IMA: Total Compensation Up 7.1 Percent in 2014 for US Management Accountants

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Jason Bramwell
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Total compensation and salaries increased in 2014 for management accountants and finance professionals in the United States who have the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) credential, according to a new study by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA).

Median total compensation – which includes base pay plus incentives, such as bonuses and profit sharing – increased from $105,500 in 2013 to $113,000 in 2014, a gain of 7.1 percent, according to the 2015 IMA Global Salary Survey. The median salary of IMA members in the United States also increased by $4,000 – from $96,000 in 2013 to $100,000 in 2014.

For CMA-certified professionals in the Americas region, which includes the United States and Canada, median total compensation increased by 4.3 percent – from $105,500 in 2013 to $110,000 in 2014. The median salary also increased last year, albeit slightly: $96,000 in 2013 to $96,400 in 2014.

Globally, compensation for IMA members in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East continue to vary significantly by country. Median compensation is much higher in Switzerland ($192,000) and the Netherlands ($102,033) than in other countries, such as Russia ($65,000) and Turkey ($60,000). Egypt holds the lowest rank for compensation ($9,379), presumably in large part due to economic and political factors in the country, according to the IMA. Asia continues as the region with the lowest average compensation ($32,000); however, compensation values in Asia and the Middle East/Africa region are showing significant improvement.

“Overall, survey respondents in the Asia/Pacific region experienced gains in earnings. For CMA-certified professionals, the earnings opportunity is most pronounced,” said Raef Lawson, PhD, CMA, CPA, IMA vice president of research and policy and co-author of the survey. “CMAs in the Asia/Pacific region earn roughly 75 percent more than those without certification. Their employers also benefit by having highly qualified accounting talent capable of competing globally.”

Around the world, salaries of those holding the CMA credential are higher than those of non-CMAs by at least 23 percent. CMAs globally earn a median salary 59 percent higher than non-CMAs and have 63 percent higher total compensation.

In the Americas region, for example, the average base salary for accounting and finance professionals with a CMA was $106,300 in 2014, which is 25 percent higher than the average base salary of $85,000 for non-CMAs. The average total compensation is 33 percent higher for CMAs versus non-CMAs ($125,000 compared to $94,000).

The survey also found that salaries remained largely the same or declined for professionals in traditional areas of responsibility, such as corporate accounting, taxation, general accounting, and internal audit. However, the need for budgeting, planning, and cost-control skills has led to an increase in salary for professionals with responsibilities in these and related areas.

Based on median total compensation, the top-five highest-paying areas of responsibility globally are:

  1. Information systems: $97,500
  2. Education: $93,000
  3. Corporate accounting: $84,750
  4. General management: $80,000
  5. Government accounting: $75,100

In the United States, an especially large pay increase occurred in the area of risk management, reflecting greater corporate awareness of this issue, according to Lawson and survey co-author Denis Desroches. The median total compensation globally for risk management is $51,000. Public accounting remains the lowest-paid area globally at $33,000.

More than two-thirds of respondents indicated they have had a pay increase within the past year, and more than three-quarters of survey respondents believe they are likely to receive a raise in the coming year.

About the survey:
Survey invitations were sent to 22,929 IMA members from around the world in October 2014, and the IMA received 3,979 responses. Of those, the IMA considered only respondents who indicated they were either full-time employees or self-employed, which reduced the number of responses to 3,751. Twenty-two responses were eliminated for low salaries reported (less than $100 total compensation per year), leaving 3,729 usable responses.

Related articles:

CMA Holders’ Average Salary Increased Slightly in 2013
Annual Salaries and Total Compensation Increase for IMA Members

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