How Much Does it Cost to Recruit an Accountant? Recruitment Agency Fees
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How Much Does it Cost to Recruit an Accountant? Recruitment Agency Fees

If you’re thinking of taking on an Accountant – particularly during the uncertain times of covid-19 – then you may well be wondering how much a recruitment agency will cost you. In this article, we take a look at the fees, payment terms, and rebate policies of 10 professional recruiters operating in the accountancy field.

1. red recruitment

red recruitment is a Cardiff-based recruitment agency with an additional office in Bristol. One of their specialist areas is accountancy, so we got in touch to find out how much it would cost to hire an accountant through them.


The fees at red recruitment depend on the pay scale of the role you’re recruiting for:

£0-£20,000              18%

£20,001-£25,000      22%

£25,001-£40,000      25%

£40,001+                30%

The above fees are a percentage of the full time equivalent annual salary for any candidate you hire through them. However, considering the current exceptional circumstances, red recruitment said they could potentially drop their fees to as low as 15%.

Payment Terms

Payment of the full fee is due 4 weeks from the start date of employment.

Rebate Policy

The agency offer a free replacement if the initial hire doesn’t work out. However, failing this, rebate rates depend on the week during which employment is terminated:

Week 1         100%

Week 2         90%

Week 3-4      50%

Week 5-8      25%

2. BTG Recruitment

BTG Recruitment have offices in both Manchester and Nottingham and bill themselves as “the North West and East Midlands’ leading accountancy and finance recruiter”. We can’t vouch for the veracity of that statement, but we can tell you a bit about what they charge.


BTG informed us that their hiring fee was between 12% and 18% of the annual salary, although we were not given information relating to the factors that dictate the final percentage.

Payment Terms

Payment of fees is within 14 days of the candidate taking up their post.

Rebate Policy

A rebate policy as such was not mentioned. However, they will provide a replacement free of charge within the first 3 months if things don’t work out.

3. Marks Sattin

Marks Sattin are present in Birmingham, Dublin, Leeds, London, Manchester, Reading, and Surrey. They specialise in financial, accounting, business change, and technology recruitment. But how did they fare on the fees front?


Marks Sattin’s fee scale based on the first year’s annual salary is:

£0-£49,999             25%

£50,000-£79,999      30%

£80,000+                35%

However, when we contacted them, there was the suggestion that there might be some flexibility to be had at the moment in terms of their fees – possibly due to the ongoing pandemic.

Payment Terms

Payment is due within 7 days of the candidate starting with the firm.

Rebate Policy

The level of rebate with Marks Sattin depends on when the employment ends:

Week 1-4      75%

Week 5-6      50%

Week 7-8      25%

4. Ambition

Ambition is an international recruitment firm with offices in London, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur. They have a specialist focus on finance and accounting, tax and audit, and corporate finance. We perused a copy of their terms and conditions to see how they measured up cost-wise.


As with most other recruiters, how much you’ll pay in fees depends on the annual salary of your new recruit:

£0-£29,000              22%

£30,000-£49,999      25%

£50,000-£99,999      30%

£100,000+               35%

Payment Terms

Payment of fees is due within 14 days of the date of the invoice.

Rebate Policy

Ambition have a fairly standard sliding rebate scale depending on when termination of employment took place. However, the big downside is that the percentages refer to credits that can be claimed within 12 months and not a refund:

  • Less than 1 week              100%
  • Less than 2 weeks            90%
  • Less than 3 weeks            80%
  • Less than 4 weeks            70%
  • Less than 5 weeks            60%
  • Less than 6 weeks            50%
  • Less than 7 weeks            40%
  • Less than 8 weeks            30%
  • Less than 9 weeks            20%
  • Less than 10 weeks           10%
  • Less than 12 weeks           5%

5. JMF

Jennings Morton Friel Associates – JMF for short – are recruiters for finance and accountancy, and public practice. They are based in Beckenham in Kent but recruit across Central London, Kent and Surrey. So how did JMF compare on fees and terms?


JMF’s introduction fee is based on the salary of the new hire for the first 12 months:

£0-£29,999              20%

£30,000-£49,999      22.5%

£50,000-£79,999      25%

£80,000+                30%

And you’ll need to add VAT on top of that. However, due to the current covid-19 pandemic, JMF did say they could drop their fee down to 17.5%.

Payment Terms

Payment needs to be made either upon written receipt of acceptance of a role by the candidate or within 28 days of the date on the agency’s invoice.

Rebate Policy

In terms of rebate, JMF will refund one-tenth of their fee for every complete week not worked by the candidate in the first 10 weeks of employment. There is no refund during the 10th week.

6. CMA Recruitment Group

Established in Southampton 40 years ago, CMA is a recruitment group specialising in accountancy and finance. Along with Southampton, they have bases in Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Basingstoke and Guildford. Here are is what they charge.


Annual salary dictates the percentage that constitutes the agency’s fee:

£0-£19,999              18%

£20,000-£29,999      20%

£30,000-£49,999      25%

£50,000-£99,999      30%

£100,000+               Negotiated on a case by case basis

Payment Terms

The fee should be paid within 7 days of the date on the invoice which is issued when the candidate takes up their post.

Rebate Policy

If the candidate leaves or is terminated, CMA have 4 weeks from the date they are notified of the termination to find a suitable replacement. If they cannot provide a suitable replacement candidate – or if the replacement is terminated within 100 days of the original candidate starting work – then the agency will refund the introduction fee in full.

7. Sellick Partnership

Sellick Partnership recruit for roles all over the UK and have offices in Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Newcastle and the East and West Midlands. They have a wider range of specialisms than some of the other agencies we’ve looked at – as well as finance and accountancy, they also recruit for HR, legal, housing and property, and procurement among other fields. So what sort of fees are they charging?


As ever, fees are based on annual salary for the first year:

£0-£15,999              18%

£16,000-£24,999      22%

£25,000-£39,999      25%

£40,000+                30%

However, it was suggested to us that under the current pandemic circumstances, there may be room for negotiation.

Payment Terms

Payment of fees is due within 7 days of the commencement of employment or the date of the agency’s invoice.

Rebate Policy

Sellick Partnership have a sliding rebate scale depending on when the employment is terminated:

Week 1-2      75%

Week 3-8      50%

Week 9-12    25%

8. RK Accountancy

Recruitment consultants RK Accountancy are – according to their website – “unashamedly specialist” and only recruit for the accountancy and finance sector. They recruit throughout Yorkshire and the North West and have offices in Manchester and Preston. Let’s take a look at how they fared on cost.


The fees charged by RK Accountancy are based on the annual full time equivalent salary of the candidate:

£0-£29,999              20%

£30,000-£59,999      25%

£60,000+                30%

Payment Terms

Payment of the agency’s fees needs to be within 14 days of the date of the invoice.

Rebate Policy

The percentage of their fee that RK Accountancy will refund depends on when the employment is terminated:

  • 0-2 Weeks    80%
  • 3-4 Weeks    50%
  • 5-8 Weeks    30%
  • 9-10 Weeks   10%

9. The Accountancy Recruitment Group

The Accountancy Recruitment Group are based in Chesterfield in the East Midlands and are specialist recruiters who source finance and accounting professionals. We didn’t receive a copy of their terms and conditions, but they did let us know a bit about how much you can expect to pay.


Broadly speaking, The Accountancy Recruitment Group charge 20% of the annual starting salary as their fee.

Payment Terms

Payment is expected within 14 days of a candidate’s starting date.

Rebate Policy

While we were not provided with exact percentages, The Accountancy Recruitment Group’s rebate policy is a sliding scale of refund that applies within the first 12 weeks of employment. They pointed out, however, that it’s very rare that they have to replace a candidate.

10. Adele Carr

Adele Carr is a specialist accountancy recruitment firm providing accountants to firms and practices throughout the North West. They have offices in Warrington, Liverpool, Chester, Manchester and Lancashire. A quick look at their T&Cs shows the following.


The agency’s fees depend on the annual salary for the first 12 months:

£0-£24,999              18%

£25,000-£49,999      23%

£50,000+                25%

Payment Terms

Payment of fees is to be made within 14 days of the invoice date and the invoice is issued once the candidate commences their role.

Rebate Policy

The rebate period is 12 weeks from the date the candidate begins work. If the employment is terminated, the agency will refund 8.33% of the fee for each complete week not worked by the candidate during the first 12 weeks.

Summary – Let the Buyer Beware

A couple of final points to note when choosing a recruiter.

Fees for Part Timers

If you’re hiring on a part time basis, double check whether the fee you’ll be paying is based on the actual salary or the full time equivalent. Most agencies seem to calculate their fees according to full time equivalent salaries but there are a few who don’t.

Rebate Conditions

Many firms base their rebate policy on the condition that payment of their fee is made within the agreed timeframe. Therefore, it’s always worth reading the small print and making payment on time – otherwise, you may well find yourself unduly out of pocket if things don’t work out. Recruiters also often reserve the right to provide a replacement candidate before resorting to a refund. So, if that’s the case, check the sort of timeframes they’ll be working to – it’s usually 28 days.

TP Financial Recruitment

We are specialist accountancy recruiters sourcing finance and accounting professionals nationwide in both industry and practice. We offer a number of different fee options which are outlined on our website.

One-Off Permanent Recruitment

For this we charge 15% of the first year’s salary with a standard 3-month sliding scale rebate much like the ones we’ve seen above. Or, alternatively, you can choose to pay our fee over 12 months with a 12-month rebate period at no extra cost. In this case, if the employment is terminated at any time during the 12 months, the instalments stop. It’s that simple. Alternatively, you can choose to pay 10% over a 2-year period instead. 

Retained Consultancy

If you decide to go with us on a sole supplier basis for a period of 4+ weeks then we discount our rates. Get in touch for a quotation.

Unlimited Recruitment

If you think you’ll be hiring on more than a one-off basis, then we offer an unlimited accountancy recruitment service from just £60 per month over either a 3 or 5-year period. This encompasses all levels, from accounts assistants through to senior accountants and client managers. Details of our unlimited service can be found here.

Emma Ireland

Emma Ireland is a failed novelist and accidental poet who writes mostly about politics and social issues. She's either a bloody commie or a bourgeois sell-out depending on whether you listen to her Dad or those who strongly disapprove of Waitrose trifles. After studying law at university she chucked it all in to move to Italy and teach Italian business people how to do their jobs in English. After ten years of wine and sunshine, she returned to the UK and is now a recruitment consultant and freelance writer. At least until that unfinished novel makes her a millionaire.