Forget IBD, become an accounting contractor in an investment bank

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Forget everything. Forget junior jobs in IBD. Forget junior jobs in trading. Get yourself an ACA and become an accounting contractor in an investment bank. A new study by contracting recruitment firm SJD Accountancy suggests the proportion of financial services contractors earning £750 a day ($1,151) has doubled in the past year. A £750 daily rate works out at around £188k a year. Plus you'll pay less tax, and work less than 80 hours a week.  

Before you get too excited about it all, however, it's worth looking at the numbers more closely.

SJD's release comes with the (rudimentary) chart below. Yes, the proportion of accounting contractors on £750 a day in banks has risen, but it's risen from a low base. In Q2 2014, 94% of them didn't earn £750. This year, 89% didn't.

SJD chart

Source: SJD

So how much will you earn as this species of contractor? Robert Walters' UK salary survey offers a few pointers. It suggests that only director-level contractors in project management roles in banks are earning £700+ a day. Mere newly qualified associates in product control are on £275 to £375. That puts them on around £82k a year - which is still not bad given that first year analysts are on £77k all in and are almost certainly working much (much) longer hours.

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