London VS Other City Accountants


If you’re not from London, the idea and concept of the capital are that of novelty. You walk around the city and smell money, inhale opportunity and the people there bleed success. If however you were born and raised in the capital, packed tubes, congestion charges, and extraordinary rent prices are what you have been accustomed to. 

The biggest and best of the accounting leagues find many of their offices within the capital city. However, it is not uncommon to find offices in any of the UK’s cities such as Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Cardiff, and Leeds. 

Average salary :

The average annual salary for a London accountant sits at £79,207, whilst other regions sit at considerably less. North West accountants average £45,623 whilst in the midlands, the average sits at £54,518 and £45,623 for the West and East respectively. The lowest-grossing region wales hold high disparity from the capital, with a 63.3% difference in salaries. The more interesting statistic here is that the average household spend difference sits at only 33.6%. By comparison, the cost adjustment still makes pursuing a career in London more worthwhile. 

In true accounting fashion, the numbers don’t lie, but similarly do not tell the full story. The initial outlay for moving from a smaller city to the capital may offset a decision to operate a career there, and instead, candidates may opt to the work in their hometown on a lesser salary but save on living costs and transport. 

With Brexit after effects looming, the idea of relocation from the capital is ever more favorable. From 2018-2019, the city of Edinburgh saw a 75% year-on-year increase in the number of available accounting opportunities. A successful middle-market business enterprise in Merseyside saw Big 4 veteran KPMG predicting one of its biggest-ever mergers and acquisition years in Liverpool. Notoriously labeled the financial capital of the North, Leeds boasts over 200 accountancy firms to choose from. South East financial titan Bristol has reportedly not felt the same negative effects as the capital, with many turning to the region in these times of financial unease and uncertainty. Manchester has a reputation for the attraction of top talent, and with all of the Big 4 holding offices in the city, it makes it an attractive alternative to the UK’s capital city. 

The general consensus is that the majority of accountants aim to gain chartered status and then set up their own establishment. The idea in principle is great but the feasibility again depends on location. Smaller cities or towns outside of London are highly concentrated with local accountants given the cheaper rent prices and demand for smaller-scale firms. Setting up shop in London also holds merits, with the capital home to more investment in the enterprise than anywhere else in the country, so the demand for accountants is ever-present.

Ultimately, wherever in the country an accountant decides to base themselves, the opportunity for a successful career is not limited to one single city and depends solely on the individual’s ability to stand out and make a mark on the industry.