Accounting, Finance Salaries Rise as Competition Persists

Starting salaries for accounting and finance professionals are expected to increase an average of 4.3%, with public accountants, financial analysts, and internal auditors projected to see the largest gains.

As would be expected, experienced candidates will have greater leverage in negotiating compensation, according to the just-released 2008 Salary Guide from Robert Half International, based on an analysis of job placements managed by the company’s U.S. offices.

What was notable, according to the research, was that in-demand specialties, such as commercial construction, financial services, and healthcare firms, are rising faster than the national average.

“Competition for skilled financial professionals has prompted many companies to offer higher compensation to attract and retain top performers,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International, in a statement.

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In corporate accounting, entry-level financial, budget, treasury, and cost analysts at large companies (more than $250 million in sales) are expected to see the biggest increases in base pay in 2008. The average starting salary is expected to rise 6.9%, to between $38,250 and $47,500 annually. Internal audit managers can see a 6.7% increase, to a starting compensation between $81,500 and $109,500 annually.

Meanwhile, starting salaries for senior managers and directors at midsize public accounting firms ($25 million to $250 million in sales) are projected to increase 7.7%, to between $88,250 and $129,250.

New hedge fund accountants might earn close to 6.5% more, as starting salaries are expected to average between $46,250 and $64,500.

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.

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