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Friday, 18th September 2020
For 2008/2009 recruitment will be down by 19 p.c., and average staff pay will rise in line with inflation (+4.2 p.c.) back
For the year in prospect, projected recruitment is put at 1,878, down from 1082 in 2007/2008, a fall of 18.8 p.c.. The brunt of the decline will be in professional recruitment, down from 527 last year to to 317 this year and non professional graduate recruitment, down from 226 last year to 127 this year. At the trainee level recruitment will be broadly maintained, with PWC holding its quota at 280 for the coming year, compared with a slight decline for KPMG, from 357 in 2007/2008 to 326 in 2008/2009. Productivity, as measured by fee income levels per staff member in Ireland's top twenty accountancy firms has slowed considerably, in line with the slow down in fee income, with fee income per chargeable staff member rising in low single digit figures on average last year. Productivity lagged nominal fee growth in most cases, indicating that recruitment continued at a faster pace than income.

Deloitte and Mazars showed the highest levels of staff productivity amongst the top firms, with Deloitte showing fee income per staffer of €161,546 in 2008, and Mazars €147,727. Deloitte's average productivity rose by 6.2 per cent, and Mazars by 6.3 p.c. Amongst the big two, PWC showed an increase of 4.3 p.c while KPMG showed a fall of 5.1 p.c

These levels of productivity were more or less matched by non-partner basic pay rates, with the average for all companies in the survey coming in at 6.5 per cent for the past year.

In answer to the question, 'Over the next 12 months how much do you expect salary levels in the industry will change? , the average for all responses was + 4.2 per cent. In response to the question 'What percentage of non-partner remuneration do you expect to pay over the next 12 months in the form of bonuses?, an average answer of 8.9 per cent resulted.

Recruitment, while still unaffected at the trainee intake level is affected at the graduate and senior level. In reply to the question, 'Are staff shortages still a major problem in the industry?, 33.3 p.c. (7) answered 'yes', while 47.6 p.c. (10) answered 'no'.
The survey also collated data on staffing gender and age structures. Of 204 partners surveyed, 14.8 p.c were female, with PriceWaterhouse Coopers with the highest female ratio, at 20 p.c., and, amongst the Big Four, KPMG lowest at 12.9 p.c. Only 1 partner (in BDO SX) was aged under 30, and only 2 p.c. over 60, while 24 p.c. were in their 50s. The remaining 73.5 p.c. were in their 30s or 40s.
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