By Loukia Gyftopoulou

A can-do attitude and enthusiasm is what it takes to succeed as a chartered accountant (CA), according to an upbeat survey for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), which showed hard work is paying off for accounting professionals.

The annual survey, conducted by ICAS’ The CA Magazine on more than 1,100 ICAS members worldwide, revealed a staggering 80% of those polled attribute their career success to an ambitious attitude, while almost 70% feel there’s scope for progression within their workplace.

Despite a huge gap in salary levels depending on location, figures look rather promising as almost 40% said they received an above inflation income boost, while another 25% saw their pay increase in line with inflation.

Unsurprisingly, the highest salaries in the UK were reported in London and South East England with an average of £140,718 ($217,962), but dropped in half in areas outside the British capital.

Hong Kong was the world leader in average pay for CAs, followed by the EU and North America that kept in pace with London salaries.

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In spite of the obvious salary fluctuations, the satisfaction factor has gone up compared to last year’s survey, with almost 70% declaring "happy" with their current remuneration and another 15% saying they were "very happy" (10% and 65% respectively last year.)

Job satisfaction aside, chartered accountant’s work/life balance seems to be in need of some improvement as nearly a fifth of those polled internationally found the equilibrium between their professional and private lives "poor."

However, it appears more paid leave is not number one on the CA benefit wish list, which shows the majority of those polled are more concerned about pension benefits and less about private health, paid holiday and health insurance.

As economic conditions improve, austerity measures in the UK seem to have eased even further. Only 20% reported a pay freeze in their organisation, down from 26% in 2014, and 24% said reduced bonuses were in effect, down from 33% in the previous year.

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