Industry sector: Business services

Office based: Wages

Money which you take from the business to cover your own personal living expenses is known as 'Drawings'. This should not be included here, but will be dealt with elsewhere in the cash flow.

Before you can make an estimate of the wages and salaries you will pay each month to your employees you will need to identify the work that must be done and how many people will be needed to do it.


You may require a variety of different type of employee in your business, for example:

  • specialist fee-earners, or productive members of staff. These will generally be highly trained and qualified personnel
  • trainees
  • administrative and other support staff, including secretarial staff, typists and receptionists

Highly trained and qualified specialist members of staff can command high salaries, which are generally greater in London than in the provinces. You could consult a local recruitment agency for details of salary levels in your area.

The wages you pay to other office staff will depend to a certain extent on what is the going rate in your area. The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), which is carried out by the government, gives average weekly wages (national and regional) for a wide range of different types of job. The Survey is available online on the Office for National Statistics (ONS) website.

Be aware that your charge-out rates for fee-earners must be high enough to cover not just their own salaries but also the wages of any non fee-earning support staff (as well of course as making a contribution towards office overheads).

Don't forget:

  • you might be able to use a combination of full and part-time staff. Part-time work is often attractive to students and to parents with children at school
  • you could use temps to fill certain roles - this can be a flexible way of managing your workforce in some situations
  • the National Minimum Wage Act sets a minimum amount that you must pay your staff. Workers aged 25 and over receive a Living Wage premium on top of the standard National Minimum Wage
  • there is employment legislation which you should be aware of
  • you will have to pay employer's National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and you will have to operate PAYE in 'real time'. You may have to make employers' minimum contributions to an auto-enrolment pension scheme too

In the cash flow, just put the amounts you will actually pay to staff after you have deducted NICs and PAYE - you will show these separately. Include here the cost of staff pensions.