Accounting and finance professionals in high demand

Base compensation to rise an average of 2.5 per cent: salary guide

Heightened competition for accounting and finance professionals will translate into higher salaries this year, according to the 2006 Salary Guide from staffing firm Robert Half International Inc.

"Business expansion and corporate governance initiatives are driving recruitment in the accounting and finance industries," said Jeff Holloway, a vice-president of Robert Half International. "Companies that can successfully attract and retain top finance and accounting professionals will be best positioned to adapt to emerging trends and new business opportunities."

The guide, based on an analysis of the firm’s job placements across the country, predicts that starting salaries in accounting and finance will rise an average of 2.5 per cent this year.

Public accounting firms are raising salaries across the board as they compete with companies in private industry for top accounting staff. Average starting salaries for entry-level accounting professionals at large firms are projected to climb 2.8 per cent, to between $36,250 and $45,500.

Managers at medium and small firms can anticipate a 4.3 per cent increase in average starting salaries, to $69,250 to $94,000 annually. Senior accountants at medium/small firms will see base compensation rise to $48,500 to $60,250 — an increase of 4.6 per cent.

Other key findings include:

• Full charge bookkeepers can anticipate a 5.7 per cent rise in base compensation in the year ahead with average starting salaries of $38,750 to $50,000.

• Payroll managers will see average starting salaries of $51,500 to $77,750 — up 5.3 per cent.

• Accounts receivable/accounts payable supervisors will see starting salaries climb 5.2 per cent, to the range of $43,250 to $58,500.

• Analysts with large companies will see starting salaries rise 4.0 per cent, to $42,750 to $54,000 annually.

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