Despite the economic downturn, salaries for finance and accounting professionals are expected to remain strong in most regions across North America next year, according to the 2009 Salary Guide released by Ajilon Finance, an accounting and finance specialty recruitment and career advisement firm.
Finance and accounting professionals in San Francisco and San Mateo, CA, are expected to be among those cities with the highest increases next year at 20.4 percent, while salaries in finance-centric New York City will be up 14.1 percent compared to the average salary in other regions.
In conjunction with the Salary Guide, Ajilon Finance partnered with CFO Research Services to survey more than 400 chief financial officers and other senior finance executives about their outlook for compensation, careers and the workplace in 2009. According to this survey of CFOs, these executives revealed they do not expect a significant salary increase next year, with 49 percent of respondents expecting salaries to stay the same.
Other key findings from the 2009 Salary Guide reveal:
- Job Security = Stable: The majority of CFOs polled (60%) think their job security is about the same as it was last year, with only one-quarter feeling they have much/somewhat less job security compared to last year.
- Compensation #1 Job Consideration: Compensation package took the top spot when asked about the most important criteria in accepting a new job offer. Location and work-life balance came in second and third respectively, with company leadership and company stability coming in at fourth and fifth. Despite this, 53% of CFOs surveyed revealed that their companies have not increased compensation in the past six months to recruit or retain finance staff.
- Cost Control & Process Improvement, Top Priority: CFOs expect to become more involved in the operating side of their businesses, spending more time this year on cost control, business process improvement, corporate strategy, and financial analysis.
- Economic Slowdown -- To Be Continued: More than three-quarters of the finance executives surveyed do not anticipate economic recovery in the near term, and many indicate that investor expectations for company performance have been dampened. In fact, 41% of respondents said investors have lower expectations for company performance compared to a year ago, while only 20% said investors have higher expectations.
"This year we expanded our Salary Guide to reflect 75 of the top North American markets," said Janette Marx, senior vice president of Ajilon Finance. "While our Guide reveals that salaries for finance and accounting professionals will remain strong in most markets next year, this is no time for complacency. Accounting and finance professionals should become more involved in the operations of their businesses as well as obtain additional training on new financial reporting standards such as IFRS and XBRL so they become indispensable to their companies in the years ahead."
For more information or a full copy of Ajilon Finance's 2009 Salary Guide, call 1.866.GO AJILON.
Ajilon Finance Salary Guide Methodology:
The Ajilon Finance Salary Guide reflects feedback from Ajilon Finance staffing professionals across the country and reveals the estimated regional salary ranges for various finance and accounting positions. Salary ranges vary depending on the location, job description (private industry, public accounting or data entry and payroll) and size of company (under $250 million in revenues, between $250 million and $1 billion and revenues, or over $1 billion in revenues).