are doing a bad job. The other thing I noted is that you are performing at the expected level. Where I worked this would only be at the bottom end of the pay rises and there would be people who were performing above the expected level and people who were continuously exceeding expectations. If the organisation you work for have a formal performance appraisal rating it might be worth seeing where meeting expectations sits on the ratings.

    In the current economic climate a 7.69% pay rise is a very good payrise. Remember the salary range you quoted is the average salary range and may be skewed by people earning way above what most others earn and should only be used as a guide and not as a 'that's what I should be earning'. You also need to take in to account the amount of exoerience you have as a qualified AAT employee and remember that some if the people in the survey will have been qualified for years.
  • johnnyboy987
    johnnyboy987 Registered Posts: 36 ? ? ?
    I think a lot of it depends on where you are located in the UK are you'll find there's a big gap in salaries between different regions (eg. North vs South).

    If you are "performing at the expected level", then I'd say you need to make sure you are clear about what that level actually is. Has your job changed much since qualifying? Does the role require someone qualified?

    Also, my employer is an example of this, some firms do not value someone who meets their expectations particularly highly. They want someone who will EXCEED their expections and add value to the role. That's the basis they use when deciding salary increases. (Obviously not the same everywhere)

    If you feel undervalued, you should arrange a meeting with your line manager to discuss your role and explain to them why you are worth a £20k salary (without actually mentioning the salary directly)...

    Hope that helps :)

    Johnny
  • PGM
    PGM Registered Posts: 1,954
    I think the salary is good if it is a trainee position. What you're gaining on your CV is worth a lot combined with the AAT qualification. And don't forget you're only at work 4 days per week with the day release!

    Once you've got experience and qualifications you'll have some bargaining power for increases.
  • JodieR
    JodieR Registered Posts: 1,002
    If you're happy in the job, if you feel that the knowledge you're acquiring is going to improve your CV in the long term and if you feel that you maybe 'owe' your employer for paying for college and giving you day release then graciously accept the payrise and count your blessings.

    If you feel that your employer is trying to get away with underpaying you then do your homework and find examples of other local jobs you could apply for which would pay substantially more and then ask your boss for a meeting and ask them to justify your salary and explain that if they don't either raise it now or agree to raise it in a few months if you meet certain conditions/targets then you will start looking elsewhere.

    I do know how you feel - this exact scenario happened to me, I was totally gutted with my first payrise and although i did stick around for another year to see if it improved, I didn't feel guilty leaving when something way better came along!
  • PGM
    PGM Registered Posts: 1,954
    JodieR wrote: »
    If you feel that your employer is trying to get away with underpaying you then do your homework and find examples of other local jobs you could apply for which would pay substantially more and then ask your boss for a meeting and ask them to justify your salary and explain that if they don't either raise it now or agree to raise it in a few months if you meet certain conditions/targets then you will start looking elsewhere.

    Agreed, but I'd be sure what you feel is right before speaking to your boss. As it can have the opposite effect if your boss feels you're out of touch with reality on pay. And that you wouldn't appreciate a pay rise below your expectations, so why even give it..

    What experience did you have when you joined at Sept 11?
  • coojee
    coojee Registered Posts: 794
    I agree with what everyone else has said but here's a new slant on it. When you were being paid £13k they were giving you one day off per week, assuming you were unpaid for this one day you could claim that your actual pay had you been working every day was £14,378 (assuming 35 days per year at college). So now that you're working full time you're actually being paid less than you were before (and the fact that they're not paying your fees, exam costs etc) They're doing quite nicely now as their total costs for employing you have gone down quite substantially and you haven't seen much of the benefit.
  • Lucas09
    Lucas09 Registered Posts: 10 Regular contributor ⭐ ? ⭐
    PGM wrote: »
    I think the salary is good if it is a trainee position. What you're gaining on your CV is worth a lot combined with the AAT qualification. And don't forget you're only at work 4 days per week with the day release!

    Once you've got experience and qualifications you'll have some bargaining power for increases.

    I was only on day release up until December 2011. Since then I have been full time in the office (37.5 hours p/week). This contributes to the reason I think my pay is low. £13,000 for 4 days a week to £14,000 for 5 days a week.

    I went for another job interview before I accepted the offer for where I am now. They explained I would start on £13,000 (same as what I started on where I am) but would receive a 20% salary increase upon completion of the AAT. That would make my pay £15,600 from the date I completed the AAT (April 2012).

    In addition to that, I have knowledge that a colleague started on £15,000 whilst studying for the Technican level of AAT. This is one of the main reasons I believe I am being unfairly underpaid.

    I am in the South West and appreciate that I will not receive as high a pay as someone would in the North.
  • Lucas09
    Lucas09 Registered Posts: 10 Regular contributor ⭐ ? ⭐
    PGM wrote: »
    Agreed, but I'd be sure what you feel is right before speaking to your boss. As it can have the opposite effect if your boss feels you're out of touch with reality on pay. And that you wouldn't appreciate a pay rise below your expectations, so why even give it..

    What experience did you have when you joined at Sept 11?

    I worked in a smaller accountancy practice from January 2009 (the time at which I started my AAT studies).
  • PGM
    PGM Registered Posts: 1,954
    Lucas09 wrote: »
    I worked in a smaller accountancy practice from January 2009 (the time at which I started my AAT studies).

    So you can justify more money.

    Maybe worth a sit down with them sometime between now and the next reveiws to talk about your career progression. If you focus on how much your role will evolve instead of just salary it can come across better and lets them know you're motivated.

    Good luck!
  • andrewtdk
    andrewtdk Registered Posts: 150 ? ? ?
    Remember when people are comparing salaries at college it is important whether or not they work in practice or industry as there is normally a fairly large salary gap. Also due to the recession wages are generally quite low. We regularly get recruitment company's sending us information on staff they are wanting to place and I've seen a few recently wanting a £15000 salary for an aat qualified with about 5-6 years of experience where as in the past you could expect this salary when you first completed aat with nowhere near as much experience
  • wildgoose1uk
    wildgoose1uk Registered Posts: 200 ? ? ?
    My daughter is in her 20's and works for Barclays as a cashier. If you take off the London weighting then you are on about the same. Given your location then it may seem not too dissimilar.

    You have a golden opportunity being in a practice though. You could do further training, perhaps ATT or a chartered qualification. You also have the opportunity to learn everything you need to set up your own practice in the future and that cannot be underestimated. I had decades of experience behind me in industry when I started my Practice.... it was a steep learning curve!

    Get a couple of years post qualification under your belt, consider ATT, volunteer to assist on things that you are not gaining experience off and in a few years you can go out on your own with a sellable product (you!).
  • jamesm96
    jamesm96 Registered Posts: 523
    Lucas09 wrote: »
    I was only on day release up until December 2011. Since then I have been full time in the office (37.5 hours p/week). This contributes to the reason I think my pay is low. £13,000 for 4 days a week to £14,000 for 5 days a week.

    I went for another job interview before I accepted the offer for where I am now. They explained I would start on £13,000 (same as what I started on where I am) but would receive a 20% salary increase upon completion of the AAT. That would make my pay £15,600 from the date I completed the AAT (April 2012).

    So, (and I've just noticed that Coojee has raised exactly the same point) whilst working 4 days per week you were being paid £13,000, and now that your day-release has stopped your being paid £14,000? (Both of those amounts being actual sums rather than pro-rata?)

    To my mind, when you stop the day release you should therefore be paid £13,000 x 5/4 = £16,250, surely? I mean, I don't know what's in your contract, but that's how it seems to me. It can't hurt to ask to have a quick chat with whoever looks after the HR and just say that you don't really understand how they've come to £14k now that you're working 5 days.
  • wildgoose1uk
    wildgoose1uk Registered Posts: 200 ? ? ?
    Surely the argument would be that they were paid whilst at college and that the company allowing them time off to go to college and gain qualifications was a benefit to the employee? I think 8% is a good pay increase and is certainly more than anyone I know has had for some time.
  • janwal
    janwal Registered Posts: 1,189
    I started my current job on 10k a year, 10 yrs down the line I have managed to increase to 18k, for the last 2 yrs I got £250 a yr pay rise ( yes you guess I work for NHS). I am payed for 37.5 hrs per week with 35 days off for college.

    I know that at the end of level 4 (Sept 2013) there will be no chance of any extra just because I have a new qualification.

    My point is in the climit we are in at the moment I am just thankful they have given me the opportunity to better myself and I have a job, not may people can say that.
  • stevo5678
    stevo5678 Registered Posts: 325
    I agree, this is how employers view it. It wasn't 13k for 4/5 days, it was 13k for 5 days (one at college).

    Doesn't mean there's not an argument there though...
  • SashaDella
    SashaDella Registered Posts: 362
    The best way to deal with this would be to ask what you can do to improve yourself and gain more responsibilities. Get employers to set you goals for you in developing yourself and in turn gaining a higher wage.
  • LPalmer
    LPalmer Registered Posts: 25 ? ? ?
    A good argument to put through aswell when talking about the extra day at work is that you are spending an extra day making the firm money. As I suspect (from experiance in my current job) is that you have a charge out rate which gets put against each client when you fill in your timesheet.

    If this is true then what you can argue is that because of that extra day you are putting down (7.5*Your charge out rate) to each client. Then times that by 52 and thats how much extra your earning the company each year.

    However if this isn't how your firm works then I'm very sorry if I confused you :lol:

    Regards
  • Lucas09
    Lucas09 Registered Posts: 10 Regular contributor ⭐ ? ⭐
    LPalmer wrote: »
    A good argument to put through aswell when talking about the extra day at work is that you are spending an extra day making the firm money. As I suspect (from experiance in my current job) is that you have a charge out rate which gets put against each client when you fill in your timesheet.

    If this is true then what you can argue is that because of that extra day you are putting down (7.5*Your charge out rate) to each client. Then times that by 52 and thats how much extra your earning the company each year.

    However if this isn't how your firm works then I'm very sorry if I confused you :lol:

    Regards

    Yes this is how it works in my firm. It makes sense to mention this so maybe there is an argument there.
    Say for example my charge out rate was £30 and I charge an extra 7.5 hours each week for that one day, I am making £11,700 per year (not taking into account holiday).
Privacy Policy