Accounting and Finance Salaries Forecast to Rise in 2006

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JANUARY 2006 - Heightened competition for accounting and finance professionals will lead to increases in base compensation this year, according to recent research. Starting salaries in accounting and finance are projected to rise an average of 3.1% in 2006. Research shows that starting salaries for personnel involved with corporate governance initiatives, such as internal auditors, information technology (IT) auditors, and public accountants, are expected to see the strongest growth.

For the second consecutive year, corporate auditors can expect to see the strongest salary growth. IT auditors can expect the largest percentage increase in base compensation of any position in 2006, with average starting salaries forecast to rise 11.2%, to between $67,000 and $94,250 annually. Entry-level internal auditors at small companies (up to $25 million in sales) will see average starting salaries increase 9%, to between $35,500 and $43,250 annually.

Competition for Staff Drives Salary Increases

Public accounting firms are raising salaries across the board as they compete with companies in private industry for top accounting staff. Average starting salaries for entry-level accounting professionals at small companies are projected to climb 6.5%, to between $35,500 and $42,500. Senior managers/directors at large companies (more than $250 million in sales) can anticipate a 4.2% increase in average starting salaries, to between $85,500 and $130,000 annually. Senior accountants at midsize firms ($25 million to $250 million in sales) will see base compensation rise to between $50,000 and $70,000, an increase of 8.8% from 2005.

Other key findings of the study include the following salary forecasts, by position and size of company:

  • Tax managers at midsize companies will see average starting salaries of between $57,750 and $74,000 annually, up 4.6% over 2005 levels.
  • Bookkeepers can anticipate a 6.8% rise in base compensation in the year ahead.
  • Entry-level accountants at midsize companies will see starting salaries rise 4.1% percent, to between $32,000 and $38,250 annually.
  • Mutual fund accountants can anticipate a 4.7% gain in base compensation, to between $38,000 and $51,250 annually.
  • Accounts receivable/accounts payable managers at small companies will see starting salaries climb 5.2%, to between $33,750 and $41,500 annually.

Nationally, demand for accounting and finance professionals is expected to be particularly strong in the manufacturing, real estate, and construction industries. The salaries noted above are national averages; however, hiring activity and compensation vary significantly by geographic market.

Information in the salary guide, issued by Robert Half International, is based on analysis of the thousands of job searches, negotiations and placements managed each year by the company’s U.S. offices. The guide does not report continuing or ongoing salaries because external factors such as seniority, work ethic, job performance, and training, impact the salaries of full-time professionals as work histories develop.

The 2006 Salary Guide can be ordered from or (800) 474-4253.




















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