Consult Recruitment NZ > Career  > Do You Know What Your Colleagues Earn?

Do You Know What Your Colleagues Earn?

Ever wished you could take a peek at your colleagues’ payslips?

Don’t worry; you’re not a bad person. Curiosity about what everyone else is earning is a normal part of the human condition. Who doesn’t want to know how their pay compares to their colleagues’?

There’s even a school of thought that says this curiosity should be encouraged: Advocates of Radical Salary Transparency say it makes their employees happier, more productive and more loyal.

As far as I know, no businesses in NZ have adopted the practice, and given our very Kiwi reticence to talk about money (it’s just a bit icky, along with politics and you know, feelings and stuff), it’s probably not going to happen anytime soon.

Nevertheless, knowing how your salary compares – if not with your direct colleagues, then at least with your peers in the wider market – is so important.

I recruited for ten years before moving into my current role. In that time I met someone at least every week who had no idea they had been underpaid for years.  And I mean seriously underpaid.

If we’re talking, say, an average of even just $10K pa over 10 years…well, if you’re reading this, you’re probably an accountant; so I won’t insult you by spelling it out. That’s a decent amount of money, by anyone’s standard.

And I deliberately chose 10 years in my example, because the effect of being underpaid in one position doesn’t usually vanish when you switch jobs. That sub-par salary could follow you around for years, because each time you negotiate a new one, you’re starting at point much lower than you should be.

Which brings me to my next point. Starting a job search without first getting an accurate idea of your worth is like putting your house on the market without getting a valuation or talking to a real estate agent. Actually, most people have a much clearer idea of what houses in their area are selling for – just by reading the news or gossiping with their neighbours – than they have of what their peers are earning.

Find out what you’re really worth before you start applying for jobs, or you risk either short-changing yourself for years to come; or cutting yourself out of the running because your salary expectations are way above your competitions’.

So, hopefully I’ve convinced you to do your research. But how? Your boss probably won’t be giving you a login to the payroll system anytime soon, but you do have the next best thing at your fingertips – What’s My Worth – NZ’s only dedicated accounting salary comparison tool.

What’s My Worth was launched back in August this year, and already over 1,300 NZ accounting professionals have contributed their salary details. That’s the largest repository of live accounting salary data in NZ. But even if you have an uncommon profile and find there’s not yet much data there to compare yourself to, the nifty thing about the site is that you can opt to be notified each time 20 new profiles are added that match yours – so you can keep on top of where you track against the market as the data pool grows, without having to do a thing.

If you’ve already used What’s My Worth, but haven’t visited for a while, there are a few more cool new features you might want to check out:


Users are now asked to provide the number of years’ experience they have in their role. That data’s used to generate a neat graph that shows your earning potential as you move along your career trajectory.


Interested in a move out of the big smoke? Check your earning potential first before you sell up and buy that lifestyle block.


Arm yourself with some fancy colour graphics and hard data before you go into that next pay review meeting.

Find out if you’re being paid what you’re worth now:

About the author

Angela Cameron - CA, CPA

Executive Director

A chartered accountant by qualification, she is a recruitment leader by nature.

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