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Accounting Salaries on rise

Starting salaries for US accounting and finance professionals continue to trend upward.

For the industry as a whole, starting salaries for accounting and finance positions in the United States are expected to increase by 3.5 percent in 2015, with strong demand for such professionals as staff accountants, senior financial analysts, and business systems analysts, according to the 2015 Salary Guide: Accounting & Finance, which was released on Thursday by staffing firm Robert Half.

Robert Half projected accounting and finance starting salaries to increase 3.4 percent across the board in 2014.

According to the report, new accounting and finance jobs are being created to support business growth – and vacated positions are being filled more rapidly. Two additional factors driving accounting and finance hiring are regulatory compliance mandates that call for new skill sets and the gradual wave of baby-boomer retirements.

“Hiring demand is placing pressure on the supply of skilled workers in many specialties, particularly in the technology and financial fields,” Paul McDonald, Robert Half senior executive director, said in a written statement. “It's crucial for businesses to benchmark salaries to remain competitive, especially in a market where skilled candidates know they are in demand.”

Increases in average starting salaries for jobs in corporate accounting are expected to range from 2.9 percent to 4.4 percent. Analyst positions – specifically managers and senior financial and business analysts – are projected to rise significantly next year.

  • Financial analyst manager at large companies (annual sales of $250 million or more): salary range of $94,750 to $129,750 in 2015

  • Senior financial analyst at large companies: $77,750 to $100,750

  • Financial analyst with one to three years experience at large companies: $58,500 to $78,750

  • Financial analyst manager at midsize companies (annual sales of $25 million to $250 million): $83,500 to $112,500

  • Business analyst manager at large companies: $90,250 to $123,750

  • Senior business analyst at large companies: $78,000 to $100,500

  • Business analyst manager at midsize companies: $89,750 to $122,500

The report also found that starting salaries for business systems analysts – from up to one year of experience to manager, and across different-sized firms – will likely increase between 4 percent and 4.3 percent in 2015.

“Accountants and finance professionals who can turn business intelligence into business strategy are in high demand,” the report stated. “Business leaders desire professionals who can delve into the numbers and explain their implications for top-line growth trends and possible merger and acquisition activity. Financial analysts and business systems analysts also are seeing strong demand as firms look for new ways to boost efficiencies, control costs, and wring the most out of existing and new information systems.”

For public accounting jobs, average starting salaries are forecast to increase between 2.7 percent and 3.9 percent. Jobs projected to have the biggest salary increases are:

  • Senior tax services at large firms: salary range of $78,500 to $106,500 in 2015

  • Manager of tax services at midsize firms: $88,750 to $123,250

  • Manager of management services at large firms: $96,000 to $137,000

“The perennial competition between businesses and public accounting firms for top accountants is creating demand for professionals in accounting operations,” the report stated. “Companies also are recruiting entry-level professionals. More firms are open to hiring recent graduates with internship or volunteer experience whom they can train for their specific needs.”

Jobs in the financial services field are expected to have salary growth between 2.1 percent and 4.3 percent, with the position of financial analyst in finance and accounting seeing the biggest jump in pay (salary range of $54,500 to $80,250 in 2015).


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