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L ooking for a new career path? Narrow your search to the fastest-growing accounting jobs.

According to the Robert Half International 2007 Salary Guide, the following are the top five high-growth positions for the year:

Internal auditors. Those who possess the certified internal auditor designation are needed to help improve internal controls and meet the compliance mandates of regulations such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The national average starting salary at a large company is expected to climb 5.8% this year, to a range of $77,500 to $101,500.

Compliance executive. Companies are hiring compliance executives with SEC-reporting experience to help them meet ongoing corporate governance requirements. Starting salaries for chief compliance officers at midsize companies are expected to rise 9.3% to a range of $111,000 to $145,500, and salaries at large companies are predicted to rise 14.4% to between $132,500 and $181,250.

Financial analyst. As firms expand, financial analysts are needed to assist with budgeting and forecasting initiatives and to identify how companies can become more profitable. Base pay is expected to rise 5% for managers with small companies to between $55,750 and $70,000, and 5.6% to between $58,250 and $73,750 at large companies.

Staff accountant. Accountants with at least three years experience, including in public accounting, are sought for projects related to general ledger-account maintenance, financial-statement preparation and budget development. Salaries at large companies are predicted to rise 5% to between $41,250 and $52,500.

External auditors. Public accounting firms are seeking more CPAs with seven years experience to meet rising client demand for audit services. Salaries at small firms are expected to rise 5.2% to between $48,750 and $63,000.

Source: Robert Half Finance & Accounting, www.roberthalf.com .

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