Finance Positions Show Pay Increase

November 6, 2002 ( - Under the increasing scrutiny of executive compensation, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) pay remains flat, while other finance positions show an increase, according to a new Mercer survey.

CFO median total cash compensation – a measure of base pay and annual bonus – saw an increase of 0.9% from $347,900 in 2001 to $351,000 in 2002.   Corporate controller levels show a similar small increase of 0.2% to $172,400, according to Mercer Human Resource Consulting’s 2002 Finance, Accounting & Legal Compensation Survey.

The survey finds larger median total cash compensation increases for other finance professionals:

  • Top corporate tax executives up 7.8% to $185,000
  • Top corporate audit executives up 7.5% to $142,000
  • Top corporate accounting executives up 6.2% to $134,600
  • Corporate budget managers up 4.0% to $100,900
  • Corporate treasurers up 2.6% to $200,000

Mercer says the survey shows financial skills are still in demand.   However, “CFO pay is more likely to reflect overall company performance and follow the pay trends affecting other top executives.”   Pointing to overall corporate compensation trends, Mercer went on to say “with business performance generally down and executive compensation under intense scrutiny right now, it’s not surprising that companies held the lid on CFO pay this past year.”

Legal positions also showed relatively flat increases.   Top corporate legal executive median total cash compensation was up 1.1% to $289,900 from $286,700 in 2001.  

An earlier Mercer release showed overall pay increases are at 3.8% for 2002.

The survey collected information from nearly 1,400 companies reflecting base pay and other incentives for 130 finance, accounting and legal positions.   More information can be found at .