EY continues to redefine the meaning of “better working world,” this time by way of salaries for audit staff in financial services. Better for whom we aren’t quite sure, not the people receiving these salaries.
AFR wrote about EY Australia audit salaries this morning (their morning):
The starting pay for most auditing staff in parts of EY’s financial services division will not increase this year, at the same time the firm has told clients that “significant wage inflation” had forced it to increase its audit fees.
Only graduate pay will increase for auditing staff in the division, with new starters set to earn $66,500, including superannuation, an increase of less than 1 per cent from last year’s starting pay of $66,000.
All other ranks in the area will earn the same starting pay as last financial year, despite inflation running at 6 per cent, according to data seen by The Australian Financial Review.
The firm has told clients the cost of salaries in its audit division is up 11.1 per cent for 2023. This figure takes into account average pay increases and promotions, and is separate to base pay for most EY auditing staff not increasing in 2023.
Here’s a handy chart AFR put together. $66,000 AUD is about $42,700 in US dollars so this year’s incoming auditors are getting base pay of about $43k USD and seniors $56.3k.
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Australian inflation has been between 6-8% in the past year.
EY pointed to salary increases in a letter to clients earlier this year when they raised fees. “Demand for our services and the competencies of our people is driving significant wage inflation across the industry,” the firm said. “This is driving significant increases to our cost base to remain competitive and assist with retention of our people. We understand [client name] is experiencing the same challenges.” Clients were told EY’s audit salaries increased by 11.1 percent for 2023, a number based not only on base pay. Unlike the other three firms, EY does not publicly share its salaries.
Said an EYer to AFR, the lack of raises this year was due in some part to leadership betting on low turnover again this year. Firms across the world are experiencing lower-than-expected attrition and the market for professional services is no longer the boom it was just a year or two ago (sorry). “I don’t think it is inflation that is driving salaries,” said the staffer to AFR. “It’s more retention. They see the outlook and it will be less of any issue,” they said. “Where I think it is hard is particularly graduates, they’re essentially making 6 per cent less, which is headline inflation, than the previous group.” Essentially, people are sticking around so the firm isn’t as worried that disappointing salary news will force them out onto the market.
EY audit pay rates stay the same despite inflation [AFR]