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Salary Forecast Projects Bump in Pay for Accountants in 2017

Aug 25th 2016
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Accounting and finance professionals can expect a 2.8 percent salary increase in 2017, up from the projected 2.4 percent rise this year, according to the 2017 Salary Guide by Accounting Principals.

The guide, which will be released on Sept. 6, also indicates that several types of finance positions, including accounting and auditing, are expected to outpace overall occupations in job growth and pay by 2024. Citing job numbers from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the guide indicates that financial analysts, financial examiners, accountants and auditors, and financial planners (described as personal financial advisors by the BLS) show the strongest growth.

The guide breaks down the jobs numbers by several categories from the bureau’s 2016-17 occupational outlook. The broad encompassing category of business and financial professionals is the first. The BLS indicates that while jobs within this category are expected to keep pace with the 8 percent expected growth of all occupations by 2024, the median annual wage in May 2015 of $65,710 far exceeded the median $36,200 for all occupations.

And within that big category are several subsets of finance positions that are expected to do quite well.

Here’s a closer look.

Accountants and Auditors
“A stronger regulatory environment is driving the demand for more accountants and auditors,” the BLS states.

The 1.33 million accountants and auditors in 2014 are expected to grow 11 percent by 2024, to 1.47 million. The median pay in 2015 was $67,190.

Financial Examiners
An expected 10 percent growth by 2024 will add 3,700 jobs to the 38,200 as of 2014. Median pay in 2015 was $78,010.

Financial Analysts
The 277,600 in 2014 are expected to see 32,300 (12 percent growth) additional colleagues by 2024. Median pay in 2015 was $80,310.

Financial Planners/Personal Financial Advisors
The BLS describes this group as those advising on investments, insurance, mortgages, college savings, estate planning, taxes, and retirement.

With 249,400 in 2014, the group is expected to grow 30 percent by 2024. Median pay in 2015 was $89,160.

The growth in these categories means, of course, that job competition will become more fierce.

“Candidates, especially those with specialized skills, can pick and choose their jobs,” Accounting Principals President David Alexander said in a foreword to the study. “Because of this, it’s now more important than ever for employers to offer quite a bit in order to hire and retain top talent.”

To help gauge what those salaries might be, Accounting Principals, in conjunction with CareerBliss, offers salary and cash compensation based on company size and location for dozens of positions.

Pay variances based on certain locations also are included. For example, let’s say an accountant with a base salary of $50,000 wants to move to Chicago. The variance for the Windy City is 113.06 percent, which means the accountant would be looking at a salary of $56,530.

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