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Show Me The Money

Growing up in Newcastle I was always told, “shy bairns get nowt,” translated in common English as, “shy children get nothing.”

We’re always advised if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Which is easy when it comes to the last slice of pizza, but what about when it’s in the work environment? When is the best time to ask for something you want and how do you approach it?

I’ve been asked numerous times by candidates and friends who have just qualified as a CA if they’re being paid enough. I’ve also overheard recently qualified CA’s jokingly say to their boss, “I’m qualified now so when can I ask for a pay rise?” for the partner to respond, “Ha! You can ask, sure, doesn’t mean it’s in the budget”.

With more firms willing to take on bonding for recently qualified CA’s, what’s to stop employees from leaving after receiving their CA?

Consult’s 2017 Salary Review What the Buck: Again?! surveyed almost 9,000 people in the Accounting and Finance industry in Auckland and found that 83% of people would move for the right opportunity. Additionally, 33% would change jobs within their sector each year.

So, if companies are willing to financially invest for their employees to complete their CA qualification why aren’t they willing to discuss post qualification salaries to retain them?

If firms offered complete transparency of their salary bandings would it help retain employees as there would never be that awkward chat in the review meeting?

My advice to you is to go armed with facts and to do your research. Find out when the salary reviews are and what the company policies stipulate. There’s no point in asking after the budget has been decided and you’ve missed your opportunity.

Is your performance on or above expectations and what value-add to the company and your clients do you offer? Rather than asking for a pay rise because of the length of time you’ve been there or because your friend gets paid that amount, explain your current value in the company and how it benefits them. Bring up examples of past accomplishments to back up your pitch.

See how your current salary compares to your peers at What’s My Worth in case the question is flipped and they ask what you think you are worth. That way, you know what you can negotiate to without underselling yourself in the market. Don’t go in all guns blazing and be willing to listen to their side too. At the end of the day it’s a salary negotiation, not a demand.

If they don’t see your worth and aren’t willing to discuss your future goals (and subsequent salary expectations) then maybe it might be time to see what other opportunities are available to you.

Are you being paid what you’re worth? Find out here.

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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