Competition for Accounting/Finance Professionals Means Higher Pay

October 27, 2005 ( - According to the 2006 Salary Guide from Robert Half International Inc., starting salaries in accounting and finance are projected to rise an average of 3.1% in 2006.

In its press release, the company said starting salaries for personnel involved with corporate governance initiatives – such as internal auditors, information technology (IT) auditors and public accountants – are expected to see the strongest growth.

IT auditors can expect the largest percentage increase in base compensation of any position in 2006, with average starting salaries forecast to rise 11.2%, to between $67,000 and $94,250 annually, while entry-level internal auditors at small companies (up to $25 million in sales) will see average starting salaries increase 9%, to $35,500 to $43,250 per year.

Competition with companies in private industry for talented accounting professionals is causing public accounting firms to increase salaries across the board, according to Robert Half’s research. Average starting salaries for entry-level accounting professionals at small firms are projected to climb 6.5%, to between $35,500 and $42,500. Senior managers/directors at large firms ($250 million+ in sales) can anticipate a 4.2% increase in average starting salaries, to $85,500 to $130,000 annually, while senior accountants at midsize firms ($25 million to $250 million in sales) will see base compensation rise to $50,000 to $70,000 – an increase of 8.8% from 2005.

According to the release, other key findings in the Salary Guide include:

  • Tax managers at midsize companies will see average starting salaries of $57,750 to $74,000 – up 4.6% over 2005 levels.
  • Bookkeepers can anticipate a 6.8% rise in base compensation in the year ahead.
  • Entry-level accountants at midsize companies will see starting salaries rise 4.1%, to $32,000 to $38,250 annually.
  • Mutual fund accountants can anticipate a 4.7% gain in base compensation, to the range of $38,000 to $51,250 annually.
  • Accounts receivable/accounts payable managers at small companies will see starting salaries climb 5.2%, to the range of $33,750 to $41,500.

In addition to the increase reported for IT auditors, the Robert Half Technology Salary Guide reveals that job seekers for lead applications developer and network security administrator positions will also see large base salary increases. Base compensation for lead applications developers is projected to increase 5.3% in 2006, to between $72,000 and $98,250 a year and average starting salaries for network security administrators are expected to rise 5.2%, to the range of $67,500 to $94,750 annually.

According to the release, the Technology Salary Guide also found that:

  • Business systems analysts will earn average starting salaries of between $58,750 and $84,750 annually, an increase of 5.1% over 2005 levels.
  • Data analysts/report writers can expect base compensation in the range of $54,000 and $71,250, a gain of 5% over 2005 starting salaries.
  • Developers/programmer analysts will see starting salaries rise 4.6% to the range of $55,250 and $86,750 per year.
  • Base compensation for project managers will increase 4.2%, with starting salaries in the range of $72,750 to $99,250.
  • Average starting salaries for quality assurance/testing managers will rise 2.6% to the range of $67,250 to $88,250 annually.

Information in the Salary Guide is based on the thousands of job searches, negotiations and placements managed each year by the company’s staffing and recruiting managers. For more information contact Joel Dibble of Robert Half Technology at 1-650-234-6288 or .