Audit salaries in Germany: don’t trust Google on this one

Audit salaries in Germany: don’t trust Google on this one

In Germany, a country known for its strong economy and high standards of living, auditors have always enjoyed competitive salaries and attractive benefits.  However, times are changing. Salaries are rising out of line with inflation - reflecting the growing demand for skilled professionals in this field.

If you google ‘audit salaries in Germany’, you’ll most likely receive a rather conservative view. As recruiters for audit roles across the globe, Leonid’s data tells quite a different story. 

As the country's economy continues to flourish and regulatory requirements become more stringent, auditors are increasingly valued for their expertise in ensuring financial transparency and accountability – and this is enabling candidates to push for higher salaries.

So why exactly is this happening, how much are these salaries rising and what are the implications?

 Talent shortages

Germany’s audit market is experiencing a shortage of skilled professionals, resulting in a war for talent that has further driven salary increases. This shortage can be attributed to various factors, including an ageing workforce, low enrolment in auditing qualifications, and the complexity of the profession. As the demand for auditors outpaces the supply, employers are willing to offer higher salaries to attract and retain qualified individuals.

Evolving regulations and demand for specific skills

Germany has a rigorous regulatory framework, characterised by the German Commercial Code (HGB), International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), and German Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). As regulations evolve and become more complex, the need for auditors with specialised knowledge and expertise in areas such as risk management, IT auditing, and forensic auditing has grown significantly.

Globalisation and Multinational Companies

Germany's position as a global economic powerhouse has led to an influx of multinational companies establishing a presence in the country. These companies often require auditors with international expertise and knowledge of global accounting standards and practices. Professionals with the ability to navigate the complexities of multinational operations and cross-border transactions are highly sought after, leading to higher salary offers to secure their services.

All of this means that candidates are in a really strong position; especially those with experience of working for a Big 4 firm, international experience and those with specific skills in other fields of corporate governance.

So, what are the average salaries for auditors in Germany right now?

Using Leonid’s own data, we are able to share some base salary numbers but it’s important to remember that these represent average salary ranges which can vary enormously, depending on the hiring company and the specific skill set which is sought.

a. Entry-Level Auditor: For those starting their auditing careers, the average salary ranges from €40,000 to €55,000 per year. This figure can increase with additional qualifications.

b. Experienced Auditor: As auditors gain more experience and assume higher responsibilities, their salaries can rise substantially. On average, experienced auditors in Germany can earn between €60,000 and €85,000 per year.

c. Senior Auditor/Manager: At senior levels or managerial positions, auditors with extensive experience and advanced qualifications can earn salaries ranging from €80,000 to €120,000 or more. These higher salaries reflect the added responsibilities, leadership roles, and expertise demanded at this stage.

This is data based on the past 12 months. To give the current environment a little more context, here are some examples of German audit candidates and what they are looking for:

Candidate A

Currently working for a Big 4, he has four years’ experience and looking for EUR 95k package; historically, firms would only be willing to pay this with an additional 2-3 years’ experience.

Candidate B

6 years of experience as an Internal Auditor. Current package of EUR 100k + annual bonus. She is expecting a base salary increase of 10% in her next employment.

Candidate C

Has 5 years’ experience in the big 4 and has another 5 years of experience as an IT Internal Auditor. His current salary is EUR 160k and 100% remote. He is looking for an increase of 15%.

In some other sectors, employer offers can include other perks such as bonuses or flexible working to attract the best talent. However, in the world of audit, it’s fair to say that base salary is the most important factor, when candidates are considering an offer of employment. It is very much a candidate-driven market right now, due to the aforementioned rise in demand for very specific skills and experience. 

In order to secure the very best talent, employers will need to be mindful of this and open to making their offer as competitive as possible, if they wish to secure the best candidates on the market.