Strong Demand, Shortage of Skilled Accountants Lead to Rise in Compensation
MENLO PARK, CA — Business expansion and ongoing compliance requirements will
drive the demand for skilled accounting and finance professionals and intensify
recruitment challenges next year, according to the just-released 2007 Salary
Guide from Robert Half International. As a result, salaries for many
specialties are on the rise, with a national average increase in base
compensation of 3.8 percent projected for 2007. Research shows
that compliance professionals, internal auditors, financial analysts and public
accountants are among those expected to see the greatest gains in base pay.
Robert Half International is the world’s first and largest specialized
consulting and staffing services firm. The company’s financial staffing
divisions include Robert Half® Finance & Accounting,
Accountemps® and Robert Half® Management Resources, for
full-time, temporary and senior-level project professionals, respectively. The
2007 Salary Guide is based on an analysis of the thousands of job
placements managed by the company’s U.S. offices.
“Business growth and compliance-related issues are fueling demand for
individuals with expertise in areas such as compliance, financial analysis and
general accounting,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half
International. “Because of the limited supply of skilled accounting and finance
professionals, employers today are offering premium compensation to attract and
retain top talent.”
Compliance and Internal Audit Salaries on the Rise in Corporate
Businesses, public companies in particular, are looking for professionals
with knowledge of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reporting requirements
to help maintain compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and other regulatory
requirements. Chief compliance officers with large companies (more than $250
million in sales) can expect the largest percentage increase in base
compensation of any position in 2007, with average starting salaries forecast to
rise 14.4 percent, to between $132,500 and $181,250. Internal
audit managers in large companies will see base compensation in the range of
$77,500 to $101,500, up 5.8 percent from 2006.
Public Accounting Outlook
An increasingly competitive hiring environment is prompting public accounting
firms of all sizes to make recruiting a year-round priority in areas such as
audit, corporate governance, tax and risk management. In 2007, average starting
salaries for senior manager and director positions at midsize firms ($25 million
to $250 million in sales) are projected to climb 7.6 percent,
to between $82,000 and $120,000 annually. Entry-level professionals at small
firms (up to $25 million in sales) can anticipate a 5.1 percent
increase in average starting salaries, to the range of $38,000 to $44,000 per
year. To attract top performers, firms have raised salaries and signing bonuses
for new recruits and existing staff, and options such as flexible scheduling,
part-time work and telecommuting have become increasingly common.
Banking and Financial Services Outlook
Banking and financial services firms also are facing competition for talent.
Business analysts in this sector are expected to see a 6.5
percent increase in average starting salaries in 2007, to $46,750 to
$60,500. Private bankers will see base compensation rise to the range of
$43,500 to $62,250, an increase of 6.3 percent from 2006.
Average starting salaries for trust accountants are projected to climb
3.4 percent, to between $39,750 and $52,000.
Other key findings reported in the 2007 Salary Guide:
- Information technology audit managers at large companies will see average
starting salaries of $85,500 to $114,500, up 5 percent from
- Bookkeepers can anticipate a 6.7 percent increase in base
compensation, to the range of $30,250 to $37,000 annually.
- Entry-level cost accountants at small companies (up to $25 million in sales)
will see starting salaries rise 5.8 percent, to between $33,250
and $39,250 annually.
- Corporate finance analysts are projected to see base compensation of $48,000
to $63,250 annually, a 7 percent increase over 2006.
- Risk managers can expect a 6.7 percent increase in starting
salary in 2007, to between $54,500 and $72,250.
Nationwide, demand for accounting and finance professionals is expected to be
particularly strong in the financial services, manufacturing and commercial real
estate sectors. (All salaries listed are national averages. However, hiring
activity and compensation vary significantly by industry and geographic market.
A regional analysis of hiring trends and compensation variances for select U.S.
markets is included in the Salary Guide.)
Information in the Salary Guide is based on the thousands of job
searches, negotiations and placements managed each year by Robert Half
International’s staffing and recruiting managers. Continuing or ongoing
salaries are not reported because many external factors — such as seniority,
work ethic, job performance and training — impact the salaries of full-time
professionals as work histories develop. For decades, companies have consulted
the Salary Guide from Robert Half International to determine appropriate
compensation for all levels of accounting and finance professionals. In
addition, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics references
the guide in the preparation of its comprehensive Occupational Outlook
Robert Half International has more than 350 locations throughout North
America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and offers online job search
services at www.rhi.com.