Salaries Increasing for Finance and Accounting Professionals

The results of the 15th annual salary survey for the nation's managerial accountants are in, and there is some good news and some bad news.

While salary increases have slowed down and have shrunk, they have not stopped, and the gender gap for the total compensation for men and women appears to be shrinking but still significant, according to the study released by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) and published in Strategic Finance magazine.

The survey of more than 1,600 managerial accounting and finance professionals found that salaries increased by 4.7 percent to $87,108 and average total compensation increased 5.8 percent to $99,620. This is a significant change from previous studies. Other findings include:

  • Average salaries for men still outpace those of women with $94,314 and $72,773 comparatively. Yet the total compensation for women rose more than that for men -- 7.2 percent compared to 6.2 percent -- and both are significant increases. Still, the total compensation for women at $81,121 is $27,000 less than the amount for men at $108,841.

  • Those who hold a professional accounting certification generally earn more (19 percent) than those who don't.

  • While the proportion of women and men in senior management is almost the same (18 percent for women vs. 19 percent for men), there are more women in middle- (42 percent vs. 37 percent) and entry-level (22 percent vs. 13 percent) positions and fewer in top-level positions (12 percent vs. 26 percent).

  • Average salary figures increased in 2003 over 2002 for all locations and business sizes except for those companies with 1-9 employees. The average salary and average total compensation increased for every SIC (standard industry code) except mining. Finance, insurance, and real estate all garnered the top dollars.

"As managerial accounting and finance professionals take on increasing roles and responsibilities within corporations, it is important for employers to recognize their contribution and develop appropriate compensation packages," said Paul Sharman, interim executive director, Institute of Management Accountants.

The full survey is available on the IMA website and in the June issue of Strategic Finance magazine.

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