$53,300: The Average Starting Salary for New Accounting Grads
by Jason Bramwell on
Michael Casey, general manager of jobs for Going Concern, gives his perspective to AccountingWEB.
Accounting graduates who have decided they want to work at a CPA firm have four main audiences: the Big 4, nationals, regionals, and locals.
"A lot of the Big 4 candidates typically are recruited in, and the bigger firms will offer signing bonuses because they're looking for the top talent. Therefore, the people rolling in to the bigger firms right out of school can expect a package in the range of high $50,000s to low $60,000s, depending on the geographic area," he says. "The whole premise with the top firms is they're looking for longevity. Ideally, they'd like to keep some of these candidates in-house for three to five years.
"The local firms typically don't give signing bonuses or things of that nature," Casey continues. "But if you're looking at people rolling into these two-person or ten-person firms, who have probably applied themselves and have not graduated from a brand-name school, they can expect a salary of somewhere in the mid-$40,000 range. The local firms typically don't look for longevity. They realize there will always be that inventory locally that they can always reach into."
Casey says he has found that business has increased for most CPA firms by 7 to 10 percent for 2013 through 2014, which he adds is a by-product of a healthier economy.
"Accounting services is a by-product of that, as well. The year-over-year demand for qualified candidates has gone up," he concludes. "So what is this telling you? Guess what – there are no surprises in the accounting industry."
About the survey:
The April 2013 NACE Salary Survey reports starting salaries for new college graduates in more than ninety disciplines at the bachelor's degree level. Data contained in the report are reported by employers; represent accepted starting salaries (not salary offers); and are produced through a compilation of data derived from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US Census Bureau, and a master set of data developed by Job Search Intelligence. Data for the April 2013 report were retrieved in March 2013 and represent the first look at starting salaries for the college class of 2013.