3% Pay Raises Projected for Accountants in 2016
Except for extension filers, busy season is over and most accountants probably figure they deserve a heckuva lot more than a 3 percent raise. But sorry, folks. That’s the average base pay hike this year for finance and accounting professionals – the same as last year, according to a new salary forecast by Randstad Professionals.
The human resources company’s 2016 Salary Guide highlights the most in-demand positions, plus a range of other jobs, in 26 areas nationwide where Randstad has offices.
“US companies continue to develop their finance and accounting teams as partners to the business to support better decision-making,” the report states. “In today’s tight labor market, however, many organizations are challenged to fill these important roles with professionals who combine the required technical knowledge with strong communication skills and business or analytical acumen.”
So, what are these “hot jobs?” Here are three.
1. Senior accountants. They are really in demand, especially if they’ve got good IT know-how and experience with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, the report states. These accountants usually serve as advisors, so the position’s duties can vary quite a bit. A bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance is necessary, with CPA certification strongly preferred and an MBA sometimes preferred. At least three years of experience is required, with a combination of private and public accounting preferred. The average starting salary ranges from $61,000 to $85,000.
2. Cost accountants. They serve as “the steward for operational gross profit margins by examining labor, materials, overhead, and other costs in a variety of industries,” the report states. Manufacturing industries particularly need candidates in this field and it’s not unusual for employers to seek industry-specific experience. A bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or business is necessary, with an MBA preferred for manager-level positions. Two to five years of experience is expected, with an average starting salary ranging from $51,000 to $74,000. Management positions can pay from $85,000 to $135,000.
3.Finance managers. These professionals are moving into positions as business partners and, in some organizations, directors. They analyze data on trends specific to the company and on economic trends. Advising decision-makers on financial consequences of certain strategies is expected, and finance managers are in high demand at smaller companies seeking rapid growth. A bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, economics, or business is necessary, and designation as a CPA or CMA is strongly preferred. To reach director status, an MBA is expected. A minimum of four years of experience in finance, ERP skills, and familiarity with business intelligence tools are expected. Average starting pay ranges from $82,000 to $130,000, depending on company size.
The report also offers a look at pay ranges for accounting and finance positions in areas within 26 states (some states like California and Florida have multiple areas) for firms considered small (up to $100 million in revenues), midsize ($100 million to $500 million), and large (more than $500 million).
Positions include executive (CFO and various vice presidents), finance (including finance manager and director), accounting (from clerks in accounts receivable and payable to controller), internal audit, tax, treasury, purchasing, small business accounting, and public accounting.
So, let’s go to the Midwest and look at how those hot jobs – and we’ll stick in internal audit, too – fare in the Chicago metro area.
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Terry Sheridan is an award-winning journalist who has covered real estate, mortgage finance, health care, insurance, personal finance, and accounting and taxation issues for newspapers, magazines, and websites. A Chicago native and former South Florida resident, she now lives in New England.