Accounting Salaries

Compensation Watch ’19: MBA Starting Salaries In Accounting/Finance Aren’t Too Shabby

After reading through the latest Business School Hiring Report from the Graduate Management Admission Council, there’s some good news and some bad news for newly minted MBA accounting grads. First, the good news: 1. MBA starting salaries are the highest on record: Adjusted for inflation, the median annual base starting salary U.S. companies will offer […]

Celebrate the New Year with Accounting Salaries Charted by Company Type, Role, Service Line and More

We present the following charts for your enjoyment, amusement, and/or bewilderment.

Recruiting Season: Salaries and Offers for the Public Accounting Class of 2014

ALRIGHT ALRIGHT, we get it, you've been waiting for this thread. Seems a little early this year but we're getting harassed about it enough to think it's time to get this puppy rolling: Where's the 2014 full-time/summer internship thread? Offers are already going out. If you look at how we have done this in the […]

Here’s a Fancy Picture About Projected Accountant Salaries for 2014

Thanks, Becker and Robert Half!   The fine print: * Example only.** Large public accounting firms/companies = $250 million + in sales. Salary does not reflect overtime or bonuses which may represent significant portions of compensation for some positions.*** CPAs may earn up to 10% over peers without professional designations.**** Advanced degrees or professional certifications […]

Making Sense of Robert Half’s 2011 Salary Guide

Robert Half rolled out its annual salary guide today (available for download here) and they’re saying that “compensation for accounting and finance professionals should see commensurate gains” with the “slight uptick in financial hiring,” that RH predicted last month.

You could interpret this as exciting news since “slight uptick” beats the hell out of the consistent “disappointing outlook” that we’ve seen over the ars.

Anyway, Roberto reports that for most positions, salaries rose anywhere from 1% to 3% but if you’re the type to sell out to the highest bidder (you know who you are) you’ll be most interested in the following:

• Senior business analysts are expected to see the largest boost in base pay in 2011, with their average starting salary rising 5.0 percent to the range of $66,500 to $85,500.

• Projected base pay for tax accounting managers at midsize companies ($25 million to $250 million in sales) is $69,500 to $92,500, up 4.9 percent.

• Starting salaries for financial analysis managers at both large (more than $250 million in sales) and midsize companies are predicted to climb 4.8 percent; senior financial analysts at midsize companies are predicted to see their base compensation rise to $60,000 to $78,000, a 4.7 percent increase.

• Senior compliance analysts at small companies (up to $25 million in sales) are anticipated to receive starting salary offers between $58,750 and $75,250, a 4.1 percent increase.

• Average starting salaries for tax services senior managers and directors as well as senior tax accountants at midsize public accounting firms ($25 million to $250 million in sales) are expected to climb 3.9 percent in the year ahead.

• Base pay for senior auditors at midsize public accounting firms is expected to range between $62,000 and $81,750, up 3.8 percent over 2010 levels.

• Within financial services, compliance managers can anticipate a 4.4 percent gain in base pay, to a range of $64,500 to $89,000.

Emphasis is Bob’s. What do these numbers mean? Honestly, not much for anyone that is happy with their current job situation. However, since compensation news season has more or less ended, those that are not happy with the news they got this year will be looking to the hot positions. A little bit of our own digging and impressions are as follows:

Corporate Accounting
Mining through the report, you’ll be hard-pressed to find many surprises. If you’re looking for a Corporate Accounting gig, something with “Controller,” “Director” or “Compliance” in the title is going to have some of the highest salaries.

If you jump down to the rank and file you’ll find that if you’re a tax, IT or audit maven, then you’re likely to do better than your average humdrum general/cost accountant.

Likewise, an “analyst” of any stripe will have a little more earning power than your average non-analyst, although “Financial Analysts” saw a larger bump in salary than its fellow non-financial analysts.

Public Accounting
Salaries for tax, audit and “management services” are surprisingly tight with audit on the low end followed by MS and then tax. This is consistent across all levels (i.e. associate, senior, manager, senior manager/director).

Also noteworthy is that public accounting salaries keeps pace with the in-house gigs at their relative corporate ladder levels. For example, an audit manager at a “Large Firm” makes only $4k less than a Internal Audit Manager at a “Large Company” and actually does better than many analyst positions at the “manager” level.

In other words, if you’re considering a lateral move, DON’T. You likely won’t make more money and you may end up making less. If you’re dying for changing, this of course means that you’ll have to find your way into a position that is a step above your current job to get a significant boost in salary.

You could argue that based on the data, this report at gives a lot of credence to the “Staying Until Manager” when it comes to salary and entry into a top-level position. As for practical experience, that’s a debate for another post. And based on our traffic numbers, accountants are all about salaries.

Robert Half Releases 2011 Guide to Accounting and Finance Salaries [PR Newswire]

Women Accountants Earn 60% Less Than Men in UK

Somehow female accountants over 45 in the UK earn 60% less than their male counterparts. The disparity is so ridiculous it defies understanding, but according to a study conducted by the ICAEW and Robert Half, men earn more than women at all stages of their careers and the gap widens with increased experience. This finding is consistent with the 2008 report. So ladies, if you’re on the partner track and thinking, “London might nice,” we’d advise against it. As for our female readers from the UK, you can always jump the pond, we’d love to have you here …


From the report:

Overall, male [Associate Chartered Accountants] are better remunerated than females – an average basic salary of £88,200 for males (median £76,000) is almost 50% higher than their female colleagues’ average of £60,500 (median £53,000) (Fig 3). The average male salary is up by 7% on last year, females by 10%. However, the average bonus of £24,700 for males has dropped slightly compared to last year, while that of their female colleagues, at £11,600, has increased by 33% (median £6,900 males and £2,400 females). The bonus received by male ACAs represents 28% of average basic salary, while females received only 19%.

The differential reflects in part at least that male ACAs are typically older (46 against 40 for females), longer qualified (18 and 14 years respectively) and more likely to be in a permanent full-time role (88% and 72%). They also spend longer hours at work (45 v 38 hours per week).

It’s especially cute how this is “in part” chalked up to age and experience. It would probably be terribly bad form for the ICAEW and Robert Half to come right out and say that the difference in average pay is say, absolutely ridiculous and blatant evidence of patriarchal institutions exhibiting clear gender bias when it comes to compensation.

ICAEW/Robert Half Career Benchmarking Survey 2009
[ICAEW via Accountancy Age]