A survey of 1,800 professionals by accounting and financial services recruitment firm, Lloyd Morgan, revealed 23 per cent of professionals received a bonus, with the average bonus received by males at $10,612 compared to $8,025 for their female counterparts.
While still significant, this disparity is down from the previous year (2012 – 2013), where Lloyd Morgan research showed the bonus for male accountants was almost double at $12,900 versus $6,400 for women.
Paul Barbaro, Lloyd Morgan’s executive general manager, said the narrowing gap represented a change in attitude driven by recognition that women were undervalued by market forces.
“It’s a great outcome for professional women in Australia and the data shows the trend to narrow the gap continues to improve so the industry should be applauded,” Mr Barbaro said.
The payment of bonuses and benefits are an important weapon for firms trying to attract great talent however over the past year they have become a critical tool to retain their best performers, said Mr Barbaro.
“With flat economic conditions in recent years, many firms have shed staff and those who’ve remained have been asked to carry the extra workload so it’s become essential for bosses to pay close attention to remuneration and recognition and to work on any disparities."
The research showed the highest bonus paid to a female was $81,000, which was paid to a Sydney-based CFO in a large financial services company, while the largest paid to a male was $130,000 for a Perth general manager of finance in the mining and resources sector.
The Lloyd Morgan research also showed accounting professionals have changed their preferred benefits with flexible working hours now the most popular and paid training the second most popular.
A year ago, paid training barely made the top 10 list. In today’s world, many professionals want to reskill and upskill, not just to ensure they remain relevant but to broaden the scope of opportunity for themselves when the economy picks up pace".
“This could be a double-edged sword for employers who want to keep their staff engaged but who risk losing them in the near future by arming them with attractive new skills,” Mr Barbaro said.
Top five benefits across Australia for accountants
• Flexible working hours
• Company paid training
• Car park
• Mobile phone/mobile allowance
• Paid maternity/paternity leave