September 17, 2019

How Are Public Accounting Salaries Stacking Up for 2020?

By now you guys and gals in public accounting have most likely had compensation discussions with your respective firms. If you haven’t yet, it’s coming. Of those who have, we imagine that some of you were pleased. But it’s probably more realistic to say that a majority of you were extremely disappointed.

While Robert Half’s 2020 Accounting and Finance Salary Guide might not have the most up-to-date salary data for capital market servants as, say, Going Concern’s old compensation discussion threads (R.I.P.), it does provide semi-useful, starting point salary information for those of you who haven’t had your sit-down meeting yet and had your bubble burst.

Plus, Bob’s latest guide is the only information we’ve received lately.

As per usual, Robert Half breaks down its starting pay ranges by percentile, and there are four:

  • 25th: New to the role and still developing their skills.
  • 50th: Average experience and has a majority of the relevant skills.
  • 75th: More experience than is typical and has most or all relevant skills.
  • 95th: High level of relevant experience and expertise.

Salary figures represent the national averages. Bonuses, benefits, and other forms of compensation aren’t factored into the starting salary ranges, according to the guide.

Salary ranges are based on the thousands of placements RH has made, as well as the actual salaries firms are paying, the guide states.

The good news: Salaries for all public accounting positions highlighted in the 2020 guide are up from 2019’s.

The bad news: Salaries for those public accounting positions look like they’ve only increased between 1% and 3% compared to the previous year.

We’ve placed a red box around the public accounting portion of Robert Half’s latest salary guide. Here’s how Bob is projecting salaries for 2020:

Usually Accounting Principals releases its salary guide for accounting and finance professionals right around the same time as Robert Half, but AP hasn’t yet. We’ll find out when it will and update this article accordingly.

Until then, let the kvetching begin.

Related article: 

How Are Public Accounting Salaries Stacking Up for 2019?

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