Some Accounting Firms Offering Large Raises to Keep Talent

Accounting firms across the nation are coming up with big bucks to keep their staff accountants from jumping ship, with some offering raises of more than 10 percent to two- to seven-year employees.

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As implementation of Sarbanes-Oxley shifts into high gear, accountants and auditors will be in ever more increasing demand and retaining talent is a priority of Boston-area firms, the Boston Business Journal reported. Some companies are even willing to pay to bring top accounting minds in-house to ensure they are properly meeting the new requirements.

"The raises are almost double than what we've seen," Bruce Carlin, managing partner at Carlin, Charron & Rosen LLP, told the Business Journal. "We're making sure our focus is on people. We need to keep them and make sure they don't go anywhere else."

The Big Four firms are feeling the pressure to keep up to make sure other firms are luring away their best people.

"There's more demand for our professionals," William Bacic, managing partner with Deloitte & Touche in Boston, told the Business Journal. While Bacic said reports that his firm was giving out 20 percent raises were off-base, double-digit increases were more typical. "Is it driving salaries up? Absolutely."

Accounting firms are using the promise of raises as weapons in the battle to attract and retain top talent, the Business Journal reported.

"These companies are definitely working hard to keep people there," David Sanford, executive vice president at Winter, Wyman & Co., a Waltham recruiter to accounting firms, told the Business Journal. "When people come in and say they're leaving, (they've) got another job, we're seeing counter offers."

One insider predicted that when corporate America gets acclimated to Sarbanes-Oxley regulations, the tide could turn again in favor of the firms, leaving a glut of formerly well-paid accountants looking for work, the Business Journal reported.

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