Continued rise projected for accounting salaries in 2015

BY KEN TYSIAC

Starting salaries for accounting and finance professionals in the United States and Canada across a wide range of positions are expected to trend upward again in 2015, according to forecasts in salary guides published by staffing services firm Robert Half.

Average starting salaries for corporate accounting positions are projected to rise between 2.9% and 4.4% in the United States, depending on the specific role. Increases of 2.7% to 3.9% are predicted for public accounting positions.

Overall, a 3.5% rise in starting salaries is predicted for accounting and finance positions in the United States. Higher-than-average starting salary increases are predicted for staff accountants, senior financial analysts, and business systems analysts—jobs that are in strong demand.

Similar gains in average starting salaries are projected in other professional positions such as creative and marketing (3.5%), legal (3.0%), and administrative and office support (3.4%). Base compensation for information technology professionals is expected to jump more drastically, by 5.7%.

“Hiring demand is placing pressure on the supply of skilled workers in many specialties, particularly in the technology and financial fields,” Paul McDonald, Robert Half senior executive director, said in a news release.

The projected increases for accounting starting salaries are similar to those from the past few years. The Robert Half 2014 Salary Guide projected average starting salaries for corporate accounting to rise between 2.9% and 4.5%, while the 2013 guide projected salary growth of between 2.7% and 4.5% in U.S. corporate accounting jobs.

In Canada, starting salaries in corporate accounting are expected to rise in 2015 between 1.6% and 4.9%, with a majority of the increases between 3% and 4%.

Public accounting starting salaries in Canada are projected to increase between 2.3% and 4.6%.

Ken Tysiac ( ktysiac@aicpa.org ) is a JofA editorial director.

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