Accountant Salary Guide and Career Outlook

An accountant career deals with a global concept: currency. Regardless of country, they are invaluable experts on taxation and cash flow. The accountant salary in the United States, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand is around $50,000 dollars in their respective currencies. These professionals in South Africa make around R250,000 while in India they make Rs 231,402.

Salaries are affected by concepts such as experience, geographic location, industry choice, skills, and the compensation structure. This salary description details these concepts as well as the typical working schedule and career outlook for accountants.

three accountants at a desk

How Much Does an Accountant Make per Year by Country?

Accountant Salary US Canada UK Australia New Zealand India South Africa
Hourly Pay $19.00 C$21.00 ($15.62) E12.00 ($12.75) AU$27.00 ($20.04) NZ$28.00 ($19.77) Rs 101.00 ($1.48) R159.00($11.30)
Annual Pay $49,171 C$49,705 ($36,969) E28,287 ($30,052) AU$55,045 ($40,861) NZ$52,225 ($36,873) Rs 231,402 ($3,380) R249,617 ($17,746)

Accountant Salary Influencing Factors

Accountants are needed in every country. However, they are not paid equivalently in every country. The following section shows the salary ranges for accountants based on the country they are working in. This data comes from

1. Location

How Much Does an Accountant Make in the US?

Accountants in the United States earn between $13.55 and $28.80 hourly. If they work overtime the rate is $18.99 to $39.23. Annually, these professionals make $35,994 to $68,510 dollars. A bonus of $6,979, commission of $10,504, and $7,780 was earned by some of the people reporting their salary. The total pay is $33,190 to $69,035 dollars.

How Much Does an Accountant Make in Canada?

The salary range for accountants in Canada is C$36,336 to C$70,460 dollars. While some of these professionals will not receive any extra benefits, others will receive a bonus, profit share, and commission of C$7,737, C$5,152, and C$750 dollars. A wide hourly rate from C$14.61 to C$34.44 is seen with overtime reaching C$47.57. A combined accountant salary of C$35,078 to C$72,666.

How Much Does an Accountant Make in the UK?

The hourly rate for an accountant career in the United Kingdom has a large difference. At the low end of the spectrum they earn E6.65 while at the high end they earn E29.90. Accountants who receive overtime pay earn E21.70. The base salary is E17,789 to E46,484 with a bonus up to E6,163, profit sharing up to E10,067, and commission of E1,500. The total pay is E17,694 to E49,320.

How Much Does an Accountant Make in Australia?

The accountant salary in Australia is AU$40,032 to AU$82,687. Marginal benefits are seen in a bonus up to AU$9,198, profit sharing of AU$10,193 and AU$1,474. The hourly rate is between AU$19.48 and AU$42.29. Overtime rates of AU$67.48 can be seen. These professionals make between AU$40239 and AU$84,648 dollars a year.

How Much Does an Accountant Make in New Zealand?

Accountants in New Zealand make anywhere from NZ$39,652 to NZ$81,069 dollars. This is based on a base salary of NZ$39,750 to NZ$77,789, a bonus of up to NZ$8,565, and profit sharing of NZ$1,000. Broken down granularly, the hourly rate is NZ$17.34 to NZ$46.37 with overtime of NZ$28.30.

How Much Does an Accountant Make in India?

The hourly wage for accountants in India is Rs 56.24 to Rs 498.33 with overtime wages of Rs 30.79 to Rs 510. The annual salary is Rs 118,139 to Rs 487,297 as reported by 2,938 people. The annual salary was Rs 118,139 to Rs 487,297. Rs 50,612, Rs 60,352, and Rs 36,000 were the bonus, profit sharing, and commission received. The complete salary ranged from Rs 119,1834 to Rs 503,334.

How Much Does an Accountant Make in South Africa?

The accountant salary in South Africa is R117,812 to R422,881. These professionals can receive a bonus, profit sharing, and commission in profitable companies. The maximum for these additional wages are R40,225, R39,061 and R6,000. The hourly rate for accountants is R64.92 to R356.22 with overtime up to R481.77. The cumulative salary is R119,546 to R448,477.

2. Experience

In the United States, entry-level accountants make 6% below the national average, while late-career accountants make 11% above the average. In the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Canada, experience has a bigger impact on pay as the swing from entry-level to experienced accountants is 34%, 47% and 33%, respectively. Accountants in India will make 73% above the average when they have more than 20 years of experience and these professionals in New Zealand will make 47% above the average. In Australia, the pay increase tapers off for experienced accountants but is 35% higher than the median for experienced accountants.

3. Industry

One of the interesting aspects of being an accountant is that they are found in a variety of industries. Accountants in the following fields made the most money: securities and commodity contracts intermediation and brokerage, federal executive branch of government, securities and commodity exchanges, software publishers, and manufacturers of magnetic and optical media.

In South Africa, a commitment to open accounting standards has been emphasized so that accountants who practice in another part of the world would also be able to practice accounting in South Africa. The development of accounting standards and best practices has been instrumental towards creating a global flavor to South African business.

Valued skills are the ability to do analysis of finances and to budget appropriately. Less valued skills are those associated with certain programs such as Excel or Quickbooks.

Schedule & Working Hours

Accountants in the United States have a flexible work environment in that much of their work is done via a computer. They typically work in offices but can work at home or from a client’s business. These professionals typically work full-time and when the industry they work in is at peak time, they typically have to work more than 40 hours a week.

As a project-oriented career, accountant work environment and schedules are driven largely by the tasks that need to be completed.

Bonuses & Benefits

Accountants who are interested in working in the United States and receiving the highest average wage should work in the District of Columbia, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Alaska. Many of these states have a relatively high cost of living or are not geographically desirable.

General benefits differ based on the industry in which the accountants work. When working for a large company, benefits like life and health insurance are more common than when working for a smaller company or being self-employed. Healthcare benefits are seen in the table below.

Country United States Canada United Kingdom Australia New Zealand India South Africa
Medical 74 75 29 7 18 37 38
Dental 57 64 12 2 1 3 4
Vision 45 49 8 3 3 3 4

Career Outlook

The global economy is growing increasingly complex. Accountants are vital for navigating these complex waters. In the United States, accountants should grow 11% in their jobs. Accountants are definitely needed in emerging economies who are trying to become competitive globally. As complexities increase, regulations also increase. Accountants become experts in these regulatory conditions and are invaluable members of a company.

Accountants who want to work in a global company or in another country are more competitive candidates when they are experts in the International Financial Reporting Standards. Good global cities to work in are Leeds, London, Port Elizabeth, Sandton, Bangalore, Gurgaon, Saskatoon, Calgary, Auckland, and Sydney.


Working long hours with numbers are requirements for accountants. This is especially true around peak business and tax season. The salary of these professionals is highly dependent on their ability to produce error-free work and engage in complex analysis. It is not enough to know how to use software or automatically run programs to crunch numbers. Valuable accountants also correctly interpret this information.