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How To Ask For A Pay Raise In An Accountancy Firm And Actually Get One You Are Happy With

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How To Ask For A Pay Raise In An Accountancy Firm And Actually Get One You Are Happy With


If you are looking to negotiate a pay rise within your firm, it’s important that you put together a well thought out approach first. 

In order to sit your manager down and ask for a pay rise, you need to be able to justify why you are worthy of one. 

So what do you do to get that all important pay rise?

Be good at what you do 

This one goes without saying, but it is so important that you are good at what you do if you are looking to get a pay rise. What we mean by this is that if you perform your job averagely, no better than the others on your team but no worse either, it’s going to be unlikely that your performance is substantial enough to warrant a rise in your pay. 

Similarly, this hard work needs to be consistent. It’s no good deciding you want a pay rise and so putting extra effort in for the few weeks leading up to the meeting with your manager. 


Keep track of your achievements 


It is vital that you keep track of all your achievements. Keep a journal that highlights all your achievements and what you have accomplished. I always advise the tax professionals I prep before an interview to put together a CV that highlights in detail their specific achievements and the technical projects they have undertaken. This allows them to control the story in the interview. The ones who make the greatest effort with their CV’s and rehearse their achievements always do better in interview. You can take the same approach to your annual review. 


This may sound like common sense, but you would be surprised by how many people feel that interviewers should ‘know what they do’ or they can simply ‘discuss what they do’. Winging it is what amateurs do. Would you wing it with a client? Would you wing it before a presentation? Show the same professional diligence towards your review as you would do to your career.


You can keep track of the following types of achievements throughout your career 


  • Successful examples that saved or made your firm money
  • Changes you have made to the processes that have made a dramatic improvement to the way your team operates.
  • Plans to improve.
  • Areas you have already improved.
  • Areas you would be interested in developing further
  • Areas you have identified in the firm that you feel could do with
  • improvement and any ideas you may have regarding this.


Timing is key

Something to consider before attempting to get a pay rise is the timing. If your company is going through a particularly tricky time financially, it’s perhaps not the best time to raise the issue. Similarly, if the sector in general or organisations within your geographical area are struggling for one reason or another, perhaps you might want to rethink whether now is the best time to bring up pay. 

We all know that people are more likely to be lenient with money if things are going financially well for them, and this goes for bigger firms too. Just think about whether now is the best time or whether an alternative time in the financial year may offer you a better chance of success.

Some people believe that bringing a pay rise up at an annual pay review is the best time to do so, but actually a few months before this pay review would be a better suggestion.

Do your research

If you have decided you are going to approach your manager, make sure you have done some research first. Have a look at your competitors and see what kind of salary and benefits package they are offering someone with similar experience and skillset to you - feel free to contact us if you like a comparison. You may discover that you are paid less than the average but you also may discover that you are currently being paid above average. 

It is important to consider this when considering what percentage pay rise you would ideally like but also when considering how willing you are to stay working for your current company or your current salary and how much a ‘no’ to your request for a pay rise would lead to you looking for a role elsewhere. It is important to look at the position you are currently in compared to other similar positions in order to assess how much you could and should be asking for.

Create a compelling case

Now that your performance is top notch and you’ve kept an eye on your achievements, it’s time to put together a compelling case to take to your manager. Here you need to work out what exactly you are going to ask. What is it that you want and why do you believe you deserve it?

It might be useful here to think about things from your manager’s point of view. If you were them, what would be your concerns regarding giving an employee a pay rise? If you feel that you have strong answers that work in your favour in response to the questions you believe you may get asked, you will appear much more confident in your belief in your ability.


Be your own biggest fan

It can be challenging to talk ourselves up and talk about our achievements but if you don’t no one else will. You know how hard you work and you know how much this company needs you and your performance, you just need to ensure everyone else knows too.

There is no need to over exaggerate here or appear cocky, simply make points about your abilities and have evidence to back those points up. Rather than pointing out to your employer that you are hard working and moving on to your next selling point, you need to evidence that hard work. Refer to a time you have gone above and beyond. Present performance records or evidence of continued professional development.

You don’t need to feel nervous about this. At the end of the day, you are working there because the company believe in you and it’s likely that they already recognise how great of an asset to the team you are. All you need to do is remind them of your abilities and let them know you feel you are at the point in your career where you are ready for a pay rise.

Get your manager on side

Your manager will be the one who argues your case so this is someone you need on side. Your manager should be aware of your contributions to your team and the company overall and so is the best person to recommend you receive a pay rise within the company. Therefore, before anyone else, you need to show your manager that you are worth them going out of their way to try to ensure you are worth a payrise. 


It is good to have a target in mind. However, you also need to be open to negotiation. One of the attributes your company probably looked for when employing you was adaptability so there is no point in going in with a fixed mindset. 

You will of course have an idea of what you would like your pay rise to be and whilst it’s important to be firm in your belief that you deserve one, you also need to be open to discussion.

 If you ask for a certain percentage pay rise but get offered a slighly lower one, that is still a win. 


You have the ability and authority to request a pay rise.

If you don’t ask you don’t get. 

Weigh up your options beforehand so that you don’t go in all guns blazing with no evidence to back up why you should get a pay rise. 

You need to ensure you have a compelling case, backed by evidence. 

Think about whether you would offer yourself a pay rise if you were your boss. If not, what would stop you? Now go and work on that. Good luck!



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