How To Negotiate A Real Pay Rise In An Accountancy Firm

Published 2 months ago by Medet Ali


If you are looking to negotiate a pay rise within your accountancy 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 here we have listed some vital things to keep in mind before you ask that all important question.

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 achievements 

When you work for a firm, no matter how big or small, achievements can be overlooked. It can be frustrating to feel that the great things you are doing and the targets you are reaching and going unnoticed, but the most important thing is that you notice them and keep track of them yourself.

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 manager 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 or take physical evidence in if you have it of 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 an employee who feels they are appreciated and rewarded for their hard work. 


It is good to have a target in mind of what you want to get out of your meeting with your manager or company so that you have something to approach them with. 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 lower one, do not see this as a loss. Any pay rise is a sign that you are appreciated within the work place and that others believe you deserve to be rewarded for your contributions. This is not to say you shouldn’t argue your case, but be open to negotiations.


Overall, everyone has the ability and authority to request a pay rise and if you believe you deserve one then there is nothing stopping you from asking. As they say, if you don’t ask you don’t get. However, it is important to think through your request and weigh up your options beforehand so that you don’t go in all guns blazing with no evidence to back up why you should be getting a pay rise. You have to remember that the company must get these sorts of requests frequently so they will not be offended by it, but also may not be particularly moved by it, so you need to ensure you have a compelling case to 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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