HONG KONG, CHINA--(Marketwired - May 15, 2014) - If you are a finance and accounting professional and you have not had a pay rise lately, then it is time to start making a game plan for getting the salary you deserve. That is because the majority of your peers in Hong Kong are likely to have their base salaries increased.

According to the latest research by specialist recruitment firm Robert Half (NYSE: RHI), Hong Kong is one of only six markets globally where a majority of companies (69%) are paying more to professionals in their finance and accounting department with the trend towards further increases. The other five are China, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia and Brazil. The majority of countries surveyed are either maintaining or reducing salaries.

The global survey was conducted among 2,431 Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) in 16 countries, 150 of which are from Hong Kong.

Globally, Hong Kong is near parity with China, where 70% of CFOs in China are planning to increase salaries for finance and accounting professionals this year.

Ms Pallavi Anand, Managing Director of Robert Half Hong Kong said an increase in base salaries confirms a sense of optimism as Hong Kong continues to be well regarded as a thriving hub for international and regional companies to locate their finance and accounting team for Greater China and Asia-focused operations.

TABLE 1: On average what remuneration trends is your finance department currently facing for salaries?

Salaries   All
  Singapore   Hong Kong   China   Japan   Australia   New Zealand   UAE   UK
Increasing   44%   55%   69%   70%   45%   55%   60%   43%   42%
Maintaining   54%   43%   29%   28%   52%   43%   36%   55%   54%
Decreasing   3%   1%   2%   2%   3%   2%   4%   2%   4%
Salaries   Brazil   Chile   Austria   Belgium   France   Germany   Switzerland   The Netherlands
Increasing   58%   39%   39%   23%   28%   43%   39%   27%
Maintaining   40%   55%   61%   73%   72%   55%   58%   70%
Decreasing   2%   6%   0%   4%   0%   2%   3%   3%

In large Hong Kong firms with 1000 or more staff, 80% are paying their finance and accounting staff more, compared to 63% of smaller firms with less than 500 employees.

"While the trend is definitely up, it does not mean every finance and accounting professional should expect a pay rise. The ability to increase salaries depends on the performance of individual companies. Employees moving to new firms are also likely to get a bigger pay rise than employees staying where they are.

"Many companies usually have a general range in mind when hiring for a specific position, but will go to the top end of the range for outstanding candidates. Candidates who feel confident that they are experienced and have the ability to handle the responsibilities of the position, should be prepared to engage in a salary negotiation," Ms Anand said.

And when it comes to bonus time, Hong Kong finance and accounting employees also have a good chance of getting more. The survey found that 43 per cent of companies are increasing bonuses while 47 per cent are paying the same as last year.

Compared to the rest of the world, Hong Kong and China have the highest number of companies that are increasing bonuses for finance and accounting professionals, ahead of Singapore, Australia and Brazil.

TABLE 2: On average what remuneration trends is your finance department currently facing for bonuses?

Bonuses   All Countries   Singapore   HK   China   Japan   Australia   NZ   UAE   UK
Increasing   28%   37%   43%   61%   33%   37%   31%   27%   26%
Maintaining   52%   59%   47%   33%   57%   51%   36%   51%   51%
Decreasing/No   20%   4%   10%   6%   10%   12%   33%   22%   23%
Bonuses   Brazil   Chile   Austria   Belgium   France   Germany   Switzerland   The Netherlands
Increasing   37%   29%   25%   14%   18%   29%   16%   12%
Maintaining   54%   45%   49%   58%   56%   55%   58%   54%
Decreasing/No   9%   26%   26%   28%   26%   16%   26%   34%

An infographic highlighting salary and bonus information across 16 countries

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About Robert Half

Robert Half is the world's leading specialised recruitment firm and a pioneer in global placement services for accounting, finance, banking and technology professionals. Founded in 1948, the company is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: RHI).

Robert Half operates four divisions in Hong Kong, including Robert Half Finance & Accounting for temporary and permanent finance and accounting professionals; Robert Half Financial Services for high-calibre professionals within finance & accounting, operations, risk, compliance, investment banking & financial markets, and technology; Robert Half Technology for experienced IT professionals; and Robert Half Management Resources, for senior-level finance, accounting and business systems professionals on a project and interim basis.

For more than 15 years, Robert Half has been named to FORTUNE® magazine's list of "Most Admired Companies." (March 17, 2014). Please visit: www.roberthalf.com.hk

Contact Information:

For more information or an interview with Pallavi Anand, please contact:

Calvin Sim
Senior Marketing & PR Manager, Asia
Robert Half