If you're a college student studying accounting, prepare your gloat face. Starting salaries for accounting and finance positions are expected to go up 3%-4.3% next year according to Robert Half's new salary guide.
This increase is slightly down from last year, but the Bob Half people say the competition for able-bodied number crunchers is still intense:
The prediction trails the unusually high forecast for 2016, when the guide said starting salaries in accounting and finance would rise 4.0% to 5.3%, depending on the position. But the magnitude of the projected increase for 2017 doesn’t indicate a decrease in competitiveness in the job market, said Tim Hird, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources.
“We’re not seeing any slowdown by any means,” Hird said in an interview. “And, if anything, we’re seeing companies flex their muscles a bit more as it relates to the negotiation process and recognizing that they have to do things differently.”
Being flexible on pay is one thing, however, the hiring process itself is quite another:
Accounting employers, meanwhile, are most successful recruiting if they embrace a number of strategies, Hird said. The willingness to negotiate is one key, and a streamlined hiring process is another. Hird said companies and firms that subject candidates to a lengthy hiring regimen are losing potential employees who have multiple job offers.
So I guess the strategy for accounting firms and businesses looking to hire accountants this fall boils down to this: pay more and be snappy about it.