GNcareers, from Gulf News

UAE accountants among highest paid in GCC

UAE accountants among highest paid in GCCImage Credit: Supplied

If you work in the field of accountancy in the UAE and have the right qualifications, the financial rewards can be great.

Accounting professionals in the UAE who have a certification from a professional body are among the highest paid in the Middle East region, with annual salary levels averaging at $61,768 (Dh226,846) or roughly Dh18,900 a month, according to a new survey conducted by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA).

The average annual total compensation for these finance professionals is even higher, at $72,082 (Dh264,724) or a little over Dh22,000 per month. IMA is an organisation with more than 70,000 members that provides the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) certification.

According to IMA, accountants with CMA credentials earn 50 per cent more in salary and 43 per cent more in total compensation than those who don't invest in an IMA membership.

In the survey conducted among 1,033 IMA members in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt, the UAE ranks second in the region in terms of remuneration levels, behind Qatar.

Hanady Khalife, IMA director of operations for the Middle East and Africa region, said that accountants in the country enjoy the most attractive pay package among their peers in the region because the UAE job market has ''the most diverse and experienced management accountants and professionals.''

''UAE is a close second in terms of remuneration this year, but it remains the most competitive job marketplace in the region, because this is the hub for multinational companies, and for a very diverse pool of talent,'' Khalife told Gulf News.

In Saudi Arabia, the average salary for IMA members is pegged at $52,363, while the average total compensation is around $66,561. In Egypt, the mean base pay for IMA members is $16,304, while the average total salary package averages around $20,261 a year.

Khalife also noted that those who make it to a higher managerial position in the company earn even more greater rewards. ''The higher the management level in the organisation, the greater the average compensation.''

The trend is something many accountants in the UAE can benefit from, Khalife said, citing that, unlike in other markets, the GCC offers a lot of opportunities for growth for qualified finance professionals.

''While in the mature markets [like the] United States, Western Europe and Japan, it may take 10 to 15 years of experience to reach a senior management position, and two plus years to become a chief financial officer or have a board position, in the GCC, there is a unique opportunity for finance professionals, especially local nationals at this moment.''

''Given the competency gap in the industry – the shortage of qualified professionals – those who pursue advanced certifications can set themselves on a faster career path and reach a CFO or board level position in just a few years.''

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Source: Cleofe Maceda, Senior Web Reporter,